During a personal prayer retreat our main goal should be prayer and communion with God at least 10 hours per day. At this time you may listen to a sermon as well as pray in tongues.
Unfortunately, most people live in vanity, and cannot “break through” to spiritual things. Therefore I strongly recommend you have personal prayer retreats regularly. It is necessary for everyone. Having personal prayer retreats is needful today to enable us learn how to live with Jesus and admire him and, to become truly dependent on God. Often our thoughts are not focused on God. Ask yourself, what do you live with? Whom do you hurry to at difficult times and trials? But how can we hope to get to heaven if we do not live with the values of heaven? I would like to point out that only during personal prayer retreats with God can we get to know and experience the depth of His mercy, love and grace.
Once your personal prayer retreats became regular, you will notice that God begins to open up and trust you with His secrets. During my personal prayer retreats I received knowledge about all areas of my life: family, children, ministry, church, country and about many others things. During the personal prayer retreat you will get to know what it means to be led by God.
John 1:1-5 says: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
We all need to learn the art of praying by the Word of God. Few people have heard about this art and even less believers practice such prayer.
Prayer by the Word of God is a completely different level and style of prayer. This prayer contains a great creative force. It is written: “All things were made by him.” Prayer by the Word is prayer with the words of God Himself, which makes us co-creators with God. During such prayer we get imbued with the Word of God and therefore by God Himself so that this word penetrates every cell of our being, changing and building in us the image of Christ.
Prayer by the Word of God transforms us, illuminates all the dark corners of our souls as x-rays do, lets us change and begin to love and understand God as never before. Through praying by the Word of God we are so filled with God that we become God bearers.
“In him was life; and the life was the light of men And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not”. Prayer by the Word of God creates the life and light inside of us, so that darkness of old habits, old ways of life and mentality cannot seize and control us.
Prayer by the Word of God gives us the ability to create and to bring into the real world something that never existed. Remember how the Creator created all things (see Genesis) – the same thing happens when we pray by the Word.
Psalm 119:89 says: “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” This means that there is nothing in the world above the Word of God. You and I are on the earth and the Word of God is settled in the heaven, because everything on earth: the circumstances, diagnoses, problems are obliged to obey the heavenly decree. During the prayer by the Word of God we settle God’s will and conquer all earthly things by heavenly power.
Psalm 11:7 says: “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times”. God shows us that His Word is so crystalline that it does not have the slightest hint of impurity. It is no secret that the prayers in our own words are not always pure. At times our prayers are filled with “secular” requests. Therefore prayer by the Word of God is much better as His Word is completely clear of all secular things and purified seven times.
Psalm 137:2 says: “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name”. God has exalted His word above all things but we ask in our ignorance for all kinds of material benefits and do not even know that our most important goal is to master the art of creative prayer by the Word of God and be transformed into the image of Christ.
How do we pray by the Word of God?
To pray using the Word of God, we have to imagine ourselves standing before God with an open heart, sincerely and quietly. You can pray with any Bible Scripture.
1) For example, let us take Psalm 120. It says:
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”
Reading the entire Psalm we start to analyse every word of it. But we are not in a hurry. Our task is not to be in a hurry but slowly, deeply and consciously experience each word, meditate and say it prayerfully so that each word has penetrated to the depths of the soul and into all situations of different spheres of our life.
So, the first verse: “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help”.
“I see myself before God, who sits in the heaven surrounded by the host of heaven. I begin to pray and meditate on the words “I will lift up mine eyes”: O’ Lord where are my eyes directed, when misfortunes happen? Do I lift my eyes to God or do I go looking for help and support from people? I am looking into the loving eyes of God; He hugs me and looks into my eyes…. O’ Lord I repent that I looked for help and understanding from people. But now O’ Lord help me to look only to you! Concerning my family, my business and my ministry, I lift up my eyes to you Lord! My help will come from You only, the entire heavenly host is ready to stand in defence of me! To whom else can I run with my anxiety and difficulty? “Forgive me Lord that I hoped to a person. Forgive me that I distressed you Lord and show mercy to me! Show your mercy to me O, Lord. I am not going to rely on a man! Only You, Lord, the one whose face I will seek when I am depressed and when I am well, because only you can answer my questions and resolve every difficult situation. From now I will always lift up my eyes to you, because my help is only in you. I only want to see Your face O’ Lord!”
