I started this series on prayer telling you about that time I asked God to teach me how to pray. In the 24 months that followed that prayer, He grew my spiritual hunger for Him and the Spirit Himself led me deeper into God’s presence.
My prayers were superficial and selfish because I lacked a vision for what God wanted for my life. (“God, please help me pass this test!” just didn’t do anything for my spiritual growth.)
As I began to study the Bible, God slowly revealed to me that He wanted to make me more like Jesus, and that included thinking His thoughts and praying His Word.
How to Pray the Word of God
1. Ask the Spirit to teach you to pray
Without question, the best Teacher is the Spirit of God Himself. He promises to draw near to those who draw near to Him and to teach those who turn to Him. So ask Him, every day, to guide you and to open your eyes to His Word.
2. Read psalms and prayers out loud
The psalms are emotionally transparent and often raw. Let David walk you through joy and shame, anger and confusion, and bring all those feelings at the feet of God. Use Paul’s words to pray for a deeper relationship with God when you don’t know what to say.
3. Write out personalized prayers
As you come across prayers or passages that speak to you in a special way, write them out in a prayer journal or on notecards, paraphrasing and personalizing to fit your situation. Come back to them again and again.
4. Memorize Scripture
Praying over the same passages over and over again will cement them in your memory. This is the best kind of memorization–the kind that starts in the heart and comes alive with your personal situation; those words will stay with you long after your prayer request is answered.
5. Search for topical Scriptures
Pull out a concordance (use the one in the back of your Bible or do a quick search online) and find Bible passages that address any issue that is preoccupying you, whether it be fear, pride, anger, addiction, unforgiveness, insecurities, loneliness, or anything else. You’ll discover treasures you didn’t even know existed and will be blessed in your prayer time.
Here are some suggestions to get you started. If you’re feeling…
- guilty…. Psalm 51:10
- lonely…. Deuteronomy 31:8
- happy…. Psalm 100:1-2
- far from God…. James 4:8
- spiritually apathetic…. Psalm 42:1-2
- prideful…. Philippians 2:3-4
- afraid…. Psalm 46:1-2
- tired…. Matthew 11:28
- impatient…. Psalm 27:14
- hopeless…. Romans 15:13
The difference isn’t immediately noticable, but over the years I’ve became more bold and confident in my prayers. Oftentimes prayers themselves become vehicles of blessing and encouragement because listeners get an espresso shot of the very words of God, prayed into their own lives. It’s a powerful thing.
Prayer keeps us in constant communion with God, which is the goal of our entire believing lives. Without a doubt, prayerless lives are powerless lives and prayerful lives are powerful lives; but, believe it or not, the ultimate goal God has for us is not power but personal intimacy with Him.
~Beth Moore, Praying God’s Word
Do you pray Scriptures? If I made a printable with the feelings and verses above, would you use it and share it with others?