How when you sit down, clasp your hands with your head bowed to pray wait for words to come out of your mouth? And when nothing come you immediately race through your mind to sweep words into bin and carelessly organize them into a quick, coherent ideas? This happens to me a lot and I would guess it happens to you as well.

Fortunately the secret Sorge writes about in Chapter 21 is just what the doctor ordered. The secret is praying the Scriptures, a combination of reading your Bible and praying to God. You kill two birds with one stone.

Most of the content in this chapter you will see is Sorge’s thoughts when he literally dissects Psalm 84, as he focuses on one verse at a time, and offers us advice on what we could say in response. He takes his precious time to understand what the Bible is saying.

It makes sense to camp out in Psalms first, after all you have 147 unique songs to choose from; I also encourage you to look into the conversations Jesus has with the Pharisees and scribes in the Gospels, and even the laws in Leviticus; it’s a great opportunity to build your knowledge of The Word. The more we memorize and seriously meditate on the Bible, the more it becomes a part of us and the more it changes every aspect of our being.

That is what we aim for when we pray.“We want God’s word to enter our hearts, grab our attention with its impact, enlarge and expand our hearts with passionate longing, enter into the fabric of our speech and actions, and bear fruit unto eternal life.”

I point out however a danger that you may encounter when praying the Scriptures; it has nothing to do with the Bible but with you. Answer this question for me: where does the power of prayer come from? We should know we have no power apart from God but we hardly ever say out loud that the words printed on the page have no power either.  The power of prayer comes from God and is given to the person who desperately seeks after His heart. Let me give you an example.

Samuel told Saul the Lord sought “a man after his own heart.” David wrote 73 psalms, because his heart was so in love with the Lord. We quote him ad nauseam: “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” “The Lord is my light and my salvation–whom shall I be afraid?” “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” etc. etc. If your heart's unaligned with David’s when you pray his psalms, don’t pray them; it's a waste of breath. But if you feel what David felt and legitimately reach out to God, then by all means pray the psalm!

Sam Darby, connect