Updated: Apr 13, 2019
Have you ever tried praying the scriptures? It is so much more than just repeating God’s word. It is a way of inserting yourself into the words of God and expressing your deepest feelings in prayer. Please understand, praying the scriptures is not rote recitation or rearranging God’s word to fit your will or situation. Praying the scriptures is pleasing to God, encouraging to others, and faith building for ourselves.
Repeating scripture back to God is pleasing to Him because it shows Him we are in agreement with His will. It deepens our unity with Him and gets us “on the same page.” It is just like how parents feel when they overhear their child repeating something they have taught that child over and over. The parents are delighted because they see their child has finally “gotten it”! For example we can pray “Lord, please help me to be humble and gentle; teach me to be patient, bearing with others in love. As far as it is in my control, help me to make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:2). This prayer pleases God because we are asking Him to create in us the exact characteristics Paul recorded in his letter to the Ephesians. And He will answer because we know it is His will!
These types of prayers are also encouraging to others when we let them know what we are praying for them. I received a note card once from an elder’s wife and she wrote, “This is what I am praying for you. . .” and then she inserted a scripture but included my name. I felt so encouraged to know she was bringing me before the throne of God and using His word to reinforce it! I often used this method to pray for my children, especially as teenagers. For example from 2 Corinthians 7:1, “Lord, please keep my children from anything that could contaminate their spirit and help them not be drawn to those things that would destroy their relationship with You.” I also sent prayers like this one based on Psalm 4:6-8 to my mother after my father died to help her during that time of grief. “Let the light of Your face shine upon Mama, O Lord. Return Your joy to her heart and let her lie down and sleep in peace.”
Not only do these prayers encourage others but also they are faith building to the one who prays, because these prayers are activating God’s will on this earth. These are things He has said—in His own words—that He wants to do, but we just need to ask. So when we pray things like, “But you, O LORD, are not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help” (Psalm 22:19), we can be assured He will help!
If you are interested in learning more about this, please let me know. I have adapted many scriptures into prayers on a variety of topics and would be happy to share!
Praying with you,