Scriptures I Use in Prayer
By declaring God as King and Lord, we make our submission to Him known. We seek our King, our God, to hear our cry and send relief.
I haven't always prayed God's Word back to Him. As I became more familiar with the idea of praying with an open Bible, I began incorporating Scriptures into my prayers.
Daniel was reading the words of Jeremiah (Dan. 9:2). Immediately, Daniel began praying according to what he had read, and God answered his prayer by sending Daniel an angelic visitor. In fact, this angel had been sent to Daniel as soon as he prayed, but the angel was held up by a demonic spirit called the prince of the Persian kingdom. The angel reported to Daniel that he had resisted this demonic spirit for twenty-one days (Dan. 10:13). Michael the archangel came to help him. If a faithful servant like Daniel can open his Bible and pray, we ought to at least try it. I like to pray the Scriptures because God's will is revealed in the pages of Scripture. When we pray His will, He answers us.
Below are some of the passages I like to use in prayer:
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
At one time, I worried about everything. I memorized verse six as a reminder not to worry. Instead of worry, anxiety, stress, or fear, we should pray and be thankful. When we do this, we will receive the peace of God, which surpasses our understanding. As I prayed about my circumstances, I told God what His words say. He promises to give us peace, but we must first meet His condition. Stop worrying and pray. Rich and precious promises fill the pages of our Bibles. Some of which have no conditions attached to them. Any promise makes a great prayer. We sound like we're reminding God, but in reality, we are reminding ourselves.
"Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:28-31 (NIV)
This passage begins with praise. We can never praise the Lord enough. Sometimes, I use the Psalms looking for passages to give the Lord praise. We can make it personal by changing the pronouns to speak directly to God (refer to God as You) rather than speaking about Him in the third person pronoun (He/Him).
I have felt weary and weak quite often, so I have prayed these words a lot, seeking physical refreshment. I cannot do anything in my own strength, but in His strength, I can do all things (Phil. 4:13).
This last verse is one of my all-time favorites. I discovered that the New International Version (NIV) translates the word "hope," where the New King James (NKJV) translates the same word as "wait." I looked it up in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, and it defines it as hope, wait, and expect, making either translation correct. Often, Hebrew and Greek words have several ways they can be translated into the English language, allowing translators to select the English word they prefer. (Yes, I'm a word nerd, so that's enough of that.)
"Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
Surely he will save you
from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart." Psalm 91:1-4 (NIV)
I know many people pray Psalm 91 every day as a form of protection, but if you read the entire Psalm, you will see His hand of protection over a multitude of things, such as plagues and pestilence (v. 6) no harm or disaster (v. 10), and you will tread on the lion and the cobra (v. 13). I remember the first time I read this psalm, and I thought of people who had experienced harm. Everyone who had covid suffered a plague, so we must understand this is not a magical set of verses that will always protect us.
We don't want to overlook verse one. Notice the word "dwell." It carries the same connotation of John 15 where Jesus tells us to abide or remain in the vine (John 15:4) because He is the vine and we are the branches. It means we hang out with Jesus. When we hang out with Jesus, He is our refuge and fortress, and under His wings, we find refuge. We trust God to keep us safe. He doesn't want us walking in fear, but sometimes, God allows something to happen, but it's always for His glory and our good. We must trust Him, even when it doesn't make sense, because His ways and thoughts are different than ours (Is. 55:8).
"Listen to my words, Lord,
consider my lament.
Hear my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait expectantly." Psalm 5:1-3 (NIV)
I just found this psalm, and I am marking it to use in prayer after my back surgery. I have been in pain, crying out, feeling like God doesn't hear. If He hears, He doesn't respond. I can feel what David conveyed in these verses.
Even though David was Israel's king, he recognized God as his King. God is our ultimate King. By declaring God as King and Lord, we make our submission to Him known. We seek our King, our God, to hear our cry and send relief.
Don't you just love verse three? This is a morning prayer.
David also seems to lay out His prayer in an orderly manner. He isn't at the temple offering up sacrifices upon the altar, but he lays out his requests. Notice that David waits, expecting God to answer. Perhaps God has been silent. Perhaps the pain has not relented. Perhaps the enemy has not retreated. Yet, David waits with an expectant heart. He refuses to give up, allowing discouragement to reign. He waits with pure faith, and we should too. I will need this reminder when I face the pain after my surgery and rehab. I hope you can use this passage to uplift your heart and hopes.
Psalm 6:1-4 (NIV)
"Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint;
heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
My soul is in deep anguish.
How long, Lord, how long?
Turn, Lord, and deliver me;
save me because of your unfailing love." Psalm 6:1-4 (NIV)
In Psalm 6, David repents for his sin, which could be the reason he cries out for healing. When we need to repent, this is a great psalm to pray, but I relate to it without the need for repentance. Not that I have reached some sinless perfection. Far from it. I find terminology that connotes great suffering. Suffering is suffering, whether it's for sin or not.
Friend, have you ever asked the same question that David asked here? How long? I have. Sometimes, it seems God is never going to let our agony end. In verse 6, he floods his bed with weeping. I have been there. Please take time to read this entire psalm because we can resonate with it so much.
My friend, I hope you have found your favorite passage from what I shared with you. This article could go on and on because the Bible is filled with such richness that we can pray to God. Please explore the Bible to find your own favorites. My prayer life and walk with God have changed since I began praying through the Bible.
Also, remember to still make your requests to Him and praise Him. Dive in and enjoy the closeness you will discover.
Photo Credit: (C)GettyImages/digitalskillet3
Carolyn Dale Newell is an author and certified speaker. She knows what it is to live with blindness, but she calls her disability a gift from God. Her passion is to equip women to break free from emotional strongholds through her book, Faith That Walks on Water: Conquering Emotional Bondage with the Armor of God. You can connect with Carolyn on her website and her women's ministry group on Facebook.