Inside: Are you ready to learn how to pray scripture? Learn the step-by-step process of how to pray God’s word so you don’t have to worry about what to say when you talk to God anymore!
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like the stupidest person in the room? I mean, you were sure that everyone else around you knew everything about everything and you were just dumb as a post?
I have!!! Especially in church.
I grew up in the church. I don’t think there’s been a time in my life (save my college years) that I wasn’t in a church somewhere. And until the last 10 years or so I always attended the same kind of church. I knew the language, the culture the traditions, and all the rules.
- Someone took a lap around the sanctuary — no problem!
- Service started at 11 and ended at 2 — just your typical Sunday!
- Sitting in a pew waiting for my mom to get up from being slain in the spirit so I could get some lunch — no biggie!
Something strange happened when I started visiting and attending churches that looked very different from what I was used to growing up. I felt really out of place. I didn’t know the order of service. I sat down when I was supposed to stand up. I said something in the middle of the service when everyone else was quiet.
I was confused and felt like I wasn’t a good Christian because I didn’t know all the fancy lingo — probably how a lot of them would have felt if they visited church with me growing up LOL! At that time I had to make a choice. I could either keep my mouth shut and stay ignorant of things or I could ask for some help. I decided to ask for some help.
You can do the same thing when it comes to learning how to pray.
I hear from so many ladies that are struggling with prayer. They aren’t sure where to start, what to say, or even if God hears them. They don’t understand all the technical speak when it comes to prayer, so they don’t pray at all. That’s not good! We should NEVER get so stuck on not knowing something that we don’t even try.
Listen, even the disciples had to ask Jesus to help them learn how to pray with confidence and conviction. One thing that has really helped me as I’ve found confidence when it came to prayer was learning how to pray scripture.
Why Pray Scripture
Before we jump into the nitty gritty of praying scripture let’s examine a few reasons why it’s worth your time and spiritual growth to learn how.
Jesus prayed scripture
Jesus is my go-to person when it comes to all things prayer. He also KNEW his scripture! There was no bible back in the days of the New Testament but the Jews did place a huge emphasis on the Torah and memorizing what it said (especially for boys and men).
Matthew 4 tells the account of Jesus being tempted by the enemy right before he began his ministry. Satan tried to trick Jesus into sinning by offering him empty promises. If you look at what Jesus says to him you’ll find “it is written” several times. When it was time to engage in spiritual warfare, Jesus didn’t pull any punches. He hit the enemy with the truth over and over again until he got a clue and went away.
We can do the same thing!
God will keep his word
2 Corinthians 1:20 tells us that all of God’s promises are yes and amen. Psalm 145:13 says that God is faithful to keep all His promises. Numbers 23:19 reminds us that God doesn’t lie.
All of God’s promises are found within the pages of scripture. When you take the time to remind God of what He’s already spoken you have the assurance that He will see it through until it’s completely done. You don’t have to waste time worrying if God’s going to answer your prayers or if you used the right words.
Be sure you’re praying the right thing
For a long time, I would avoid praying because I didn’t want to pray for the wrong thing. I was so afraid of getting prayer wrong that I just kept quiet. That was a mistake.
As I learned more about praying scripture, I realized it was the solution to my struggle. As I read passages and verses and then prayed them I knew that what I was speaking was true. Scripture is God’s word and it only and always speaks the truth. So when you speak the word you are always praying the right thing — as long as your heart and motives are holy and righteous.
But even if they aren’t — pray anyway. God will work out those details with you eventually.
The Benefits of Praying God’s Word
There are so many benefits to praying scripture. I had no idea how much of my spiritual growth would be impacted by this simple practice.
Deepen your bible study
One unexpected perk of praying scripture was seeing my bible reading and study time enriched. I would find passages that I really wanted to pray but I wasn’t always sure that I understood what was being said.
That forced me to spend time digging into the word more and more. I grabbed dictionaries and commentaries. I looked up cross-references so that I would have a clear understanding of the text.
Then I could pray with confidence and conviction but I was also growing in my knowledge of scripture.
Stay focused while you pray
I know I’m not the only one that either falls asleep or gets distracted during prayer. As a person with ADHD, I’m always swimming upstream when I need to focus on something. Prayer was no different for me.
But I found that having my bible open during my prayer time gave me something to focus on that wouldn’t be a huge distraction. I usually start my prayer time off by praying through the requests in my prayer notebook which is a huge help on its own. But when I got tired, bored, or didn’t know exactly what to say I started opening my bible to pray scripture instead of staring off into space.
Improve your prayer language
If you’ve ever felt like you just didn’t know the words to say to God during prayer, learning how to pray scripture will help you build confidence. As you pray scripture you’ll find different words and phrases that begin to stick with you. You’ll know more about God’s character and what He will do in a situation. All of that will build your prayer vocabulary.
