Can I Pray Scripture Over My Life? With Jodie Berndt [Episode 162]

Pray Scripture Over My Life Jodie Berndt

Sometimes prayer can feel intimidating, can’t it? Am I doing it right? Is God hearing me? You know the questions, because most likely, you have asked them.

Well, today on the 4:13 Podcast, author Jodie Berndt is going to unintimidate prayer for you.

You’ll learn the simple practice of praying Scripture over your life. And, you’ll also get practical ways to grow more comfortable and confident when it comes to prayer.

I’m telling you there’s no fluff in this podcast, my friend! This is some downright straight talk about how to talk to the God who loves you.

But first, let me introduce Jodie:

Jodie is an author and speaker who has written or co-written ten books including Praying the Scriptures for Your Children and Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Virginia and is a former television writer and producer for CBN’s 700 Club. Jodie and her husband, Robbie, have four adult children, and her life experiences have taught her the importance of prayer.

If you struggle to pray—or if you desire to grow deeper in fellowship with the Lord as you pray—this episode is for you, sister.

Jodie answers some really practical questions about prayer, such as…

  • What does it mean to abide in Christ?
  • How can praying Scripture impact me and my prayers?
  • How does closeness to Christ help with fruitfulness?
  • Is there really power in prayer?
  • What if God doesn’t answer my prayer the way I think He should?
  • What if I pray for the wrong thing?
  • How can I stop being intimidated by prayer?

It’s such a good conversation, so let’s get to it!

And after you listen, be sure to check out the related resources below. I’ve listed some helpful blog posts and other links to guide you as you learn to pray.

[Listen to the podcast using the player above, or read the transcript below.]

Related Resources

Books & Bible Studies by Jennifer Rothschild

More from Jodie Berndt

Links Mentioned in This Episode

Related Blog Posts

Stay Connected

Episode Transcript


4:13 Podcast: Can I Pray Scripture Over My Life? With Jodie Berndt [Episode 162]

Jennifer Rothschild: Sometimes prayer can feel intimidating, can't it? Am I doing it right? Is God hearing me? You know the questions because likely you have asked them. Well, today author Jodie Berndt is going to help us. She's going to unintimidate prayer for you. You're going to learn the simple practice of praying Scripture over your life. And you'll also get practical ways to grow more comfortable and confident when it comes to prayer. No fluff on this podcast, my friend. This is some downright straight talk about how to talk to the God who loves you. So tie your shoes if we're going for a walk, drive the speed limit if we are driving together, or just get comfy if you're in your PJs and let's get to it.

K.C. Wright: Welcome, welcome to the 4:13 Podcast, where practical encouragement and Biblical wisdom set you up to live the "I Can" life, because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Now, welcome your host -- she's in her second favorite happy place -- Jennifer Rothchild. She's in the podcast closet.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's why.

K.C. Wright: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

K.C. Wright: Which makes me ask the question, what is your first favorite happy place?

Jennifer Rothschild: Bed. Okay, bed. Or Target. Or a cruise ship. I don't know, K.C. It depends on the day, okay? But I'm Jennifer, I'm here to help you be and do more than you feel capable of as you live this "I Can" life of Philippians 4:13. But I gotta say, K.C., this is one of my favorite places --

K.C. Wright: Same.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- because I get to be with K.C., we get to be with you guys, and we get to drink good coffee. But I do have some other favorite places.

K.C. Wright: Oh, yeah?

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. Like Oxford, England.

K.C. Wright: I was going there.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. That's probably my first favorite place on the whole planet.

K.C. Wright: Uh-huh.

Jennifer Rothschild: Otherwise, Target's a second good choice. What about you, what's your happy place?

K.C. Wright: Oh. I mean, I -- I was just made to be by the water. I'm not happy right now being landlocked in Missouri.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

K.C. Wright: I really find my happy place being near an ocean. But I also love Church. I also love that moment in the morning where you go and just sit on that lawn chair on the patio --

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, yeah.

K.C. Wright: -- and you spend time with the Lord.

Jennifer Rothschild: It's quiet.

K.C. Wright: Any time with my daughter. But I'm going to have to narrow it down to ocean and toes in the sand.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, you can go to ocean with Jesus and your daughter. So see, you're getting three happy places in one right there.

