“You need to watch War Room! It’s so good!” The text message popped up on my phone in response to one I sent a friend about a difficult situation. “Watch a movie” wasn’t the advice I expected, but I trusted my friend’s recommendation and rented it from the Redbox down the street.
Turns out, my friend was right, I needed to watch War Room. (If you aren’t familiar with the movie, the main character, Elizabeth, undertakes a journey of praying Scripture and it changes her life.) I resonated with the desperation of Elizabeth and feeling like my life was falling apart. In my discouragement, I turned to prayer, but they weren’t confident prayers.
I didn’t know what to ask God for or how to pray with belief when my situation felt so hopeless. Like the Father in Mark 9 who tells Jesus, “But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us” (Mark 9:22 ESV), my requests for help included “if you can.”
Watching War Room reminded me of Jesus’ reply to the father, “And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” (Mark 9:23 ESV) I responded by taking up praying Scripture. It was my way of saying, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
With humility and faith, I prayed Scripture every day for months and in the process, I found so much more than a solution for my unbelief, I discovered the living giving benefits of praying scripture.
5 Transforming Benefits of Praying Scripture
1. Gain confidence in your prayers.
When you pray God’s truth—His very own Words—over your life, you can pray confidently because you know God’s Word is true. For example, when the Bible says God is your strength, you can confidently pray, “God be my strength today.” Or you can ask for wisdom knowing God will give it to you because James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (ESV)
Praying Scripture removes the “if you can” attitude from prayer and replaces it with, “I know you will*.”
*Please don’t misunderstand, praying Scripture is not a magic wand to solve all our problems, but there are things in Scripture which Christ followers can confidently claim.
2. Increase Your Praise of God.
Praising God doesn’t come naturally to most of us (no, it’s not just you.) Yet, the key to experiencing joy in all circumstances is rejoicing in God.
The truth is, God doesn’t need reminders of how amazing He is, but we do. Praying the praises of Psalms or the promises of Jesus reminds us of God’s goodness and faithfulness, and brings us into worship that soothes the soul.
3. Know God better.
In Deuteronomy 11, God instructs the Israelites to know His Word so they can know Him, obey His commands and receive His blessings. We reap these same benefits from God’s Word today.
Praying Scripture helps inscribe God’s Word on our hearts, which allows us to know God better. We learn about His character (why we can trust Him), and we learn about His desires (who He wants us to become, and what He wants us to do).
4. Change your perspective on life.
Praying Scripture reminds us of the bigger story. God has a plan for each and every one of us—a good plan—but we lose sight of that when we’re in the middle of a difficult situation or feeling stuck in the mundane.
Zooming out to the big picture viewpoint gives us the perspective of Christ. Jesus always kept His focus on eternity and why He was sent to earth. “Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrew 12:2 ESV)
Adopting an eternal perspective gives us hope for the future and a new lens through which to view our current circumstances.
5. Gives you the strength to endure hard times.
The Bible assures believers of God’s omnipresence—He is with us always! Scripture is also full of truths we can cling to when life gets hard. God gives strength, act as a stronghold, brings peace, gives rest, and delivers His children from the enemy.
Praying these promises of God equips us with what we need to endure. Our faith is also strengthened as we remember all the times God has shown up for His people in the past.
While I find praying Scripture extra comforting during difficult times, I’ve found these benefits of praying Scripture exist during all seasons of life. Whether praying for a specific crisis, or for your life to glorify God, praying Scripture transforms your heart and mind.