“My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.” “Lord, you made heaven and earth. All beings live only because you gave them the breath of life. My God, you are Almighty and you are able to solve my problem in the family, at work, in ministry (As I pray I can see as help comes into every sphere of my life). Forgive me that I did not trust you completely, forgive me and show mercy to me! You help me and I am happy that you have no crisis, no inflation and no deficit. You help me to fulfill my mission, You helped my children become successful and you helped me with my clients in business. Thank you, Lord!..”
As you can see, one can pray 30 minutes or even an hour only by the one of this verse. During the prayer by the Word of God it is important to see, to imagine the picture as the Word of God penetrates and builds up your family, your identity, your ministry and all areas of your life. It is important to speak frankly with God and let him know how much you rely on Him, trust in Him and put your hope in Him. The word transforms you and you get imbued with this Word so much that you can not remain the same. Prayer by the Word of God will allow you to pray 10 hours a day only using eight verses of this Psalm.
Let us take any verse of the Bible, for example: Psalm 124.
“They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever. For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity. Do good, O LORD, unto those that be good, and to them that are upright in their hearts. As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, the LORD shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity: but peace shall be upon Israel!”
Just as before, we take it by verses and every word of this verse we get through our soul, meditate and visualise, we see how the Word creates and change us and our circumstances.
“They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever”.
“They that trust in the LORD”. On whom do I pin my hopes in my family (I can see the specific situation in my family, my husband / wife, children, parents), in my ministry (I see my team, my goals, my plans), in my business (I see my clients, suppliers)? I examine all my life by this Word: “They that trust in the LORD”…. Lord, I repent that I have not fully trusted in you. Lord, show mercy to me because I hoped on my strength and relations! I can become like a mountain just hoping on the Lord.
What is the mountain? This is something that can not be shaken, can not be moved from its place. This is a strong personality, but who can become one? ONLY they that trust in you. Lord, I do not want some circumstances shaking me. I want to be stable as a mountain. “Mount Zion” – what is it? This is a dwelling place of God! Lord, I desire that I get to know you in all my ways! Help me please and make me this mountain on which you dwell! I want to represent your interest in everything I do. I understand that this word works only for those who trust in you, so check and make sure I trust only in you O’ my Lord! Make me steadfast, approved and stable as a mountain!”
During the prayer by the Word of God it is necessary to have a notebook and a pen with you. Because, you will see where you were wrong, what you need to correct and to whom should you apologize. Also new ideas will come that will build your life up.
When praying by the Word of God, sometimes you can read one or two verses per day, sometimes a chapter from the Bible. For example I prayed for several years with Ephesians, not less than six months I prayed with 1st Corinthians chapter 13. I did not stop praying until the Word became flesh, my essence. The Word dictates the direction of my prayer, of my thoughts and gives the depth of knowledge.
2) Let us see one more example:
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 90
When we read this Scripture, let’s imagine ourselves before God and check ourselves. “Do I really live under the cover of the Almighty God: at home, at work, in ministry? O’ Lord, help me; I do not want to leave you a single day, even for a moment. I take a decision to find You and to live under Your cover, under Your patronage, Your power, under the rule of the house owner – the Almighty. Since You are The owner of the shelter, of this house, I can find calm and serenity, because You’re holding everything in control. So I imagine my family, my business, my ministry, my goals, and my future under your cover.”
“I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
“Father, search my heart to see if I hope in you wholeheartedly, or whether my hope is on my family, my ministry, my business or money?” You are my refuge and protection for my family only if I trust You fully. Help me, forgive me and have mercy on me if I’ve relied on people. “
It is important to particularly analyze every sphere of your life and your personality. It is equally important to repent and decide to live a new life. Allow the Word of God to dissolve into you insomuch that it becomes your nature. Think over, imagine yourself before God and tell Him: “Lord, show me what my true refuge is – You or perhaps, my husband, my family, my job?” Have mercy on me, if I have “wrong” refuge! Forgive me and have mercy on me! I want YOU to be my only refuge for ever! “.
” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence”
“Father, You will deliver me from any plague, disease and epidemic. No harm will happen either to me or to my family! I will not get caught in any snares of lies, deceit and envy. My ministry is delivered from sudden destruction, from the envious, from detractors. No envy will happen to me, my family, my ministry, my business. No snares will be successful. The snare is broken, and we have escaped! God saves me from any kind of calamity, nets of envy and lies.”
During such prayer it is important not only to repeat these words; you should feel words, experience them, test yourself in different situations and see how God saves you from the difficulties, snares and enemies, lies and jealousy.
3) Let us see Proverbs 12:1-4: “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid. A good man obtains favor from the LORD, but a man of evil devices he condemns. No one is established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous will never be moved. An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.”
It seems difficult at first to understand how to pray with this Scripture. Pray, meditate; imagine different scenarios of your life – “Whoever loves discipline”. Do I love discipline? Do I like when I am corrected? If it is unpleasant to me, it means I do not like knowledge. God, have mercy, forgive me and teach me to love discipline, help me, please!”
My friends, the Word of God should enlighten you and remove all darkness. We will not understand God’s Word properly without deep prayer with the Word. If the Word does not become our flesh, penetrating into every cell of our being, we can not be changed. There is no other way to be transformed into the image of Christ except by allowing the Word of God to reprove and correct you.
4) The Gospel of Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged“
Praying with these words, you will most likely have to repent first of all for all judgments you permit in your life: judgment of your husband / wife, boss at your job, your pastor and leader. You should repent and pray until you feel complete freedom. Do not let this word leave you, until you get relief, until the word becomes flesh. “Lord, I beg you, forgive me for judging this man (name), for you said not to judge. And if I did, it means that I will be judged also by You or someone else … Forgive and have mercy, O’ Lord. I do not want to do it again. I make my decision to go to this man and repent. God, give me grace and strength!” During the prayer the Holy Spirit will remind you of those whom you judged, they are those before whom you should repent. Therefore it is vital to have at hand a notebook and pen to record all that God says to you. Then you must immediately embody it! Only after you feel the relief in praying Matthew 7:1 can you move on to the next verse.
Friends, if the Word really became flesh in your life, you will function easily. John 1:14 says: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” You should understand how important it is to make the Word alive in your life. It makes no sense just to know where Scripture is located. If the Word is not effective for you, knowledge by itself will not bring any benefits. It will be only religion. If the Word of God does not change your life, it won’t matter if you know the entire chapters of the Bible by heart.
5) Let us read the parable of the sower. Matthew 13:18-23
“Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
After reading the whole parable, we should stop and immediately analyze ourselves: “What kind of seed am I?” Along the road one? May be among stones or among thorns? “Remind yourself of your attitude towards the Word of God you listened to. Repent for your wrong attitude. It is important not to just to pray, saying the words, it is just as important to experience and feel the topic you are praying about. The Lord said: John 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life”.
“If His words are life, now my every word must bring creation and positive. I should speak to the point; declare the words from heaven, the word of the Spirit. I refuse to prate. My words have to create and revive my family, my ministry, my church, my business.”
While praying with God’s Word the Word should penetrate into you, modify and create a new entity.
Reading the Bible, it is important to imagine yourself in the light of this word, in every sphere of our life. However, there are some passages of Scripture which you should not use in such way while praying. In this case you simply need to repent and / or take a suitable decision.
Reading of the Word of God in this manner can be compared with the digestive process. Please note, food is good for our body, and digested, if we eat slowly and thoroughly chew it. All proteins, fats, carbohydrates are processed by the stomach and become absorbed into the body, giving energy, strength and health. Likewise, the Word of God is the spiritual bread. It should not be taken in a hurry and bustle, but in meditation, so that it can be digested and assimilated.
Let us see again the Word of God.
2 Peter 1:4 says: “by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.”
Have you ever wondered why so few believers are like their Heavenly Father? Why do we not become partakers of the divine nature? Why do we not receive great promises? The reason is that we do not live by the Word of God nor do we pray with the Word of God. So the Word did not become flesh, it did not change our DNA yet so that destruction can become creation.
God, forgive us and help us to be changed into your image, to master the art of creation by power of prayer with the Holy Word!
Translated by Anna and Elena Krets
Edited by Gloria Orimoloye