K.C. Wright: Let's move the podcast booth to --

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. To the ocean. I'm liking that. I'm liking that. You know, speaking of kids, one of the things that Jodie's going to talk about today is just how God hears our voice. You know, we are his children. And I remember, K.C., when my little guys were young, I could always pick out their voices from a crowd. But I'll tell you, one time I was so embarrassed. So we're at this family camp. And only Clayton was born at that point. Our kids, by the way, y'all, are ten years apart. So Clayton was, like, six years old at that point. And they were doing this game where they blindfolded all the moms, and then the kids were at the end of this area and they were calling for us. And so all the other moms were like, "Ahhh, Jennifer's going to win. Ahhh, she's going to have the best advantage," you know, 'cause I'm -- because if you're new to us, I'm blind, so I have a lot of experience navigating in the dark. Well, so all the kids are at the other end. And Clayton, of course, along with all of them, is yelling, "Mom, mom, mom." I lost the game. I could hear him, but I got so -- I veered off to the wrong direction because was like this cacophony of noise.

K.C. Wright: Right.

Jennifer Rothschild: So even though I could pick out his voice, I still had trouble navigating. But isn't it interesting, though --

K.C. Wright: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- you really can pick out your child's voice in a crowd --

K.C. Wright: Oh, that's good.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- you really can.

K.C. Wright: Oh, yeah. I can hear Ellie from miles away. I can hear her little voice, yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: I know.

K.C. Wright: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, and I love her little voice. And, you know, the beautiful thing is, y'all, that God hears your voice too --

K.C. Wright: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- when you call on Him, so...

K.C. Wright: -- he does. And we can talk to him just like we're talking right now, right?

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, we sure can.

K.C. Wright: We don't have to speak in King James Version --

Jennifer Rothschild: No.

K.C. Wright: -- whatest willest thouest have me doest today?

Jennifer Rothschild: No, thankfully.

K.C. Wright: Here's one of the strongest prayers: "Help." "Help."

Jennifer Rothschild: Amen.

K.C. Wright: And our Father runs to our aid, just like we would run to our children.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I think you're going to get a lot of practical stuff about prayer and how to use it. So if you're intimidated or have felt like prayer was not as accessible, I think Jodie Berndt's going to really help today. So, K.C., let's introduce her.

K.C. Wright: Jodie Berndt is an author and speaker. She has written or cowritten ten books, including "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children" and "Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children." She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Virginia and is a former television writer and producer for CBN's 700 Club. Jodie and her husband, Robbie, have four adult children, so this lady knows the importance of prayer.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, she does.

K.C. Wright: She knows that when you pray the Word over your children, God watches over his Word to perform it. So listen in to Jodie and Jennifer.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, Jodie, you have written this great devotional, "Praying the Scripture for Your Life," which is 31 days -- which, by the way, I love that it's 31 days -- "of Abiding in the Presence, Provision, and Power of God." So I want to start with the word "abiding." Because it's a Christian word that we use all the time, we think we understand it, but I'm not really sure we know exactly what that looks like. And if we do know what it means to abide -- or let me just be personal. If I know what it means to abide, I'm not sure I always do that. Okay? So let's start with that. What does it mean to abide with Christ every day?

Jodie Berndt: You know, Jennifer, thank you. And I actually love starting with that question, because that is really the question that I began pondering this book with because I felt like God was nudging me to read John 15. And I'm sure your listeners know some translations will say, where Jesus says, "Abide in me. Let my words abide in you." Others say, "remain" or "dwell" or even "make your home with." But I looked at that "abide" word, and it was one that I'd heard since I was a little girl, and I thought, I don't really know what that means. And honestly, I had two thoughts. One was that, you know, I didn't understand it and it sounded old fashioned, and the other was that it sounded very passive and like it wasn't for anybody who wanted to be productive. I felt like it sounded like a word that restful people would like, you know, abide. It just is so peaceful. And, in fact, I tell the story in the beginning of the book about going to a Christian family camp when I was a child, and my very much younger brother -- he was four years old at the time -- and we sang a song there about abiding in the vine. And my little brother didn't know what that meant any more than I did as a teenager, and he would walk around the house singing, "We're fighting in the barn, we're fighting in the barn." And I thought to myself, okay, you know, I don't know what abiding in the vine means, but I can picture a good barn fight, you know, but I knew that wasn't what Jesus was talking about. So I began asking around. You know, I would ask friends who I thought were smarter or farther along in their Christian journey, and I would say, you know, "What does it look like to abide?" And I would read people like Andrew Murray and Warren Wiersbe -- and I know you and I share a fondness for what we lovingly call "dead authors" --

Jennifer Rothschild: Right.

