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For a Fresh Way to Pray, Try the ‘I Am’ Sayings of Jesus

If you feel stuck in a prayer rut, these seven statements from the Bible can help.

Pray the I Am Statements of Jesus
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It’s easy to get stuck in a prayer rut—praying the same things in the same way over and over. God still hears us, but we can experience delight and reward in exploring new prayer paths. For me, one has been praying the “I Am” statements of Jesus.

John’s Gospel, the fourth account of Jesus’ life in the Bible, relates seven clear and concise word pictures Jesus used to refer to Himself, each starting with the ancient “name” God gave Moses at the burning bush: “I Am.” Each statement is rich in meaning. Each can usher the reader or listener into a deeper understanding of Jesus. And each suggests a new path for us to take in prayer.

1)  I Am the Bread of Life (John 6:35)
In the ancient world, bread was a common and critical feature of people’s daily diets. It was a key to survival and often, literally, the difference between life and death. Pray to Jesus as “the Bread of Life,” the One who gave you life and Who sustains and nourishes you.    

2)  I Am the Light of the World (John 8:12)
Just as bread held daily importance to people in Jesus’ time, so did light. Whether it was the light of a torch, oil lamp or sunrise, light brought safety, clarity and health. Turn to Jesus as “the Light of the World”—your Light—to seek those blessings. 

3)  I Am the Door of the Sheep (John 10:7, 9)
When Jesus said this, He evoked a familiar rural scene: a sheep pen enclosed by a gate or the reclining body of the shepherd himself. The “door” kept the flock safe from attacks and accidents. Your prayers to Jesus as “the Door of the Sheep” can appeal to His care and keeping, enabling you to rest secure in the knowledge that He guards you. 

4)  I Am the Good Shepherd (John 10:11, 14)
Jesus expanded on this theme by enlarging the analogy from the shepherd who guards to the shepherd who guides. He knows His sheep, calling each one by name. He leads them “in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3 KJV). Pray to your “Good Shepherd,” who knows you, calls you by name and guides you in the right direction, day to day and moment to moment.

5)  I Am the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25)
It was a bold thing for Jesus to claim—at a funeral—that He is “the resurrection and the life.” But He proved it by calling Lazarus out of the grave. He still proves His power today by giving new life to dead hopes, shattered dreams and broken lives. Call on Him as “the Resurrection and the Life.” Let His resurrection power “make all things new” for you (see Revelation 21:5 KJV). 

6)  I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6)
This is perhaps the most well-known “I Am” statement of Jesus. Calling on Him as “the Way, the Truth and the Life” is a wonderful way to pray, especially if you crave direction, need wisdom or feel deflated or depleted. 

7)  I Am the True Vine (John 15:1)
Everyone in Jesus’ day would have understood this revelation as vineyards proliferated (and still do) in the land of Israel. He went on to explain the meaning of the metaphor, which is the absolute necessity of constant connection with Him (“abiding”) in order to produce the kind of fruit our lives need. So, pray to your “True Vine,” asking Him to help you keep that connection alive and productive.

As you regularly pray the “I Am” statements, Jesus will come closer and His true nature will become clearer. And, as He answers your prayers, “God will take care of all your needs with the wonderful blessings that come from Christ Jesus!” (Philippians 4:19 CEV).

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