Jenny holding the Bible and Arnold

Have you ever heard someone say they pray scripture? Sounds pretty fancy right? Wrong! Praying scripture is actually a super simple concept that can really help your prayer life.

In this blog we’re going to be chatting about the what, why and when or praying scripture. Plus we have a step-by-step guide for how to pray scripture! I hope this is helpful for you whether you are a beginner, or have been praying scripture for years.

What is praying scripture?

When we take God’s word in the Bible and use it to shape our prayers. Guide our prayers. And even as the words for our prayers too.

Why should we pray scripture?

I am not saying that praying scripture is a better way to pray. Or the way that you should pray. It’s simply a way of praying that I have personally found very helpful in my prayer life.

I also think it is particularly helpful because we know that God’s word is truth. God’s word is powerful. So using it in our prayers is never going to be a bad thing. It is also a great way to make sure our prayers are in-line with God’s will.

When should we pray scripture?

Like all prayer, we can pray scripture anytime. Anyplace. Anywhere. But there are a couple of situations when I think praying scripture can be particularly helpful.

1. As a response to scripture

If you’re reading scripture, and come across something that moves you or stands out to you. Praying that scripture back to God is a great way to respond. This could be praying for God’s help to follow a certain command that he has given to us. Or prayers of thanksgiving and praise in response to stories of God’s goodness to us.

2. When you don’t know what to pray

Sometimes we just don’t know where to start with prayer. There are so many things happening in the world that we don’t know where to start. Or we’re not sure what we should be praying for in a certain situation. We can turn to God’s word to lead what we pray for.

3. When you don’t have the words

There are times in our prayer life, when we don’t have the words to pray. It could be that we are very emotional about an issue. Or that we’re confused or overwhelmed by what to say. The Bible is a wonderful place to find those words.

How to pray scripture: A step-by-step guide

Step 1: Choosing a scripture

Personally, I don’t think it’s a good idea to just select a Bible verse at random. I don’t think this will particularly help your prayers. You’re also much more likely to find something obscure or that you don’t understand the context of.

So, how do you choose a scripture? If you are praying as a response to scripture, obviously the scripture comes first – so just study your Bible as you usually would.

Otherwise, you could turn to a Bible verse that you already know. Perhaps one that stands out to you, or that you feel God is pointing you towards. If you are new to the Bible or nothing is standing out to you, you can also reflect on what it is you want to pray about. Then seek out Bible verses around this topic. You can start with a simple Google search, or find themed devotionals and look at the Bible passages they use.

Step 2: Understanding the scripture

When we’re using scripture to guide and shape our prayers, we need to make sure we understand that scripture. Read around the passage – the chapters before and afterwards. Make sure that you understand the context of the scripture: who wrote it, when it was written.

You can take the time to look at commentaries. Find out what theologians and others have said about this passage. About what it means. You could also turn to other wise Christians to learn from them too.

Step 3: Using the scripture

In this step, you want to take the scripture and apply it to your own prayers. Our aim is to find how this scripture can be used in our prayers, without changing the meaning. The point of praying scripture is to be using God’s word. So we don’t want to be misunderstanding or twisting the words away from what is meant.

So, bear in mind the context of the scripture that we discovered in step 2. Make sure you stick to this, rather than making the scripture mean what you want it to mean.

With this in mind, reflect on the passage you are reading. Start with the exact words in front of you. Then think about where your prayers fit in.

Step 4: Pray!

This is the best part – start praying! Sometimes, your whole prayer might be based around this one Bible passage. Other times, this might be a launching point. A place to start your prayers and inspire more prayers.

I promise, praying scripture is not as scary as it might sound! Why not use this step-by-step guide and give it a go!

If you’re still not quite sure what praying scripture might look like, our next blog will be sharing four examples. Stay tuned to read those!

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