Do you ever feel intimidated when you listen to others pray?
Does it seem like you sometimes are at a loss for words or that your prayers are just too simple? Do you feel like a beginner in a crowd of graduates?
I want to give you a tool that has transformed many lives and enriched their relationships with God by praying scripture.
No, I am not talking about repeating the “Lord’s Prayer”, though it is a great model. I am talking about using Scriptures that address your concerns and praying it back to God. That in a nutshell is praying scripture.
The power of praying Scripture
When we think of power and prayer, we often think of things like moving mountains or parting the troubled waters in our lives.
While these are possible with God, there are smaller daily struggles that can be overcome by praying Scripture.
When we see many smaller prayers answered, we have more confidence that our larger concerns will also be taken care of.
Wouldn’t you like to see the daily power of God in your life? Then praying Scripture is what you need.
If you ever sat in a circle of praying friends, you know how your mind can begin to think, “When It’s my turn what am I going to say?” Then instead of really hearing the others you start rehearsing what your lines will be.
When we pray Scripture, we don’t have to come up with anything original. God’s word covers everything that we may be concerned about.
Furthermore, we don’t have to keep saying the same things over and over each time we pray which can lead to boredom.
Once we get bored it leads to a less-than-perfect attitude about praying. After all, what more can we say that we haven’t already said?
“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24 ESV
” … your word is truth.” John 17:17 ESV
Praying the word of God is based on truth and it is part of our worship. With this kind of foundation, we can expect great things to happen.
The importance of praying Scripture
“… be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12 ESV
“Continue steadfastly in prayer …” Colossians 4:2 ESV
“pray without ceasing” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV
Many people believe that prayer is an option or a suggestion when it is a command and needs to be a priority. But why?
Praying Scripture protects us
“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 ESV
“And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.” Matthew 6:13 NLT
” … God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape …” 1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV
When we are in a tempting situation we can pray Scripture asking God to protect us from the evil one and show us the way to escape.
And likewise, not praying this prayer at the time we are tempted will almost always lead to wrong choices and actions.
Praying Scripture helps us grow
The more we pray the word of God we will experience a skyrocketing desire to be more like Jesus. That is spiritual growth.
And while emotional experiences are not what we should be aiming for, there are times when praying Scripture is sweet, especially when going to sleep at night.
Jesus used Scripture
The Bible tells us that Jesus understands our weaknesses and knows what it is like to be tempted to sin. He knows that when we are under pressure to do the wrong thing, only God and His word will give us the power to overcome.
Jesus used Scripture to combat temptation. He quoted three different passages from the Old Testament when He was pressured by Satan to do wrong. (Matthew 4:1-11)
Jesus also used Scripture to pray for others when He wanted them to know God in a real way. (Luke 13:34-36, Matthew 23:37-39)
The truth is Jesus used Scripture daily in his interactions with those around Him and with His conversations with God the Father.
How to pray Scripture
So if praying Scripture is powerful and important, just how do we go about doing it? What are the nuts and bolts involved in this valuable experience?
Turning Scriptures into a prayer
Praying Scripture is really quite simple. If we are praying for ourselves we would insert the words:
Likewise, if we are praying for someone else we would insert the words:
When the Scripture refers to God, we would insert the words:
Praying Scripture Examples
Let’s take a look at two short passages and how we would convert them to praying Scripture.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV
From these verses I would pray something like this,
“Lord help me to trust you with all my heart and not depend on my own understanding. Help me to acknowledge you, Lord, and may you direct me in the way I should live.”
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 ESV
From this verse I would pray for someone else like this,
“Father in heaven, I ask for my child that you will protect her and that the world will not shape her. Help her to be transformed by renewing her mind with your words so that she may be able to know and live your will for her life.”
Finding Scriptures to pray
Once you get more into praying Scripture you will find that there are endless possibilities for your use.
Daily Bible reading or Bible studies
As we read our Bibles, there will often be verses that stand out to us for one reason or another. Often those verses can be used in prayer.
If you are doing a topical Bible study, you will usually have ample verses to apply to your prayers for yourself, others, and circumstances.
Keep a list of verses that jump out at you for the purpose of prayer.
Here is a free download with worksheets that will help you organize your Bible verses for praying Scripture.
Recently when visiting a friend’s church several Bible verses stood out to me as being great for praying Scripture.
” … We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,” Colossians 1:9-10 ESV
The parts of this passage that I would want to pray are:
- That God would continually fill me with the knowledge of His will
- That I would have the wisdom and understanding that His Spirit gives
- That I would live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way
- That I would do good to those around me.
Do you see how powerful this could be in my life? Everything asked for is according to God’s will so I know that He will hear me and help me in this endeavor.
Open Bible is a free website where you can type in your topic and it will give a list of verses that their contributors have found relevant or helpful.
From the list, you should be able to find one or more Bible verses for what you need to pray about.
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