This is not a great secret or a new discovery, but a reminder that we can “pray” the Scriptures. Sometimes, we do this in corporate prayer, as in a congregation reciting “The Lord’s Prayer” together. But often, it is when we are reading God’s word, or a particular verse haunts our memory that we echo the words in our prayer life. There are so many benefits from this:
- We are joining in a great tradition– much of Scripture records the prayers of the patriarchs and of Jesus Himself. When we echo those words, we affirm them–both to God and to ourselves.
- We are praying in the light of the truth–God’s own words on our lips can keep us from trying to put our words in God’s voice!
- We are deepening our understanding and experience of Scripture– making it personal, rather than just a learning exercise or a daily duty.
- We are deepening our experience of Prayer– it is more than just me talking to God. It is me agreeing with God’s Word, and God’s Word literally speaking through me.
- We are reminded of what prayer can do– many of the prayers of Scripture are followed by answers, from prophecies to miracles to movements of the Holy Spirit.
- We are reminded that God answers prayer that is consistent with His will– not all Biblical prayers were answered in the ways that their petitioners hoped or expected!
The Bible is full of wonderful examples of prayers. Here are just a few to get started:
- Abraham’s prayer for God to spare Sodom in Genesis 18 (v. 23-32).
- Moses praying for God to forgive Israel’s sin and disbelief in Exodus 32 (v. 31-32)
- Moses praying for a successor to lead Israel into the Promised Land (Numbers 27:16-17)
- Gideon’s prayer for guidance in Judges 6
- Manoah’s prayer for help in raising his son Samson in Judges 13
- David’s prayer in 2 Samuel 7 (v.18-29)
- Elijah’s prayer for God to send fire from Heaven in 1 Kings 18 (v.36-37)
- Several of the Psalms, including 3, 51, 90, 102, 103, 105, and many others.
- Hezekiah’s prayer for God to save Israel from their enemies in Isaiah 37 ( v.16-20)
- The prayer of Jebez in 1 Chronicles 4:10
- Habakkuk’s prayer for revival in Habakkuk 3: 2-19
- Jesus’ prayer in Matthew 11:25
- Jesus’ prayer for His disciples (John 17)
- Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:39-44)
- Jesus’ prayer from the cross in Luke 23:34
- Stephen’s prayer in Acts 7:59-60
- Prayer of worship in Heaven in Revelation 5:13
In addition, Bible passages that describe the Character and Majesty of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit can be used as prayers of worship and adoration. Bible stories and events can be lifted up in worship of God’s power and faithfulness through the ages. Jesus’ teachings (such as the Beatitudes) can be lifted up as the desire of our hearts, and as requests for the strength and wisdom to follow Him.
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.Jude 1:24-25
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