Jodie Berndt: -- the people we cannot wait to have coffee with in heaven and to pick their brains. And, you know, more and more what I came to understand is that abiding is not a passive word, it's a very active word. It is what equips us to be people of impact, to be fruit bearing, purpose-driven people. But what it comes down to really is a daily surrender, a moment-by-moment acknowledgment that what Jesus says in John 15 is true, that apart from him, we can do nothing. But as we stay attached to him, as we yield to him, as we let his Holy Spirit go to work in our lives, shaping us, transforming us, renewing us, that's when we become really fruit-bearing, productive, joy-filled people. And I don't think -- you know, you said earlier is it something we got to stay attached. I don't think it's really up to us. Yes, I think the surrender and the yielding is up to us, just like he doesn't force salvation on us, we have to trust our Lord for that and turn in His direction. And the same way with abiding, we turn. But just like the Apostle Paul says, I think it's The Message translation where Paul says, you know, "I turned and I found him there reaching out for me." God is always reaching out for us and always holding us, so we don't have to worry that, you know, if we have a toddler who needs us to make their snack, or a coworker who needs us to explain an email, that suddenly we're not going to be abiding anymore. You know, he's keeping us attached. He knows our hearts when we are surrendered.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's really good, Jodie, because a lot of us love the Lord. And if Jesus says, you know, "Abide in me," then we're like, okay, I'm going to put that on my To Do list, I'm going to abide in Jesus.

Jodie Berndt: Right.

Jennifer Rothschild: And then, like you just described, life happens and suddenly we think, oh, my gosh, I'm not doing it right. And what I hear you saying is it's not something you do right or wrong, it's something that you participate with, because God has grafted us and our participation is just the surrender and the awareness. So I'm curious in your life -- you know, because I would assume you've been a believer in Christ for a long time. So have you had seasons where you've recognized that abiding wasn't happening for you? And, if so, like, what were your symptoms? How'd you know you weren't abiding in Christ, doing your part?

Jodie Berndt: That is just a brilliant question. I love the surgical nature of that, what were your symptoms? That is so good. I do think -- you know, I tell the story in the book of my mom one day trying to make Thanksgiving dinner and just feeling so flustered because she's mashing the potatoes and fixing the gravy. And she looks out and sees my dad reading his Bible and she thinks, oh, my gosh, I want to be abiding. I want to be the Mary, and here I am in the kitchen, the Martha. What's happened? And the Lord really gently whispered to her and said, "Where do you think I am? I'm right here with you." You know, you're abiding. Yes, you're making dinner, but we are doing life together, we are abiding. And so to your point, yes, our Lord does want to do life with us. For me, though, there have been seasons when my agenda, my To Do list, you know, my frantic nature can get the best of me and I can go running off. I use the comparison in the book of my dog Minnie. She's a Labrador puppy. And she can stay so focused on me, she can sit for a treat. But then kind of the moment a squirrel runs across her path, or a ball, she's gone. And I feel like, golly, there are times like that where I go running off in one direction and the Lord is, you know, kind of back there going, Hello? And he's so gracious. I guess I can use the term "gracious." Sometimes I find myself thinking, okay, Lord, you know, you're gracious. But you also can be gently hard for me because he will sometimes force me to rest, whether it's -- I mean, I laugh. I talk about getting COVID right before the manuscript was due, and I just --

Jennifer Rothschild: Of course you did.

Jodie Berndt: -- had a To Do list a mile long. And I found myself literally in bed for eleven days just with, you know, fever and the whole thing, and I couldn't even look at my phone, let alone get to a computer. And I felt in that moment that God was saying, hey, I want you to know that it's not you, that it's my strength that's made perfect in your weakness. And I would kind of lie there in the bed and think, well, it better be, because I got nothing. And he is so faithful because he wants us to learn to depend on him and to not worry when we feel like we're a mess or we can't get it done. Because that's where he shines the brightest, when his strength gets to be perfect in our weakness.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's good.

