Let your light shine.
That’s a snippet of Matthew 5:16, and it’s the theme verse for this year’s Legacy League Scholarship Luncheon at Samford University. And while there are countless ways we can live out this charge—ways we can let our light shine, reflecting the light of God’s love—one of my favorites is prayer.
And just as there are all sorts of ways we can shine, there are all sorts of ways we can pray. I love praying the scriptures—taking the actual words we read in the Bible and using them to give life to our prayers. Not only is this approach more creative than the prayers I might come up with on my own, but since it taps into the principles and promises first breathed by God, it’s also more potent.
Consider, for instance, how a prayer for my kids to be nice to each other (my constant refrain, back in the day) sounds when it’s cloaked in the language of Ephesians 4:29:
“Let no unwholesome talk come out of their mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up, that it might benefit those who listen.”
See what I mean? That’s really good! Not only does that scripture-prayer banish what my southern friends call “ugly talk,” it opens the door to words that function like gifts, bringing encouragement, edification and blessings to all who receive them!
And here’s the thing about praying the scriptures. There is not a need we will face in parenting—or in any of life—that God has not already thought of, and provided for, in his Word. And it’s no accident, I think, that God’s Word is described in the psalms as a “lamp for our feet” and a “light for our path.” When we tap into the Bible—letting it animate our desires and our dreams—our prayers begin to line up with what God wants to do, and our lives reflect the light of his love.
Let your light shine. That’s as much an invitation as it is a command. And the more we allow the lamp of God’s word to ignite and burn brightly within us—fueling our words, our deeds, and our prayers—the more we’ll be able to turn the spotlight on God. To Him be the glory, now and forever.
- Jodie Berndt
Best-selling author of the Praying the Scripture series
Featured Speaker Legacy League Scholarship Luncheon, February 7, 2019