Friday, May 27, 2022


The essence of praying with the understanding is just that–praying with the understanding. In other words, praying thoughtfully and intelligently.

There are wonderful prayers recorded in Scripture that still inspire us today, thousands of years later.

These include the song of Moses after the crossing of the Red Sea (Exodus 15:1-18), the prayer of Hannah after the birth of Samuel (1 Samuel 2:1-10), the Psalms, the prayer of Habbakuk (Habakkuk 3:1-19), the prayers of Jesus (Matthew 26:39; John 17:1-26) and the prayers of Paul (Ephesians 1:15-23; 3:14-210.

There are also prayers such as the one attributed to Francis of Assisi –

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is sadness, joy.

Or Reinhold Niebuhr’s famous Serenity Prayer–

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Praying with the understanding usually means composing your own prayers using your own thoughts. But it can also mean praying the prayers of others when it helps.

And, of course, many prayers have been set to music–we call them hymns.

To read more on this topic see Living in the Image of God, Barry Chant (Miranda: Tabor, 2012 available in eBook and Paperback) from which this edited extract is taken.

Barry Chant

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Barry Chant is a regular speaker at church services, seminars, conferences and conventions. Hundreds of thousands of his books have been sold around the world. He has degrees in arts, theology and ministry, a diploma in education and a PhD in history. He was the co-founder and former president of Tabor College, Australia.

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