When ministering God’s truth, it can be frustrating watching the way different people respond. Everyone in a church service hears exactly the same message, yet some will receive while others won’t. It’s not the Word that is the variable, but rather the condition of the hearts! There are several things that keep people from perceiving spiritual truths. We can reason with them until we are blue in the face. But sometimes they personally need to ask the Lord to do a work in their heart, remove the blinders and help them understand. Here are the prayers that the Lord showed me to pray to finally be able to perceive spiritual truth, in order to enter into living the blessed life that God has for each one of us:
Many of us tried reading the Bible while we were unsaved and found it to be impossible to read, understand or retain. There is a reason for that. We must be born again. It takes the indwelling Holy Spirit to comprehend or perceive the scriptures.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
2 Corinthians 3:14-18 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
- If you have not received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, simply pray this prayer with all of your heart:
Dear Lord Jesus, come into my heart. Forgive me of my sin. Set me free. Jesus, thank You that You died for me. I believe that God raised You from the dead so I can have eternal life. Come and be my personal Lord and Savior. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit, the peace of God, and the joy of the Lord. Give me a hunger for the things of God, a passion to reach the lost, and boldness to share the good news of Jesus with others. I’m saved. I’m born again. I’m forgiven and I’m on my way to heaven because I have Jesus in my heart. Amen Thank You Jesus!
When you asked Jesus to come into your heart and to forgive you, He heard you and did so! All of your sins are now forgiven! Always remember to run to God and not from God because He loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. You can write: ”I got saved!” on your calendar today!
Those who are new in the faith must grow in the faith as new born babes learning simple truths of God’s word.
1 Peter 2:2-3 New King James Version (NKJV)
2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,[a] 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
It needs to be mentioned that we can’t just blindly follow what other people are doing, or what we were raised to do, when it comes to our eternal destiny. People all over the planet are blindly following the religion or atheism or whatever philosophy their parents taught them…enough said! That is why it is imperative that we know the Word. We need to devour the Word of God. Take notes and research, study the scriptures in depth, truly intending to put them into practice.
2 Tim. 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Tim. 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works
I want to encourage you to read God’s word…your future depends upon it! We live in perilous times. God has promised to take care of us, protect us, comfort us and be with us. If we don’t have a strong word foundation, how will we stand with bold faith as the storms of life approach?
Luke 6:46-49 46 “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? 47 Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. 49 But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.”
If you have been a Christian for a long time, and the word is still hard to understand, there are a number of things that could be causing this, but let’s start here…
- Repent and Ask the Lord to: Create in me a clean heart!
Psalm 51:9-10 New King James Version (NKJV)
9 Hide Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
1 Corinthians 3:1-3 New King James Version (NKJV)
1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?
Romans 8:5-7 New King James Version (NKJV)
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
- Ask the Lord to take out the stony heart and put in a heart of flesh!
Many times we have developed hard hearts because of hurts and disappointments. God wants to take out the stony heart and give us a heart after Him. So, it is only by His Spirit that we understand the scriptures, and only by His Spirit can we can live according to His word.
Ezekiel 11:19-21 New King James Version (NKJV)
19 Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for those whose hearts follow the desire for their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their deeds on their own heads,” says the Lord God.
- Ask the Lord to give you eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart to understand! Ask Him to prepare your heart to be good ground to receive His word!
A friend of mine told me that she used to have the hardest time reading the Bible. She said her husband would read it and come to her all excited about things that just jumped out at him. She would get frustrated and ask the Lord why she didn’t see things like that when she read the same passages. She finally prayed and asked the Lord to make the scriptures come alive to her, like a movie. She said that soon after she prayed that prayer, she read the book of Esther and it was so real she felt like she had been there! From then on she couldn’t wait to read the Bible because it was full of such rich stories of adventures with God! When we ask the Holy Spirit to help us, He will.
Lu 24:45 then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures
John 16:13 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
Matthew 13:13-23 New King James Version (NKJV)
13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:
‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.’
16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
The Parable of the Sower Explained
18 “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. 20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
- Ask the Lord to cause you to understand the fear of the Lord.
