Many struggle with what to say when they pray. This is partially influenced by the grandeur of some public, corporate prayers. Corporate prayers can be long, wordy, and multifaceted. They can intimidate those who do not feel capable of praying those prayers. While corporate prayers have their place, they can be misperceived by those who feel like they cannot pray like that in private.
The good news is you do not have to pray long, fancy prayers to get God’s attention. Jesus taught that long prayers are not prerequisites to being heard (Matthew 5:5-15). God desires sincerity of heart and purity of motives when you pray. Words may be many or few. So, what do you say when you pray?
Did you know you can incorporate the Bible into your personal prayers? I believe Scripture is one of the greatest aids for personal prayer. You can pray Scripture passages. Whatchu talkin’ ‘bout, Pastor? I’m glad you asked.
The Bible is replete with the prayers of people just like you who called out to God in times of need, confusion, distress, and also gratitude. When persons in Scripture prayed, they would often reference what God had said and done. They would remind God of His power, promises, and presence in the past. God did not need to be reminded, but rather they were declaring their belief in God’s past actions as confidence in His future power.
In addition to recorded prayers, the Bible also tells stories of faith and doubt, victory and defeat, triumph and hardship, love and hatred, friendship and betrayal, birth and death, family and enemies, joy and sorrow, and so much more! In other words, there is no shortage of material that you can connect to and include in your prayers.
Here are seven benefits of praying Scripture passages:
Praying the passages helps us memorize Scripture.
Praying the passages helps us attach life experiences to Biblical promises.
Praying the passages helps us encourage others with God’s Word.
Praying the passages connects ancient times and contemporary times.
Praying the passages bathes our prayers in Biblical counsel.
Praying the passages fortifies our minds with divine counsel.
Praying the passages declares our faith in God’s character and Word.
Pastor, what’s a good place in the Bible to start praying Scripture passages?
I suggest the book of Psalms. The book of Psalms is the largest book in Scripture. Its 150 songs, poems, hymns, laments, celebrations, pleas, and prayers provide a wealth of passages you can include in your prayers. Recently, I have prayed Psalm 5:11:
“But let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your name may rejoice in You.”
This week, spend time reading Psalms and see what passages you can begin praying. God bless you!