Why pray God’s word? Why pray the Bible back to God? Doesn’t He already know what He wrote? How can we use scriptures when praying?
Firstly, praying God’s Word helps us to follow the example of Christ: He showed us how to pray in the Bible (see Matthew 6:9-13) with the prayer He gave to the disciples, and He prayed to His Father multiple times (Hebrews 5:7).
Secondly, by praying the Word of God back to Him we demolish strongholds because the Word of God is our weapon against the enemy’s attacks.
(See 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, Ephesians 6:10-18, and Mark 9:29)
Thirdly, when we pray using scripture we come into agreement with God and the Holy Spirit speaks through us. (See John 6:63, Romans 8:26, John 4:23-24,1 John 1:7, James 4:8)
And lastly, the Word of God also equips us for every good work as it says in 2 Timothy 3:16-17:
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Now, can you see the importance of praying the scriptures as a powerful way to pray?
I lament not having started this earlier in my life! It’s helped so much with memorizing scripture, too!
So, how can you pray God’s Word?
These steps should help you get started by giving you some ideas, especially if you are unsure of what to say in prayer or the words aren’t coming out well.
Further down, I share specific scriptures to use when praying in different situations!
1. Find bible verses about the points/topics/situations you want to pray about.
2. Write these bible verses out in index cards or in a prayer journal or prayer notebook.
3. Dedicate an entire page for each topic’s bible verses (to keep it organized).
4. Consider a 3-ring binder or adding tabs to specify the topic to your prayer journal.
5. Tag specific bible verses in your Bible with different colored tabs.
Or highlight them with specific colors — refer to my Bible highlighting guide if you are wondering how to highlight bible verses. (This is a shameless plug because I love how much my Bible study has improved with this simple tool!)
6. If you use a Bible app, add them to a “Bookmark” category. For example, I add all the bible verses about God’s power under the “God’s power” bookmark I created – I keep it simple!
7. If you use an iPad Pro or tablet with a stylus, add them to a note-taking app such as Evernote or GoodNotes.
Prior to praying bible verses:
Don’t forget to pray with faith! There are countless examples in the Bible of prayers made in faith: James 5:17-18, Ephesians 2:8-9, Hebrews 11:32, 1 Samuel 1, 1 Samuel 7:1-14.
(Hover over the bible verses to read them)
And if you aren’t sure if you have faith when you pray, well guess what? There are bible verses you can pray for more faith! 😉
Ok, now is where I show you how to pray according to the Bible!
Try incorporating these or other bible verses in your prayers. And then, let me know how it goes!
Here are some scriptures to use when praying:
(Hover over the bible verses)
First and foremost, we learn from the prayer Jesus gave to His disciples (see Matthew 6:9-13) that we should glorify God at the start of our prayers.
Powerful praise and worship verses in case you are wondering how to praise God with words:
- Exodus 15:2
- Job 42:2
- Psalm 100:1-4
- Isaiah 25:1
- Isaiah 40:31
- Romans 8:39
- 1 Peter 2:24
- Revelation 4:11
Example of praying the scriptures – this is how I would start my prayer praising God.
Notice how I personalized the bible verse a bit to make it more genuine and personal – remember, we are communicating with God:
Dear Heavenly Father, You are my God. I exalt You and praise Your name for you do wonderful things [in our lives] and Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. Isaiah 25:1, NKJV.
Dear God, we come before your presence knowing that you, Lord, are God. You made us and we ourselves. We are Your people and the sheep of Your pasture; we enter your gates thanking you, and we enter your courts praising you. Thank you Lord, and we bless Your name. You are good and your mercies are everlasting. Your truth endures to all generations. Amen Psalm 100, NKJV.
(That one is a favorite of mine!)
Bible verses to pray during hard times:
These are prayers for when you need rescuing, protection; when there are troubles, anguish of soul, distress, etc.
- 2 Chronicles 33:12-13
- Psalm 4:1, Psalm 31, Psalm 39:12
- Matthew 26:39
Scriptures to use when praying: If you struggle with unbelief aka lack of faith
- Mark 9:24
- Luke 1:37
- 1 Corinthians 2:5
- 2 Corinthians 5:7
- Ephesians 2:8-9
An example on praying scripture when you lack faith:
Dear God, I know we shouldn’t have faith in only what we see, but please help me to walk by faith. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
Lord, I didn’t do anything to be saved because it is a gift from you. I need my faith not to rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (combination of Ephesians 2:8 and 1 Corinthians 2:5)
And this is the one I pray whenever I feel weak in my faith:
Dear Heavenly Father, I believe in You, but please help me overcome my unbelief! (Mark 9:24, NIV)
Scriptures to use when praying: If you are overcome with sin and want God to cleanse you from your sins
- 2 Chronicles 7:14
- Psalm 19, Psalm 38, Psalm 51
- Proverbs 16:2
- Micah 7:19
- 1 John 1:9
An example of how I’d pray one of these scriptures:
Dear God, I am humbling myself before you, calling on Your name, praying and seeking Your face. I want to turn from my wicked ways. I don’t want to return to that ever again. Please hear my prayer, please forgive my sins, and please heal me. (2 Chronicles 7:14, NKJV – notice that it isn’t word for word, but there’s personalization based on what I need God to hear! When I’m asking for forgiveness, my soul is crying out to Him for cleansing! I desperately need it!)
