We know God’s words are powerful. When He speaks, things happen (Psalm 33:9).
So what happens when we speak His words? Are things more likely to change if we pray His exact words?
Well, they’re not meant to be a magical “Abracadabra!” It’s only God’s power behind the words that make them work anyway. But when we reflect His words back to Him through our prayer conversations, we are ensuring we’re in agreement with His will.
Jesus said if we abide in Him, and His words abide in us, we can ask whatever we wish, and it will be done for us (John 15:7). Whose words? His words.
I’m not suggesting we forgo original prayers. God forbid. We need to talk things out using our own words with our heavenly Father just like we do in earthly relationships.
But we can effectively supplement those times by occasionally praying scripture.
1. Pick out a scripture.
Find scriptures that speak to you. (Can you stop reading and go find one right now?)
2. Make it personal.
Personalize it by substituting “I” and by addressing God directly, instead of as “He.” For example, Isaiah 55:6 says, “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.” You can pray that back to God by saying, “I will seek You, Lord, while You may be found; I will call upon You while You are near.”
3. Write it down.
Put a few in writing so you can pray more directly instead of converting in your head on the fly. Keep a notebook or a document on your computer with several scripture prayers you can automatically turn to.
4. Say it aloud.
You may find it helpful to say these prayers aloud. There’s something about hearing your own voice repeating God’s truths to Him that makes them even more real.
Where to find texts
It’s easy to begin with Psalms. Many are already in the form of prayers. As you read them, address them to God. My personal favorites include Psalm 16, Psalm 27, Psalm 139, and Psalm 145.
2. Jesus’ example
Jesus was the master prayer. The example He gave His disciples to pray—including us—is in Matthew 6:9-13.
3. Other Bible prayers
By substituting their specific circumstances with yours, you can adapt the principles in prayers found throughout the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17), including King Solomon’s prayer at the temple dedication (1 Kings 8:22-30), King Hezekiah’s prayer of deliverance from enemies (2 Kings 19:15-19), Elijah’s prayer for God to reveal Himself at Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18:36-37), as well as the apostle Paul’s prayers in the epistles, including Ephesians 1:15-23, Ephesians 3:14-21, and Colossians 1:9-12.
4. Favorite scriptures
But don’t limit yourself to scriptures already clearly articulated as prayers. Do you have a favorite Bible verse that proclaims truths or promises? Be careful not to take it out of context, but if it does apply, let God know you believe His words by exclaiming them back to Him.
5. Prayer books
You may already have a favorite book (please share below!); many are available straight from scripture. My favorites are compiled by Kenneth Boa in his Face to Face books: Vol 1: Praying the Scriptures for Intimate Worship, and Vol. 2: Praying the Scriptures for Spiritual Growth.
By grounding your prayers in God’s living and active words (Hebrews 4:12), you will honor the Father, you will pray effectively (James 5:16), and you will strengthen your faith, drawing closer to God through His truths, being transformed into the woman of God you are designed to be.
Use Spirit-inspired words for Spirit-filled prayers.
Your word that goes out from Your mouth does not return to You empty. May it accomplish that which You purpose, and succeed in the thing for which You sent it.
~ Isaiah 55:11
Do you do pray with scripture? Have a favorite verse? A useful prayer book? Let’s share our experiences.