How to Pray Scripture
Praying scripture is really simple, I promise! I use 3 simple steps when I’m praying through the bible most days. I’m sure there are other ways to do this but I know if I don’t keep it simple I will not stick with it.
Step 1: Read a chapter or passage of scripture
When it comes to praying scripture I think it’s important to begin with either an entire chapter or a full passage. You want to be sure that you understand what you are praying and that you have proper context and background. It’s very hard to do that when you only read 1 or 2 verses.
Step 2: Do your research
Like I said before you want to have proper context and background for your passage. Take some time to answer the basic questions like:
- Who wrote the passage
- Who is the audience
- What’s going on
- Where in biblical history does this take place
Taking 5-10 minutes to orient yourself with these questions will take your time in the word and prayer deeper + you’ll understand what you’re actually praying about.
Step 3: Choose your scriptures and pray them
There are different ways to pray a verse. The easiest way is to simply read the passage out loud. This is great for when you first get started. You can build some confidence before you start making the prayers your own.
The next level would be inserting names/pronouns into the verse. So if you wanted to pray Psalm 23:1 you would say “The Lord is Sammy’s shepherd, he has everything he needs.” We’re keeping it simple remember.
The higher level is when you use the verses as inspiration for your prayers. I often do this when I’m praying through a Psalm. I’ll go verse by verse with a pause to pray about anything/anyone that comes to mind. This is actually my favorite way to pray through scripture.
Praying Psalm 23
Lord, you are my shepherd, I have access to everything that I need: finances, healing, community, strength, everything. Thank you for leading me to a place of rest, renewal, and restoration. I am weary from all the things. I’m grateful for your guidance. Please help me to obey and follow without hesitation. I want to walk the righteous path. Lord, I feel like the last few years have been spent in the valley of the shadow of death but I am learning not to fear evil. Thank you for always being with me. Thank you for comforting me in my moments of great distress and I’m also thankful for your gentle correction as well. You are truly the Good Shephard. You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies. You have great plans and I am excited to see your perfect plan unfold in my life. May my enemies open their hearts, eyes, and minds to the power of your glory. I am overwhelmed by all you’ve already done for me. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen.
A Prayer Against Sexual Immorality
Lord, it is your will that ________ should be sanctified and avoid sexual immorality. Help ______ learn to control their body in a way that honors you. Help _______ to flee from sexual immorality and instead run after righteous living, faithfulness, love and peace. Don’t allow _____ to be deceived. Let not even a hint of sexual immorality be found in _______. Help _______ to remember that love is patient, bravely waiting and enduring hard times. Because you have promised not to withhold any good thing from those who do what’s right. Remind ____ that they are to consider themselves dead to the power of sin and alive through Jesus. Don’t allow _____ to be seduced and dragged away by their own desires. Help ____ to keep their way pure by guarding their heart with your word. _____ will not awaken love until the time is right. When ____ fails, help them to be quick to confess their sin because you promise to forgive and make us pure and clean again. Remind ______ that their body is a temple for the Holy Spirit. Show ______ how to honor you with their body. In Jesus name, Amen!
Tips on Praying Scripture Effectively
That’s all I know about how to pray scripture in a nutshell. But I do want to leave you with a few things to consider and consistently keep in mind as you start praying the bible.
Seek God’s Will Not yours
All prayer is about seeking the will and heart of God. Be careful not to use prayer as a way to get God to do what you think He should do. That will NEVER work. Be open and willing to accept whatever answer God gives to your prayers. Don’t go cherry picking through the bible to try and get your way.
Make sure scripture is relevant
Remember how I told you to have proper context and background? You want to make sure that you are praying scripture that’s relevant to the situation and person you are talking to God about. Don’t treat the Word like a magic 8 ball where you ask it a question and go with the first verse you see.
Add praying scripture to your daily routine
We talked about this a little bit but try to include praying scripture in your regular prayer routine. It will help you from feeling like you’re praying the same thing over and over again. Just keep your bible open near you when you pray.
Write out your prayers
Take the time to write out your prayers. It will help you stay focused and it will be great to have those prayers so that you can pray it over and over again.
Be bold with your prayers
As you build your confidence take the next step and pray out loud. I know it can be nerve-wracking for some people but some of that is relieved when you know what you want to pray. Practicing praying scripture at home will help you feel better about praying in front of other people. You can pray scripture anytime!
Start with Psalms
When you are just getting started praying through scripture start with the Psalms. It’s already a book of prayers so it’s easier to make those personal petitions. I usually read 2-3 Psalms and then chose one to pray for the day. Even if you just pray one Psalm a day you’ll have your prayers covered for many months.
There are some great resources out there to help you pray scripture. Here are some of my favorite books: