Reading Time: 7 Minutes
Psalms 42 and 43 picture a person who wants to restore his personal relationship with God. A return to Temple worship was the deep desire of the Psalm writer and he expressed it in these two Psalms.
Contemplating a journey to the Temple, he asked for God’s leadership and protection. He prayed,
Send your light and your truth;
may they lead me
and bring me back to Zion, your sacred hill,
and to your Temple, where you live.
Then I will go to your altar, O God;
you are the source of my happiness.
I will play my harp and sing praise to you,
O God, my God. (Psalm 43.3-4)
What exactly are we asking for when we pray for God’s light and truth to lead us? One way to get a better understanding of a word or phrase in the Bible is to read other Bible references that use the same word.
Key words like light, truth, constant love, faithfulness, and such are made much clearer when we see them in the broader context of the Bible. If we take the time to investigate how these words are used in other books of the Bible, it will expand our prayer life as well.
For this prayer exercise, you will need some time, but it will be worth it. With computers or a smart phone, we can search for words and see how they are used in the Bible.
I use http://www.Biblegateway.com as the primary Bible resource on my computer. This morning, I typed the word “light” into the search bar and found 317 references to the it.
Let’s limit the search to Isaiah and the Gospel of John just to narrow down the options and see what the Bible has to say about “light.”
“Light” in Isaiah
There are 21 references to “light” in Isaiah. This is a sample of what is in Isaiah and a suggested prayer for each.
— Isaiah 2:5 – Now, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light which the Lord gives us!
Suggested Prayer: Dear God, may my thoughts, words and actions be enlightened by you.
— Isaiah 9:2 – The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light.
They lived in a land of shadows,
but now light is shining on them.
Suggested Prayer: Dear God, I praise you that your light is available to me in the midst of this dark world.
Isaiah 42:16 – “I will lead my blind people
by roads they have never traveled.
I will turn their darkness into light
and make rough country smooth before them.
These are my promises,
and I will keep them without fail.”
Suggested Prayer: Dear God, I praise you for the assurance of your light that turns my darkness and confusion into light and direction.
“Light” in John
There are 16 references to “light” in the Gospel of John. Again, here is a sample verse and a suggested prayer.
— John 8:12 – Jesus spoke to the Pharisees again. “I am the light of the world,” he said. “Whoever follows me will have the light of life and will never walk in darkness.”
Suggested Prayer: I praise you Lord that you light up the world and give to us the light of life.
— John 12:35-36 – Jesus answered, “The light will be among you a little longer. Continue on your way while you have the light, so that the darkness will not come upon you; for the one who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. Believe in the light, then, while you have it, so that you will be the people of the light.”
Suggested Prayer: Dear Jesus, please show me how to walk every day in your light. Then, help me to trust you, so I can live as a person of the light.
Truth in Isaiah
Just as we have taken a brief look at “light,” let’s do the same with “truth.” There are 5 references to “truth” in Isaiah and 50 in the Gospel of John.
— Isaiah 45:19 – “I have not spoken in secret
or kept my purpose hidden.
I did not require the people of Israel
to look for me in a desolate waste.
I am the Lord, and I speak the truth;
I make known what is right.”
Suggested Prayer: I praise you, God, that everything you say is true and right. Thank you for giving us direction for living.
— Isaiah 59:14 – Justice is driven away, and right cannot come near. Truth stumbles in the public square, and honesty finds no place there.
Suggested Prayer: Dear God, please restore truth and honesty throughout the earth.
“Truth” in John
The first sample verse for the word “truth” in the Gospel of John is also the one that is used most frequently. Over and over, Jesus said “I tell you the truth.”
It is very important that we pay close attention to Jesus’ words, because everything he said matches up to reality.
— John 5:19 – So Jesus answered them, “I tell you the truth: the Son can do nothing on his own; he does only what he sees his Father doing. What the Father does, the Son also does.”
Suggested Prayer: Dear Jesus, please help me to pay close attention to your every action and word. You are true, because you absolutely align your life with the Father’s will.
— John 8:31-32 – So Jesus said to those who believed in him, “If you obey my teaching, you are really my disciples; you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Suggested Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you that your truth will set me free from my obsession to always have my own way. May I learn from you what is really real in life.
— John 15:26 – “The Helper will come — the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God and who comes from the Father. I will send him to you from the Father, and he will speak about me.”
Suggested Prayer: Dear Holy Spirit, I believe that everything Jesus was to his follower on earth you are to people today. Please speak to me the truths of God that you want me to hear today.
Try It Out.
Please give this method of expanding your understanding of key words in the Bible a try. I will be interested to hear about your experience. Please leave a comment and let me know.
May We Pray for You?
Maywood Baptist Church’s prayer team is honored to pray for you. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. I will pray for you and ask the team to pray, too.