Jodie Berndt: So, yeah, there are definitely times when I go running off and he has to say, Hey, hey, hey, let me let you rest.

Jennifer Rothschild: You know, it reminds me of Psalm 23, how the Shepherd, our Good Shepherd, he makes us lie down.

Jodie Berndt: Yes. That word "makes," I have that circled in my Bible because I am like God knows that, you know, a lot of us aren't going to just lie down of our own free will.

Jennifer Rothschild: No.

Jodie Berndt: He will make us rest in Him.

Jennifer Rothschild: It's that severe kindness.

Jodie Berndt: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: But you did say one thing that I think is a beautiful description of abiding. You said doing life together, you know? And so when we do that, when we abide with Christ like you've been describing, something does happen in us. Our desires, you know, they might start to change. Our prayers begin to take a little bit of a different shape. So explain why that happens.

Jodie Berndt: Well, I love that question as well because, you know, I've done this series of books about praying the Scriptures and why that is so special to me. I certainly don't think it's the only way to pray, and I would never want to give the impression that this is some formula people have to follow. Just like you mentioned the book is 31 days of abiding. I want people to know, hey, you can do it in 31 days, but you can do it in a year. You can just pick the days that appeal to you. If you need to have a biblical perspective on suffering and grief or on unanswered prayer, or even on aging -- there's a day in there on aging well. You know, any of that stuff you can just turn to that day. I don't want anyone to feel like they've got to make it a ritual or a routine to get through. But -- okay, now it's my turn. What was the question again?

Jennifer Rothschild: I know. Before we started, before I hit "record," I got interrupted and I was like, "I can't remember what you just asked me, Jodie." Yes. Between both of us, we will make a full brain. Okay?

Jodie Berndt: There we go.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, when you described what abiding is, when we do this, there are some changes that start to happen in our lives, right?

Jodie Berndt: Right.

Jennifer Rothschild: Our desires may change, our prayers may change. Why is that?

Jodie Berndt: Yes. That is the power of Scripture, the power of Holy Spirit working in our lives. Because I will say, when I was growing up in a Christian home, we did pray. And I think God heard our prayers for things like, you know, help me do well on my spelling test, or when someone was sick, heal their fever, whatever it was. And I think those are perfectly legitimate prayers, the help-me prayers. And King David certainly prays a lot of those in the Psalms. But I think the more we spend time in Scripture, the more we spend time reading the Bible, pondering the Bible, praying the Bible, like not just letting the words be words we read, but words that we see as God's end of a conversation and we respond to it. So that if we read, say, in Philippians 4:6 where it says, don't worry about anything, but pray about everything, you know, tell God your needs and don't forget to thank him for what he's done. We read that and we could just read it and let it wash over us or we could let it begin to transform our thinking and give shape to our prayers so that our request becomes, Lord God, help me, help me not to worry about anything, but to pray about everything. And, God, I want to tell you my needs. Don't let me forget to thank you when you move. I know you're moving. In fact, you moved here and here and here, and begin to kind of talk to him with that little verse and Philippians as a springboard to that. So, yeah, I believe God's Word really has the power not just to energize and give shape to our prayers, but to transform our thinking, our desires, our longings. Jennifer Kennedy Dean, a favorite author, she used to say that God's Word actually creates our desires. And that's true. Because the more we spend time in there reading it, ingesting it, the more we begin to long for the things that God longs for and the more our prayers begin to line up with what he already wants to do and, in fact, what he is already doing. It's a wonderful partnership.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, and it's life. And, you know, you mentioned Jennifer Kennedy Dean. She's now up in Heaven. She's one too that's in that Hall of Fame, and I'm so grateful. She's another one we need to add to our list --

Jodie Berndt: I know.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- of authors to have coffee with.

Jodie Berndt: We're going to have a big list. Our calendars will be full, when we get there, with coffee dates every day.

Jennifer Rothschild: It's good we have eternity. So I'm thinking about the person who's listening right now, Jodie, and they're frustrated. They're feeling maybe a little defeated with their spiritual life because it just kind of feels mediocre, like, you know, do I have any purpose? Am I useful? So explain the connection between being productive, or fruitful, and being close to Christ. How are those things interconnected, closeness to Christ and fruitfulness or productivity?

