10 Powerful Reasons to Pray Scripture (And How to Start)

Cortney Whiting

iBelieve Contributor
Updated Jan 04, 2021
10 Powerful Reasons to Pray Scripture (And How to Start)

Have you ever bowed your head to pray, only to close your eyes to a wandering mind? Sometimes prayer can seem like a frustrating task to an impersonal god more than an intimate conversation with our Heavenly Father. Or, it sounds like a one-sided phone conversation with our never-ending God-to-do items we call prayer requests. We throw in a few notes of thanks for good measure to balance out our requests. 

We know God desires more for our time with Him. We read the intimate prayers in Scripture. David writes his heart to God in the Psalms, through praises, laments, petitions, and confessions. Scripture captivates the character, promises, and commands of the Lord to His people. Throughout the Bible, people quote portions of Scripture to recall His faithfulness and inspire faithful service to Him (Matthew 26:41, Acts 4:23-31). As believers, praying Scripture can be a way to reignite our own prayer life.

So why and how should we pray Scripture in our lives?

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10 Powerful Reasons to Pray Scripture

1. To keep our prayers from becoming monotonous and routine.

Even though praying about our daily life is “normal” it does not mean that it is the only or best method. Intimacy comes with authenticity and spontaneity. Imagine having the same conversation with a friend or spouse every day. Eventually, the conversation becomes stale. Engaging in Scripture gives variety to your prayer life and opens the conversational doorway with God.

2. To Keep our prayers focused.

Sometimes prayer can become a segue for naptime. When we pray God’s word, it keeps our hearts and minds from wandering, because it guides our prayer life. We have a key verse or passage on which to focus. When we don’t know what to pray, we can look back to Scripture for inspiration.

3. To allow the Holy Spirit to intervene in our prayer life through the Word.

Oftentimes, the Lord will use Scripture to bring to light an area of conviction or revelation in our lives. By meditating on Scripture through prayer, we allow God to speak to our lives in an intimate way, better enabling us to hear what the Spirit wants to communicate.

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4. To deepen our understanding of Scripture.

When we pray through Scripture, it allows you to engage more personally in God’s word. It helps you turn your thought life into prayers. This happens because you are able to see how your daily life connects to the promises and commands of God.

5. To keep us theologically grounded.

When we pray without Scripture in mind, it is easy for our minds to focus on the world around us rather than the things of God. When we pray over God’s word, our hearts and minds are grounded on the character and purpose of God rather than on ourselves or the things of this world.

6. To remind us of God’s Promises.

There are approximately 7,500 promises of God in the Bible. As we pray through Scripture, we are consistently reminded of His faithfulness through His Word. This encourages us to approach our Heavenly Father with confidence (John 15:7, Matthew 21:22, 1 John 5:14-15).

7. To allow you free your emotions in your prayer life.

There are many emotions in the prayers of Scripture. King David experienced joy, anger, sadness, relief, confidence, and fear, just to name a few. When we read and pray the prayers of Scripture, we begin to understand that we can have freedom to express all of our feelings to our ever-loving Father in heaven.

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A woman praying, praying scripture

8. To transfer our attention from self to God.

As we pray Scripture in our lives, we begin to turn from our own wants and needs to the purposes and plans of God. We learn more about His character and His desires. As we pray His instructions for us, our hearts and minds become more in tune to His will (Psalm 63:1-18).

9. To help you engage in topical prayer.

One way to engage in prayer is to look up passages that focus on a specific topic. For example, you could pray through passages focusing on trusting the Lord if you are struggling through a season of doubt or anxiety. This could help you pray through a particular area of your life in a guided way.

10. To remember God’s ability to hear and answer our prayers.

Often, God seems far away.  When we pray God’s word, it reminds us how close He is. He actively hears our prayers and responds to our needs (Romans 10:17, James 5:15).

Understanding how to pray Scripture is important to building a powerful prayer life. Below are some practical tips for how to begin to incorporate Scripture into your prayer life.

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How to Pray Scripture back to God: 5 Ways to Start

How to Pray Scripture back to God: 5 Ways to Start

1. Find a quiet place to pray.

Whenever Jesus went to pray, he found a quiet place to get alone with the Father.

2. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you in prayer.

God gives us the Holy Spirit as a guide in prayer and to help understand His Word. Ask God to help you pray through Scripture through the Spirit (Romans 8:26-27).

3. Allow a scripture verse to prepare your heart for prayer.

Read through a passage of Scripture to prepare and focus your heart for prayer. Some good examples are Psalm 8, 9, or 100. Reading a short passage of Scripture helps transition our minds from the topics of the day to the purposes of God.

4. Turn to Verses to Pray Over.

There are many resources available to help you find passages of Scripture to pray through. Some resources you may want to consider are a prayer journal, a topical index, a Bible app such as YouVersion, or Key Scripture articles online.

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5. While You Pray:

5. While You Pray:

a. Draw out the Character of God

Look through the passage of Scripture and praise God for who He is. Personalize how He has exhibited this characteristic in your own life. Thank God for how He has shown Himself faithful in His character. Ask Him to show His faithfulness in areas of your life. Make requests for others to see His character shown in their lives.

b. Turn verses into a prayer.

Let the passage inspire you and rewrite the passage as a prayer to God. Sometimes, instructional verses of Scripture can inspire prayer. Utilize these passages to present thankfulness and petition to the Lord (Philippians 4:6).

Remember, prayer is not simply about our experience with God and what we say to Him. It is also about building intimate knowledge of Him. Praying Scripture is a tool to build a more focused and grounded prayer life. Its goal is to help free us from a wandering mind and stale relationship with God. In developing this new way of praying, remember this is one way of praying and is not meant to trap you in a pattern of practice. Rather, its intent is to help foster freedom and intimacy to further connect with Your Heavenly Father.

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Example of a Prayer Inspired from Scripture:

“Let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.” (Colossians 3:15)

Dear Lord, You are the God of Peace. Thank You for being the giver of peace in my life. Right now, our world is not filled with Your peace. Even within the Body of Christ there is division. Father, help the peace that comes from Christ rule in my heart. Show me where I lack Your peace… in my relationship with You due to sin… in my relationship with others… in my family… in my job… in my circumstances.

Lord, show me why Christ’s peace does not reign in these areas. How can I trust You more so Your peace can fill this void?

As believers and members of one body, You have called us to live in peace. Help me be an ambassador and catalyst for peace. Show me Your way. Help me be gentle in my words and supportive of those over me, remembering that ultimately Christ rules my heart.

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Cortney Whiting is a wife and mom of two preteens. She received her Master of Theology Degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. After serving in the church for nearly 15 years, Cortney currently teaches at a Christian school and writes for various Christian ministries. You can find her at her blog, https://recapturefaith.com.

Originally published Wednesday, 16 December 2020.