Praying Through the Beatitudes

  • Harold Westing
  • Aug 22, 2002

It appears to be easy to pray for those sick and in need, but it is much harder to pray for our own character and spiritual development. Here is a helpful way to guide your mentoree in praying for his or her own spiritual development. It is most appropriate because Jesus emphasized that we hunger and thirst after righteousness. That prayer appears to be close to the heart of God. How strange that we find so many prayer groups praying for everything but their personal righteousness. Learning to pray for personal righteousness will powerfully benefit a mentoree. Jesus has already mentored us in how to do that! Spend some time with your mentoree praying through the Beatitudes.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in his book, The Sermon on the Mount, has given us some great guidelines on how to pray for righteousness. Keep the following principles in mind as you pray your way through the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-10:

  • The Beatitudes are not random, but progressive. Each is an outgrowth of the previous ones.

  • Each beatitude encourages the following one. For example, when you honestly see yourself as inadequate to deserve the grace or gifts of God, then you will naturally mourn over your spiritual condition.

  • Each is a spiritual, not physical, trait.

  • Each is harder to practice than the previous one since they have a cumulative force.

  • Entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven is mentioned in both the first one and the last one. This provides parentheses in which the Beatitudes portray the entire Christian experience.

  • They give us an overview both of the daily walk and the lifetime Christian journey.

Spend some time with your mentoree progressively praying for godliness through the Beatitudes. Rehearse and discuss each one together and then pray for guidance about that issue as you each honestly lay yourselves open before God. You will both soon have a greater understanding about what God desires for you as well as a new experience of the character that pleases Him.