Jodie Berndt: Gosh, another great one. Okay. So I think a couple of things. I think we can look at the New Testament and the Old Testament. In the New Testament Jesus says, "If you remain or abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you." That's John 15:7. And then in verse 8, he goes on and tells us why that is. He says, "This is to my Father's glory that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." And so I think there's this direct if-then connection there where Jesus says, okay, if you remain with me, if you are abiding, and if my words are abiding in you, I want you to go ahead and ask. And the reason I want you to ask and to pray is because I want you to be a fruitful, fruit-bearing, purpose-driven person where our lives make a difference, where we become people of impact. The way -- you know, I say the secret to a fruitful life is, I believe, a prayerful life, because Jesus right there tells us, okay, I want you to ask. And I think too, kind of that connection between the peace and the productivity we see in the life of Moses. God had him doing a job, right? He had to get all these Israelites out of there and across the desert. And imagine the women, the children, the livestock, the possessions. I mean --

Jennifer Rothschild: No.

Jodie Berndt: -- I can't get our kids to get in the car and get to church. I'm thinking here's Moses getting these people all these years. And yet God says to him in Exodus, he says, "My presence will go with you and I will give you rest." And I don't think it was a rest that was going to be when Moses, you know, was dead. I think it was a rest that was going to accompany Moses as he leaned into God's presence. Because that right there is the secret for us. If we want to be fruitful, if we want to be productive, if we want to get the job done, it starts by leaning into God's presence, by letting His presence go with us and experiencing that rest and that peace, even in the midst of the fruitfulness and the productivity. I think Moses really sort of mapped it out for us early on, and if we just follow his example and say, God, I want you to go with me and I want to experience your rest, even in the workload.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, that's good. Because a lot of times we think that our productivity and fruitfulness is dependent on us and our ability to pull it off. And what I've heard you say throughout this conversation, woven in every answer, is this idea of the surrender, the abiding, the prayer. It takes a load off; it really takes a load off. And so here's another thing I'd be curious your opinion on. Okay? We hear all the time that prayer is powerful. Okay? So I want your take on this because -- I want you to unpack it a little bit and tell us if you believe that that statement in and of itself is true. And if it is true, then why do people pray and feel no power or see no change? Okay? So unpack how we can experience power through prayer if prayer really is powerful.

Jodie Berndt: Okay. That's nitty gritty, and I love that. Yes, I believe prayer is powerful. I believe that prayer is the vehicle that God invented for communication with us, and it's also the agent he invented for dispensing his blessing and his provision in the world. And that's not me. And I think Andrew Murray said that. He wrote a book called "Abide" or "Abide In Me" or "Abide In Christ" -- I'm not looking at it right now -- Andrew Murray, though. And he does, he says prayer is the way that we release God's provision. Now, we know that, but to your point, we don't always see the needle moving. And it can be tough to wait, and God knows that we're going to have to sometimes trust him when we don't see the needle moving. And we all love that song He's the Way Maker. You know, even when we don't see it, he's working; even when we don't feel it, he's working. And that is so true. But think about Romans 12:12 where God says, you know, "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." He knew that we were going to have to wait sometimes, that there would be affliction, that we need to hang on to hope, and that we would need to be faithful even when the answer wasn't quick in coming. And I'm sure you know, just as I do, we love it when prayer works like a vending machine.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, gosh, yes.