Proverbs 1:7 New King James Version (NKJV)
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 9:10 New King James Version (NKJV)
10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Proverbs 3:5-6 New King James Version (NKJV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
- Ask the Lord to help you keep your heart right and to teach you the ways of God
King David knew that our heart could be divided and distracted from the things of God, so he asked the Lord to help him keep his heart right and to teach him the ways of God. If we want to walk in God’s will and His blessings, this must become our fervent cry in the midst of all the things that tug at our hearts!
Psalm 86:11 11 Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.
Psalm 119:33-38 33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end. 34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart. 35 Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to covetousness.
37 Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way.
38 Establish Your word to Your servant, who is devoted to fearing You.
- Ask the Lord to give you a hunger and thirst for His Wisdom!
Proverbs 3:13-18 New King James Version (NKJV)
13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
And the man who gains understanding;
14 For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver,
And her gain than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies,
And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.
16 Length of days is in her right hand,
In her left hand riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
And all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who retain her.
We must ask the Lord to give us a hunger and thirst for His Word. A teacher in my life taught me that secret. When I prayed for God to give me a hunger for His Word, He answered that prayer and I all of a sudden had an insatiable hunger! I read through the Bible cover-to-cover over and over and over! I’ve prayed that prayer over people coming out of religious, traditional backgrounds who had never developed an interest in the Word. The next time I spoke with them, they would tell me they can’t get enough time in the scriptures and they are involved in all kinds of Bible studies. If we ask in sincerity, God will answer!
Jer. 31:33 but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Jer. 24:7 And I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to show you the best time to spend intimate time with the Lord.
The flesh and the enemy of our souls will come up with all kinds of excuses to keep us out of the Word of God. We need to set aside a time to spend intimate time with the Lord. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you the best time. When I first learned this, I prayed and asked the Lord to give me the best window out of my day. I found myself wide awake every morning at 4:00 am, on the dot! I would toss and turn unsuccessfully trying to get back to sleep. Then I realized that it was the Holy Spirit answering my prayer. The Lord knows our busy schedules. He knows when our cell phones are going to start ringing, and when family members and bosses are going to want our undivided attention. During your intimate times with the Lord, I would encourage you to stay away from all technology that will tend to be a distraction! Trust me, the temptation to check the emails, tweets, face book, etc. will be unbearable! I still leave my computer off and use my leather bound written Bible. I still like to read them from cover to cover, mark them up, witness to someone and then bless that person with that well-read, well-cherished, already marked Bible. Then I get to start all over down-loading the scriptures again. What a great way to continually be sure that you are renewing your mind with God’s Word!
Romans 12:1-2 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
When I began to get out of bed, go to a private study, and spend time in His presence and in His Word, I had awesome times with my Savior! Then, I was able to go back to bed and awake completely rested and refreshed! God has caused me to treasure those intimate times. He has shared His heart and His ways, and it has completely changed my life. I crave my daily manna!
Matthew 4:4 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
I have learned that each day the Lord gives us precisely what we need for that day, if we truly are seeking Him first. Then we can hold on to that fresh word and our faith is sufficient for that day. We can feel confident that we are walking in His will and He will provide all that we need!
Matthew 6:31-34 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
- Ask the Lord to help you to find a good church home
We need to ask the Lord to help us find a good church home, where we can be instructed, encouraged, equipped, involved and accountable. God wants to use you to impact this generation by being a light in this dark world as your life is impacted by the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Ephesians 4:11-13 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
- Ask the Lord to give you an obedient heart to His Word and His Voice! Be a doer of the Word
As we read the scriptures, we will see our lives transform before our eyes. As long as we are doers of the Word, it will set us free and we will never be the same!
James 1:22-25 New King James Version (NKJV)
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
Acts 17:11 these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
- Therefore many of them believed;
Ps 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
35 And the servant abides not in the house for ever: but the Son abides ever.
36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Heb. 4:12 for the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Psalm 119:132-133 132 Look upon me and be merciful to me, As Your custom is toward those who love Your name. 133 Direct my steps by Your Word, And let no iniquity have dominion over me.
By Gloria Garner