Growing up in the Christian church, I heard a lot of terms and practices that I never clearly understood. Words like, righteousness, new creation, fasting, and renewing your mind where tossed out during sermons as if everyone listening knew what they meant—only I didn’t.
Praying Scripture was one of those practices. I heard it recommended as a good and beneficial spiritual discipline, but no one ever answered my biggest question, how do I actual pray Scripture?
Not entirely understanding the practice left me with some misperceptions. Mainly, I thought praying Scripture meant memorizing a bunch of Bible verses so they would just come to mind while praying. Since memorizing Scripture wasn’t a strength of mine, I wrote off praying Scripture as, not for me.
I didn’t realize what I was missing until I watched War Room (which I highly recommend). The way those women prayed was inspiring! Plus, I learned the answer to my question; you write down Bible verses and read them while praying! No memorization required!
Being inspired by War Room, I became determined to create a habit of praying Scripture. Now, I didn’t have an extra room, nor a walk-in closet to post verses and prayers all over the walls in, so I grabbed what I had and made it work for me.
1. Have a prayer journal.
Your prayer journal doesn’t even have to be fancy (although if you love pretty journals as much as I do, this one is perfect), any blank notebook works great. Inside, create collections of Bible verses for different types of prayers. For example, Scriptures to pray for self-improvement (ways I want to grow in Christ), for my family, for when I feel anxious, etc. Then write down your prayers using the verses.
I’ve built my own topical collections over time by writing down verses as I come across them in my daily reading. You can also jump-start your collections by doing topical searches in online Bible resources like biblegateway.com.
Or, you can get one of my prayer journals. Each journal has Bible verses specially chosen for the topic with room to record biblical truth and write down your prayer.
2. Use note cards.
Notecards are another simple way to collect verses and prayers. At the top of each note card, write down when to use the verse, such as; “When you don’t understand,” “When life feels crazy,” “When you grow tired and weary,” etc. You can write the verse on one side of the card and a prayer on the other side.
I like note cards because I can put them anywhere. I’ve used them as bookmarks, thrown a couple in my planner, and set them up on my nightstand. Having them lying around reminds me to pray for what I need (I switch them around every so often depending on what is going on in my life).
Using a prayer journal or notecards allows you to take your war room with you anywhere you go. But you may still be wondering, how do I weave Scripture into a meaningful prayer?
The key to praying scripture is to make the verses personal. Here are some examples, plus a basic formula that’s helpful for getting started.
My Super-Simple Formula for Praying Scripture:
1. If a verse is a command from God or guidance on how to live, ask God to help you live in the way He desires.
Example: Galatians 5:16: “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”
Prayer: “Lord, help me to walk by the Spirit so I will not carry out the desires of my flesh.”
2. If the verse is a promise from God, claim the promise as your own.
Example: Jeremiah 29:12-13: “Call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.”
Prayer: “Heavenly Father, You promise when I call, You will listen, and if I search for You with my whole heart, I will find You. I am calling, so please listen. I am searching, so reveal yourself to me.”
3. If the verse expresses a need, claim the need as your own.
Example: Psalm 61:2: “When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
Prayer: “Father, my heart is overwhelmed, so lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
In these first three examples, you see how to pray Scripture word-for-word, but you can also use the verse as inspiration for prayer.
4. Let the Bible verse inspire your prayer.
Example: Psalm 139:14: “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
Prayer: “Father, thank you for creating me! Thank you for putting your care and attention into every part of me. I know you do not make mistakes and I’m so grateful that you created me just as I am. Help me to remember that I was created on purpose and that even though I have flaws, You still call me wonderful.”
Simple enough right? So, will you give it a try? I promise you won’t regret it.
One last note, there’s no right or wrong way to pray Scripture. The important part is that you’re learning God’s truth and praying His Word over your life. So feel free to tweak my tools and recommendations to make praying Scripture work for you.