Drawing Near: Praying the Scriptures
by Paula Walberer

Very few, if any, true Believers in Yeshua (Jesus) would deny the importance of God’s Word. Most place a high value on reading the Word, and many make a practice of actually doing it. But another wonderful method to interact with and absorb the Word of God is to pray it. In fact, praying God’s Word is a key way to know Him and His will, see answers to prayer, and be transformed ourselves.

Praying Scripture is powerful. Scripture is so powerful that it’s described as a sword, a weapon of our spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:17). We are also told that Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16). When we speak or pray it, we are breathing out what God has already said. He tells us in Isaiah 55:11 that His Word will not return void but will accomplish everything He sends it to do. It will indeed have an effect in us and through us as we pray His Word. 

When we meditate on and then pray Scripture, we are learning and experiencing God in a very deep way. Prayer helps the Word of God go deeply into our minds and hearts, so that it dwells or abides in us as Colossians 3:16 says. Our minds are renewed and our hearts are changed. As we pray God’s own words, we eventually become so aligned with Him that even our desires begin to be transformed and we become more like Him. 

Perhaps you have prayed Scripture in the past but have gotten out of the habit. Or maybe you have never tried it and aren’t sure how to start. One important principle is to understand the context of the passage you choose. Not necessarily in a scholarly sense, but simply enough that you can understand what you are praying and your faith can get behind it. Try meditating on the passage and reading it in different Bible versions to gain a deeper sense of the prayer that it is stirring in you.

Once you have that understanding and are drawn to pray a particular verse or passage, try writing it out and even journaling your Scripture prayer. I make a practice of this, and it helps my mind, heart, spirit, and body all engage in unified prayer together. 

Praying the Scriptures aloud is meaningful as well. Our own voice speaking God’s Word in prayer “echoes” back to us, bringing encouragement and stirring our faith. The Word goes into us and comes out in prayers of intercession, supplication and declaration that go before God’s throne with power that impacts heavenly and earthly realms. The power is not ours but His. Through prayer, He uses us as vessels to give voice to His Word by His Spirit.

The Psalms is a wonderful place to begin praying Scripture. In fact, the Psalms were the “prayer book” that Jesus and countless Believers through the ages used. The Psalms are very relatable for many of us. For example, David, who wrote many of them, had life experiences that ran the gamut of highs and lows, common and uncommon. His psalms express a wide spectrum of emotions. Here are a few Psalms you can try. Simply paraphrase them to your own needs and circumstances, and use them as a springboard to share your heart with the Lord: 

  • Psalm 23 (thanking Him for all His loving care and kindness)
  • Psalm 51 (when confessing sin and seeking restoration)
  • Psalm 54 (when needing God’s deliverance)
  • Psalm 67 (asking for God’s blessing in order to make Him known – one of my favorite Psalms to pray for Jewish Voice Ministries)
  • Psalm 91 (prayer for God’s protection of all kinds)
  • Psalm 139 (when you need assurance of God’s intimate knowledge of you and lovingkindness toward you)
  • Psalm 148 (when you just want to praise the Lord!)

Another category of Scripture to pray is the Apostolic Prayers. These are short portions that the apostles prayed, most often in the Brit Chadash letters (New Testament epistles). Try praying these powerful passages for yourself, your family, your congregation, and the Body of Messiah globally. There are about 40 apostolic Scripture prayers. Here are just a few examples. Pray:

  • To know the hope of God’s calling (Ephesians 1:17-19)
  • For love to abound, for discernment, and for fruit (Philippians 1:9-11)
  • For the Word of God to spread rapidly (2 Thessalonians 3:12)
  • To be unified and glorify God with one voice (Romans 15:5-6)
  • For Israel to be saved (Romans 10:1)
  • For Yeshua to return (Revelation 22:17, 20)

Praying Scripture is a powerful way to interact with the Lord – fellowshipping and conversing with Him in His very own words which express His heart and purposes. This deeply meaningful practice purifies our motives and shapes our desires. It increases our faith and gives us a focus for our minds and voices in times of difficulty or confusion when prayer seems hard. It’s helpful even in the most ordinary situations of daily life and enables us to see answers to prayer beyond our own desires or proposed solutions. 

Beyond our own prayer lives, praying Scripture with others is a wonderful way to experience unity and agreement. My prayer is that we each, individually and with others, experience the power of praying God’s own Words.

Are you interested in more Scriptures to pray? Check out these infographics, which include Scripture-based prayers for Israel, the Jewish people, and Jewish Voice Ministries International.

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