Praying Scriptures

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I usually write about prayer in these articles, but I thought I would try something a little different this month and share a prayer practice with you that we can all do together: praying scripture. If you have never done it before, it is actually very simple. You humbly ask the Holy Spirit what He would say to you as you open your Bible. Then you listen as you read the verse/verses and use that verse or verses as a foundation for a prayer back to God.

If you don’t know where to start, the Psalms are rich in hope and comfort. Or you may feel led to a favorite verse or scripture passage.

The key is to let the Spirit lead, listen to His voice through the written word, and talk about what you heard with God. Here are some verses and prayers to get you started using this practice. You may feel led to praise and thank God. Or perhaps you have need to confess and repent. Let God’s word show you what you need to ask for and then submit to God’s timing and His answer.

The following are some excerpts from a booklet I co-authored with Chad Boorsma with prayers for dealing with loss and grief.

I pray you will be blessed and encouraged as you participate in this prayer practice.

Psalm 30:5
“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Most gracious God, there are moments when it feels like you might be angry, but I choose to believe that your grace, mercy, and love are greater than your displeasure. I am comforted knowing that your favor is not for a moment. It is for a lifetime…and for all eternity. In the dark of night, it sometimes feels like my tears will never cease, but in the morning, I find your faithfulness and that is reason to rejoice. Thank you for being present in both the sorrow and the joy. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Psalm 42:11
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” God of hope, at times I wonder if this sadness will ever end; then I remember that my hope – my only hope – is in you and I praise you. Scripture says you inhabit the praises of your people, so when I choose to praise you, I am in your presence even in my sadness. Thank you for being my Savior and my God. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Psalm 73:26
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Powerful God, there are days when my whole being (body, soul, and mind) feels so weak. I am tempted to give up. At that moment remind me of your powerful promise to be the strength of my heart. You provide all I need not only survive, but to also thrive again. I humbly pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Lamentations 3:24-26
“I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore, I will wait for him.’ The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” Holy God, I confess sometimes it is difficult to find hope. Remind me anew that my hope lies in who you are. You are my portion and provide for all my needs. Waiting is hard when hope is low, so teach me to quietly wait for your saving grace as I choose to seek your face. In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.

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