If you are praying for healing, you can pray these to bible verses back to God:
- 2 Kings 5:13-14
- Proverbs 17:22
- Isaiah 58
- Jeremiah 17:14
- Jeremiah 33:6
- Matthew 4:23, Matthew 11:28, Matthew 26:39
- Mark 9:24
- James 5:14-16
- 1 Peter 2:24
So, there are two verses that I added here which may not necessarily belong: Matthew 26:39 and Mark 9:24.
I think it’s important to add them here because sometimes, we need more faith when are praying for healing AND sometimes, we need to pray for His will over ours because He knows best and loves us way more than we can comprehend!
If you are fasting and praying, you can pray these scriptures
- Ezra 8:23
- Joel 2:12
- Matthew 26:39
Dear Heavenly Father, Your Word says that if we fast and entreat You, You will answer our prayer. (Ezra 8:23, NKJV)
Scriptures to use when praying: if you are about to give a presentation or a talk, specifically if you are sharing the gospel
- Ephesians 3:14-17
- Ephesians 6:19-20
- 2nd Thessalonians 1:12
Example of how I would pray this scripture back to God:
Dear Lord, now that I am about to give this presentation, may I open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel. I am an ambassador in chains. Allow me to speak boldly as I ought to speak!
If you are praying for courage and boldness, prayers for confidence
- Isaiah 41:10
- Ephesians 6:19-20
- Hebrews 4:15-16
- Hebrews 13:6
If you are praying scriptures for others or prayers of intercession
- 1 Samuel 12:20-25
- Matthew 6:13
- Luke 23:34
- Ephesians 6:18
- Romans 10:1
- Colossians 1:9
- Colossians 4:2
- 1 Timothy 2:1-3
Scriptures to use when praying: If you are praying for your enemies
- Exodus 14:14
- Psalm 109:2-5
- Psalm 138:7
- Luke 6:27-36
- Romans 12:20
- Romans 12:14
- Ephesians 6:12
These prayers are both to keep your ‘enemies’ away and for your enemies.
Scriptures to use when praying over your family, your spouse, your children, and/or friends
- 1 Chronicles 16:11
- Psalm 119:10
- Isaiah 11:2
- Isaiah 54:7
- 2 Corinthians 9:8
- Colossians 1:10
- James 4:7
If you are praying for guidance, direction from God or wanting to do God’s will pray these bible verses
- 1 Chronicles 16:11
- Psalm 25:4-5, Psalm 32:8, Psalm 143:10
- Proverbs 3:5-6
- Luke 22:42
- Romans 12:1
- Ephesians 2:10
- James 4:15
- 1 John 2:16-17
Example of my prayer for guidance:
Dear Lord, we’ve been created in Your workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which You’ve prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Please teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Please let your good Spirit lead me on a level ground! (Ephesians 2:10 and Psalm 143:10, ESV)
Praying the Word of God Back to Him
There you have it!
Now, this isn’t a COMPLETE list because there are other bible verses you can use to pray scripture back to God, but this is a good foundation to get you started.
I hope the examples were helpful. If you have any questions or need ideas on how to pray a verse, please let me know! I will promptly reply!
If you’d like this blog post in a printable format, grab the “Scriptures to Use When Praying Scriptures” sheet below:
To recap: Why should we pray bible verses?
Initially, I shared that praying according to the bible is important because 1) it helps us follow the example of Christ; 2) we demolish strongholds; 3) we come intro agreement with God and the Holy Spirit can speak through us; and 4) God’s Word equips us for every good work.
Challenge: Try using these bible verses or find your own bible verses to pray over your current situations.
Although you may want to wait until you have a prayer journal or something fancy to get started, DON’T! Get started ASAP!
Otherwise, you may forget and lose interest if you keep waiting!
Moreover, as a resource to help you get started, grab my 7-Day Prayer Challenge below:
Let me know what happens! And if you’ve found this helps you memorize scripture, please let me know!
Tip: I recommend memorizing bible verses.
If you are wondering how to memorize bible verses, I recommend learning scripture songs.
For instance, Shane & Shane’s songs on the Psalms will help you memorize them.
Some friendly reminders:
1) You can never pray too much. (1 Thessalonians 5:17, Luke 11: 9-10).
2) Share with someone who may need this today! Sharing is caring!