Jodie Berndt: You know, we put our request in, and the answer pops out, and you're like, "Yee haw." But I also think if we're honest, those of us who have walked with the Lord for a while would have to say that those seasons where we had to persevere in prayer, where we had to really screw our trust to the sticking place again and again, where we had to be faithful when God was unseen are the times that we then got to experience his power and his presence in a way that that was deeper and sweeter and more satisfying than the vending machine days. You know, the vending machine prayers I love. But the times that have had travailing and waiting and trusting have kind of served a deeper purpose. Because it's not just about the outcome then, you know, getting the results that we want, but it's about the relationship, the pressing into the Lord, the connection with him, and the trust of saying, you know, I know you love me, and I know you're working, and I know your answer might not look exactly like what I expected or even wanted, but I trust that you're my good Father. And, you know, God had to really kind of show me that in a way that was hard and tear filled. A few years ago when I was praying about some things -- it was right around the time my book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children" was coming out, and I felt like a failure. I thought, okay, somebody who's been writing and speaking about prayer for 25 years ought to be filled with a little more faith. But I was praying about some things in my grownup kids' lives -- and if anybody has grownup kids, they know they face some tricky issues and things that sometimes have long-term consequences -- and I wasn't seeing God moving, I wasn't seeing the answers in the way I expected. And in some cases -- in one case in particular, God's answer was a no to something that I thought should be a yes, and I really thought it was what would be best for my daughter's life. And so I had to kind of say, God, what's going on? I want to trust you. I know you love me and I know you love my daughter. Why do I feel so sad? Why can't I just rejoice that I know you're working and kind of stand on that mountaintop of trust? And the Lord said, you know what, Jodie? Your sadness is real and your disappointment's real, and that's okay. And I want you to bring those things to me and I want you to let me comfort you. And, Jennifer, it was like a child climbing into a parent's lap and just being able to lean into that chest and kind of weep and be comforted and enjoy that embrace even in the sorrow. I felt like I could just climb on God's lap and go, Yeah, this really hurts and I don't understand it, and he could say, And that's okay. Because guess what? I don't want you to be looking at the gift as much as I want you to be pressing into the Giver. And that's what's happening right now, as I'm comforting you, you're experiencing me, and I'm the one that's really going to satisfy you. And so that was a hard but really sweet time and a lesson that I've tried to carry with me in the years since when I've come up against those times where I don't see the needle moving or when the answer is not what I wanted. I just have to trust and say, Thank you, Lord. You're the one I lean into, you're the one I trust.

Jennifer Rothschild: You just described, I think, the real power in prayer. It's not in the outcome. It's in the process and the relationship and the fact that you can have and feel the freedom to go to God and the comfort that comes from him. That's where power and life really is.

Jodie Berndt: That really is, that really is. But I also want your listeners to know that it's not just that. I think that's the big thing. I think the presence is the big thing. But I also think that God has very specific and practical answers for us in ways he wants to meet our needs with career choices, with marriage issues, with parenting questions, with physical healings. All of those material needs that we face every day are things where he wants to move in answer to our prayers, and if we didn't pray, we wouldn't acknowledge him as the source of those blessings and of those provisions. So yes, yes, yes, the real power in prayer is the presence. But the other power in prayer is the provision, and so I just would encourage folks to ask him. And don't feel like you're going to pray wrong. So many people say, gosh, you know, what if I ask for the wrong thing, or what if I'm not praying in accordance with God's will?

Jennifer Rothschild: Right.

Jodie Berndt: Well, you know, guess what? We're not going to twist his arm and make him give us something that's not good for us. He's more powerful than that. And he can work in and around and through our prayers to provide according to his best purposes in our lives. So whatever is on your heart today, I would say go ahead and come before your Heavenly Father and ask him, just ask him, and he'll give you what is good.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay, that's so good. All right. I'm going to ask you one last question. All right, one last question. Okay. So besides using your devotional -- which, of course, I highly recommend, and we'll have a link to it on the show notes -- how does a person who is a little bit intimidated by prayer -- you just kind of alluded to it, you know, this I don't know if I'm going to do it right thing. So how does the --

Jodie Berndt: Yeah. We've all be there.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- intimidated person, how do they take their first step in connecting with God through prayer?

Jodie Berndt: Oh, such a good question. And something that -- honestly, when I speak to audiences, I have people who've been in the church for 50, 60, 70 years come up to me, and they will say, okay, I'm a Christian, I love the Lord, but prayer is not something that feels familiar to me. It's something I know my minister does or my mom did. How do you do it? And I would say just do it. Just talk to the Lord. And because I do love praying the Scriptures, I would say open your Bible. And don't try necessarily to start with reading Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and, you know, going all the way through. I'm a big fan of reading the whole Bible. But I would say it's sometimes more powerful, especially for someone who's feeling a little intimidated or awkward or unfamiliar with prayer, to just grab ahold of a handful of verses. You know, we talked about Philippians earlier. Maybe open there -- it's just four short chapters -- and find a few verses that speak to a need you might have and pray them to God. Because so often just having two or three things you can understand and chew on can be more powerful and more transformational in our lives than saying, I'm going to read the whole book of Leviticus, you know?

Jennifer Rothschild: Right.

Jodie Berndt: And so I would say start small and just know that God will cause that to grow. And it's just like learning to talk, you know, when we're one and two and three years old, right? We have our parents speaking to us. "Can you say ball?" "Can you say daddy?" And we say that back to them, just like God is saying, Hey, can you say, you know, this is the way, walk in it, which is his promise out of Isaiah 30. And we would say, Lord, teach me your way, teach me to walk in it. It's a vocabulary thing, and our comfort level and our vocabulary will grow the more we speak.

K.C. Wright: Just like a child learns to talk one word at a time, we can learn to pray Scripture. We can learn to pray the Word, and life is found in the Word. God watches over his Word to perform it. The Scripture I like to pray most over my personal life, I pray -- I would like to say I pray this every day, and God knows I don't. But, man, I try to at least several times a week to pray the Ephesian prayers over my life and my ministry. They're found in Ephesians 11 and Ephesians 3, that I would know the hope of my calling.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.

K.C. Wright: You got to check it out. But those Ephesian prayers are powerful. And then when it comes to my Ellie, my daughter, I lean a lot towards Psalms 91 and, you know, just praying protection over my family and friends, especially my friends that are serving in the military.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, that's good.

K.C. Wright: And, man, I'm telling you, the Word works and prayer works.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, God's going to hear his words when they're echoed back to him.

K.C. Wright: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, he really will. I tend to pray, when I'm at a loss for words and I'm dealing with stress brain -- you guys know what that is, right? You're trying to think with your feelings, it just doesn't work. I make myself stop and I literally will pray Proverbs 3:5-6, Lord, I will trust in you with all of my heart. Lord, I will not lean on my own understanding. I will acknowledge you in all my ways, you know, because I know you, Lord, will direct my path. And praying that Scripture just gives words to what I can't seem to conjure on my own.

K.C. Wright: And I'm a word guy, like you, so I love the Amplified version of your Scripture --

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, yeah? What is --

K.C. Wright: -- you pray over yourself every day. But the Amplified version of Proverbs 3:5-6 -- I think. I'm just thinking off the top of my head here. But it says, "Roll your works upon the Lord. Trust them wholly and completely to Him, then he will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to his will, and so shall your plans be established and succeed."

Jennifer Rothschild: That's beautiful.

K.C. Wright: I know. I love the Word.

Jennifer Rothschild: And what I love about that, K.C., as you just showed us, pray the Scripture in several different versions, you know, and it just brings greater meaning for us. I mean, God gets it on the first time.

K.C. Wright: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: But it helps us. I love that.

K.C. Wright: I had a friend once ask me, "You can't memorize your phone number" -- like, I have a hard time remembering my phone number -- "but yet you can quote the Ephesian prayers word for word to me." And I go, "I guess my phone number doesn't matter and the Word does."

Jennifer Rothschild: A to the men. Agree.

K.C. Wright: Well, if you want to review this, you can find the transcript at the show notes at We will also have a link to Jodie's book there also so she can guide you through the process. And we have a transcript of this entire conversation just for you.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, it's going to be an extra resource. I will also have there a link to the book that Jodie mentioned by Andrew Murray, and also will have some links to past podcasts on prayer. One of my very favorites was with Sheila Walsh. It was Episode 89, by the way, and it featured a song that I absolutely love called "Pray the Way You Pray" by Coldwater Jane. So if you haven't heard that podcast -- it's 89 -- you need to go back and listen to it. It will be a beautiful complement to what you just heard today. So check it out. Check out the show notes. All that you need, it will be at

K.C. Wright: Okay, our friends, if prayer intimidates you, just pray.

Jennifer Rothschild: Just pray.

K.C. Wright: Because when we call on God, he answers, pick one verse and pray it through. You can, because you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. I can.

Jennifer Rothschild: I can.

K.C. Wright: And --

Jennifer Rothschild: You can.

K.C. Wright: This was a good one.

Jennifer Rothschild: Wasn't it? Okay, but I just have to tell you this.

K.C. Wright: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. 'Cause speaking of Scriptures --

K.C. Wright: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- I remember this story I heard. This little boy was sitting in church next to his mom, and the pastor gets up and he is praying to the Lord a scripture, you know, Lord, be mindful of us, we are but dust, whatever. And the little boy looks at his mom and he goes, "What is butt dust?" Is that awesome?

K.C. Wright: Oh, too funny.


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