God is a personal and relational God. He desires for every believer to talk with Him, particularly through the act of prayer.
We know this and it sounds so simple. Yet, why is prayer so difficult sometimes? Maybe you don’t feel adequate to pray because it’s never been modeled for you, or you’ve never been taught how to pray. Then there are seasons when praying is simply arduous.
Seasons When Prayer is Hard
Maybe you have a newborn or young children and sleep is hard to come by. When you close your eyes to pray, you find yourself nodding off or your mind wanders off.
Perhaps you’ve recently lost a loved one and the grief and sadness have robbed you of the ability to utter much more than the same fragile prayer over and over.
Or maybe you’re in a place of desperation right now. You are charging the gates of heaven begging God for healing, restoration, or redemption.
“Are any of you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise.” James 5:13
It’s clear from this passage in James that in any and all situations, we are to go to God in prayer. One of the gifts that Scripture offers us is that in times when we don’t know what to say, or how to pray, we can rely on God’s Word.
▼ Jump to Listen to Episode #3: How to Pray the Scriptures for Yourself and Your Family ▼
What is Praying the Scriptures?
Praying Scripture is taking a verse or set of verses and using it to guide our prayer. Instead of forming the prayer using our own words, we personalize God’s Words to our situation.
Why Should I Pray Scripture?
Praying Scripture is a way to communicate with God. It is reliable because we know it is God-breathed, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and 100% accurate. This means that we can trust that when we pray Scripture everything we are saying about God, His character, or His people (us) is true. What a relief to know that when we pray His Word back to Him, our human error can’t muck it up!
When we pray Scripture, for ourselves or others, we can be confident that we are in alignment with God’s will. Removing our wants and wishes from the equation means that we won’t drift into praying a laundry list of “how I want my life to be.” Instead, we approach God with the words that are capable of transforming our hearts to be more like His. We speak those character traits of God and His people, letting them take root in our minds so that we conform more and more to Christ’s likeness.
How to Pray Scripture
If you’re like me, I need clear cut examples when I’m trying to implement a new spiritual practice. Melanie and I discuss a few ideas on the podcast, but here are a few additional ideas.
Plugging your child’s name into a Psalm:
Lord, I pray that Katie would not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but that Katie would delight in Your law,
and meditate on it day and night. Ps. 1:1-2
Plugging your name into a verse:
Lord, please help me be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger, because my anger does not produce Your righteousness. James 1:19-20
Praying Scripture is for Everyone
Using God’s word to pray is something new believers, seasoned believers and everyone in between can benefit from. If you’re finding prayer difficult right now, try using Scripture as your way to communicate with God. Or, if you’re just looking for a new tool in your spiritual life toolbox, add praying Scripture a few times a week. Regardless of the frequency, we know that praying Scripture will bless you as it has us.
Praying Scripture is not a formula for getting what we want. It is never wise to treat God like a genie in a bottle, going before him with our wish list and praying for Him to give us our selfish desires. But in times when we don’t know what or how to pray, it is a lifeline keeping the conversation going between ourselves and God.
Getting Started Praying Scripture
Would you like to learn how to pray Scripture? I’ve created free printables to lead you through daily prayers for yourself, your husband, and your children. Use these with your daily quiet time, print to place in your Bible, or post on your mirror or above your sink.
Download for free the Praying for Myself document here. And for Parenting to Impress blog subscribers, I have added the Praying for My Husband and For My Children documents to the ABCJesusLovesMe Resource Library. If you are unsure where the library is click to learn more or subscribe to receive the link!
If you would like further assistance and verse, I encourage you to check out Jodie Berndt’s books Praying the Scriptures for Your Children and Teens. As shared in the Podcast Episode, these books were very helpful to my prayer journey. While I have not read them, Jodie Berndt also offers an edition for Adult Children and Your Life.
We also are sharing Scripture examples in the Parenting to Impress Facebook Group. We invite you to join in the conversation!