How to Pray Using Scripture

18 01 2014

I have been told that using Scripture while in (public) prayer is like telling God what He already knows or at best, it is like preaching to the choir. So we learn to pray in public by using repetitious words and predictable prayers. Our private prayer is not much more than the same-old-same-old and gets very impersonal. Sort of like reading God the same list of needs and desires every day. We cover the basics of the asking part of prayer but it grows dry and difficult to keep up.

Upon reading the teaching on prayer from Charles Spurgeon’s Lectures to My Students and reading His two books on Pastoral Prayer, over and over; I think I finally “get it”. Using Scripture in prayer is invigorating and gets  very personal. It is not reminding God what He already knows, it is me connecting to a God who wants me to know Him. Public prayer is not a mini-sermon, it is genuine communication with the God who gave us Scripture to use in our relationship with Him. We revive our prayers by using different Scripture, drawing us into different Holy Spirit led thoughts.

I will one day post my prayers for the Morning Worship Service. Yes, I now write my pastoral prayers down (yikes!). God can inspire me in my study as much as He can inspire others who pray only spontaneous prayers. I can meditate on the scripture during the week that I feel led to pray and then be able to write thoughts that I have about it.  I could pray from the abundance of my heart and not from the top of my head (For me, anything spontaneous is difficult).

This blog by Kevin DeYoung will at least give you an idea of how to start incorporating Scripture in your prayer life. it’s not long yet I hope it is helpful.

Blog by Kevin DeYoung|

Sometimes it’s the simplest things that make the biggest difference. For many years I’ve used the 3 R’s I learned from Ben Patterson to pray through Scripture. This simple tool has helped me pray the Bible more than any other single strategy. I’ve used in my devotional times and have employed it often in leading others in prayer.

1. Rejoice
2. Repent
3. Request

With every verse in the Bible we can do one (or more likely, all three) of these things. We can rejoice and thank God for his character and blessings. We can repent of our mistakes and sins. We can request new mercies and help.

Right now I just flipped opened my Bible and landed at Psalm 104. Verse 1 says “Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty.” How might you pray through this verse? Well, at first blush you might see nothing more to do than praise God. “Dear Lord, you are very great. You are clothed with splendor and majesty. Amen.” But try that again with the 3 R’s.

Rejoice – O Lord, you have richly blessed me more than I deserve. What a privilege that I can call you my God. Thank you for making me a little lower than the angels and crowing me with glory and honor too.

Repent – Forgive me for being blind to your splendor and majesty. Though you are very great, my circumstances and disappointments often feel greater. I’m sorry for being so ungrateful and taking your blessings for granted.

Request – Give me eyes to see as you are. Tune my heart to sing your praise. Help me see your glory in the world you’ve created, in the people around me, and in the face of Christ.

Obviously, some verse lend themselves to prayer more easily than others. The Psalms are particularly prayer-worthy. But with the simple strategy of Rejoice, Repent, Request there shouldn’t be a verse in the Bible that can’t be used as a prompt to pray.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: