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How to Pray Scriptures

Praying Scriptures increases the power of prayer by allowing us to understand and claim the promise of God by using Bible promises.

St. Philips 022Many Christians don’t understand the power of praying the scriptures.  As a matter of fact some think that this kind of praying is not necessary and is for show.  Others are intimidated by those who pray God’s word and out of fear and comparing themselves to others keep silent and don’t pray at all or do not pray in groups.

There is a process by which we get to a more powerful place of prayer in our individual lives and my prayer is that this article will help you get there and understand the importance of effective communication with God through His Word.

spring rain 0071.  Begin by understanding the power of God’s Word.

The Word of God in the Bible tells us that praying his Word is powerful because it brings expected results.  “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish…so is my word that goes out of my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it”. (Isaiah 55:10-11)  That means there is power in praying God’s Word!  This means that if you need a prayer of healing confess Isaiah 53:4-5 or James 5:14-17, if you struggle with fear, confess Philippians 4:6 or 1Timothy 1:7.  But we must pray believing that we will receive what it is we have asked for. (Mark 11:24)

2.  Use the Bible to know God and how to talk to God about everything.

As a matter of fact, as Christians God’s Word teaches us to communicate with God about everything.  .  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God”. (Philippians 4:6)   We learn to communicate with God by getting to know Him and we get to know Him through His Word.  Once we know who God is through His Word we understand how to communicate with Him through the Word and through prayer.

God designed prayer as an open gateway for His children to communicate with Him.  Jesus is the gateway in which we are able to have that communication with God.  “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the father except through me”.(John 14:6)  In order to come through someone or something you have to enter through a doorway or through a place of authority in order to get to or to get something you need or desire to have.  Jesus is the doorway, the one who gives us authority or access to the Father.  We come through the gateway of Jesus to the throne room of God.

3.  Communicate with God more frequently than through occasional prayers of desperation. 

Even though according to Philippians 4:6 God tells us come to Him about everything, most often many Christians only come to God in times of desperation.  Many Christians live their lives making their own decisions and doing their own thing the way they see fit until they run into something they realize they have no control over.  They pray a prayer of desperation which is based on their emotions (not scripture based) and the prayer is according to how they want God to fix the problem.  Prayers based on emotional desperation often times cause people to make promises to God they cannot and will not keep.  This is why it is so important to take a look at what effective communication really is.

Effective communication is not one sided nor is it on an “as I need you” basis.  If we are honest we will admit that we don’t always communicate very well with the people closest to us.  To be honest we don’t communicate well with people we don’t know, which is one of the reasons we are not winning many new souls for Christ.  We all could use a refresher course in the way we communicate with others since most of us didn’t come from a background where we learned proper communication.

Capture couple4.  Build your prayer life like you would any long lasting relationship.

If anyone wants to have a more powerful prayer life which brings powerful results based upon God’s will for your life, then it is extremely important to take a brief look at  how we build relationships that lead to long lasting friendships.  The Bible says in order to have friends or make friends we must show ourselves friendly.  “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother”.  (Proverbs 18:24)

In order to know someone or befriend them we must spend some time with them to get to know them personally. Think about some of your friendships that you have built over the years. Through spending time with them you found out a lot about them such as what they like or don’t like, their values and their interest and much more.  You even know their faults and flaws and vice versa.  The time we spend with them teaches us how to effectively and properly communicate with them.  We learn what makes them happy or sad, what motivates them and what causes them pain, we learn how to cheer them up and encourage them when they need it most.  Overall we learn how to communicate in ways that bring about positive actions and results so our relationship continues to grow.

When communication is clear no one has to guess what the other one wants or needs.  Let me point out though that because we are human we will still fail at proper communication but as an example this is how relationships and friendships are built. Moses in his human frailty built a friendship with God and God called Moses His friend!  “Thus the LORD used to speak with Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend”.  (Exodus 33:11)

Perhaps by now you are wondering what all this has to do with the power of praying the Scriptures.  It has everything to do with the power of praying the Scriptures when communicating with God through prayer and getting answers!  How?  God desires for us to get to know Him by spending time with Him; and His Word teaches us how to communicate with Him so we know Him.

Through reading the scriptures we learn:

  • What God likes and doesn’t like
  • What God values
  • What interests God
  • What God’s will is for us
  • What God’s will is for the entire world

Once we begin to understand the above through reading and studying the scriptures, we learn how to communicate with Him through prayer in ways that are effective and bring forth results that are according to God’s will for our lives because we have learned to live according to the Word!  “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”. (Matthew 4:4)

5.  Learn to live in the word of God. 

When we learn to live on the Word of God we find ourselves being excited about the Word!  When we are excited about the Word we are delighting ourselves in the Lord.  We are feeding on the word and it satisfies our hungry soul just as food satisfies the physical hunger.  “Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it”.  (Psalm 37:4)  God wants the best for His children and we learn that by following His ways we receive the very best from Him.

We are only successful when we take Him at His word!  As believers we often find that hard to do because we rationalize and feel that we have to be perfect to receive God’s best.  We do however have to do the very best we can to live a righteous life before God understanding that we will stumble and fall from time to time.  ”For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises up again, But the wicked stumble in time of calamity”. (Proverbs 24:16)

Living by God’s Word daily is a process and each child of God experiences it differently.  But living by God’s Word and claiming the promises through prayer will make our way prosperous and successful in a deeper sense of the word than what the world considers successful.  “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will”. (Romans 12:2)

When the Lord commissioned Joshua He said to him “This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it.  For then you shall make your way prosperous and then you shall be successful”. (Joshua 1:8)  The Word of God makes us prosperous!  A friend of mine gives a wonderful testimony to this verse of scripture.  She said “Joshua 1:8 was the first scripture I memorized as a new Christian.  When I learned this verse this is when I realized that I didn’t need to read another self help book”!  God’s Word is where we go to get the answers we need to live life and to have a successful life!  It may be fair to say that this was the first word that my friend hid in her heart!  “Your word have I treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You”.  (Psalm 119:11)

 6.  Memorize scripture

In order to treasure or “hide” the Word in our hearts we must practice memorizing scripture.  This is the way we treasure the Word of God in our hearts.  When we need that word applied to any situation we may face in our life, God will cause that scripture to come into our memory in order to be able to claim it and live it out!  “So then faith comes by hearing; and hearing by the word of God”. (Romans 10:17)  The Word then also helps us to walk by faith and not by sight, to see things in the supernatural and not in the natural as we get the Word of God in us and began to believe it!

 7.  Use scripture to be specific when you pray.

As we begin to get the Word of God in us our prayers move from being vague to being packed with the power of the Word.  Many times we come to God in prayer with a need or a situation that we want God to work in.  For example, we ask God to “bless us” with a need or we ask God to “help us” out of a particular situation.  This is what I call vague prayers.  If you have a need, you certainly know what the need is and the Word of God has a promise for that need so come to God with specific need and put the Word on it as the Holy Spirit leads you.  “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass”. (1Thessalonians 5:24)  God wants us to be specific when we come to Him asking for anything.

This doesn’t mean that we will always know what to ask for because sometimes life will throw us curve balls and we sometimes don’t know what God is doing much less what to pray for.  But the Bible tells us in Romans 8:26, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”   This scripture says that when we are weak and know not what to pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us!  Romans 8:27 says “And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God”.  The will of God is the Word of God, His promises!  Whenever we pray our prayers should be directed by the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit will bring to our remembrance God’s Word concerning our situation and circumstances and we pray that Word back to God.  The Word of God says that He is a not a man that He should lie,  and that He honors His Word above His name, and that His Word shall not return to Him void but it shall accomplish the purpose for which it was sent! (Numbers 23:19, Psalm 138:2, Isaiah 55:11)

8.  Search the Scriptures for the reasons you may not be receiving an answer.

If you are praying God’s Word and still your prayers are not being answered there are several reasons that may be applicable to your situation.  James 4:3 is evidence also that there is such a thing as wrong praying.  “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures”.

I think this would be a good place to remind us about praying the Scriptures correctly. For example don’t take one part of a scripture that you like and omit the other part that the condition of the promise stands on.  Malachi 3:11 says “I will rebuke the locust for you, so that it will not destroy the produce of your soil; and your vine in the field shall not be barren, says the Lord of hosts.”   This is a wonderful promise to claim that the Lord has promised concerning blessings financial blessing, protection and beyond but the condition of the blessing begins in Malachi 3:10 “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house, and thus put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing”.  You get the point.

So if you are not getting the answer you expect go back to the promise (the Word of God) to make sure you have proper understanding of it and ask the Holy Spirit to help you.  Now I am not saying that God will not bless us financially if we have not reached the place of tithing yet but I will say that you will not reach the place of blessings overflowing “from God” and as a child of God this is what He desires for us!  “And my God shall supply all of your needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus”.(Philippians 4:19) God wants to pour blessing down on his people beyond daily needs!

Another reason your prayers may not seem to be answered could be unconfesssed sin in your life such as unforgiveness or offense toward God.  On the other hand, another reason could be that God has to prepare you for the blessing and it will take time, so pray for patience as God does the work in you.  “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”. (Philippians 1:6)

Some of the prayers we pray that are according to God’s will take time so don’t give up!  So keep on asking, seeking, and knocking (Matthew 7:7).  There are some things that God will not give us until He knows we can handle the blessing and we will not lose it. God wants us to bear much fruit!  (John 15:5)

9.  Be encouraged by the testimonies of others who have prayed Scripture.

I would like to share with you some real testimonies of answered prayer through praying God’s Word over situations in my life and in the life of some other prayer warriors!  Providing instructions are great but an even greater witness is to provide real examples so here are a few.  I hope they bless you and encourage you to begin applying the power of the word to your prayers!  I make it a practice everyday to pray the promises of God for my life, my family, and my friends and especially for the body of Christ.  Because God honors His word, I have received powerful results to prayer.  Here is a recent testimony I would like to share with you.  It’s important to have recent testimonies about what God has done in your life.  It means you are committed to taking Him at His word for your life circumstances.

My Prayer for a “New” Vehicle.  I had been praying asking God to provide me a “new” vehicle.  I had been driving a 1997 Isuzu Rodeo since I purchased it in 1999.  It was a great vehicle and had served me well over the years but it was finally on its last legs.  I was praying that God would provide not just a “new vehicle” but “a new debt free vehicle”.  I prayed diligently claiming promises based on Malachi 3:10-11, Matthew 6:33, Psalm 37:4 and others, praying every scripture that came to my mind that would agree with God’s word and why God would grant me this request.  I continued to pray diligently for a little over a year. I didn’t pray everyday but very frequently.

On December 31, 2012, my Pastor called to ask me to give a recent testimony about my faith walk.  I decided to be obedient but I have to say that my first thoughts were not that of obedience.  I gave my testimony which included the fact that I now had no vehicle and was unemployed yet again.  On February 3, 2013 as I was on my way into the sanctuary after attending Sunday school that morning, I literally bumped into a young woman who greeted me and asked me how my job search was going. I filled her in.  She continued to tell me that she heard my testimony at our Watch night service and immediately verbalized to her husband “we have three vehicles and this woman needs one.”

Well the testimony is much greater than I can share and story much more in depth but I won’t go into all of the details in the interest of the privacy of my wonderful benefactors.  At any rate, the blessing of my new vehicle came through this wonderful couple!  I did not know them prior to this situation and don’t even know how long they have been members since our church is growing at such a fast rate and we have two services.  But let me tell you that the vehicle is absolutely beautiful!  It is a 1997 Acura 2.5 TL in mint condition! My prayer was answered!  I received powerful results because of the Word!

The answer didn’t come over night and a lot transpired in the time between when I began praying and when I received the “new vehicle,” one I have never owned!  It is debt free and better than any new vehicle that I could have received from a car lot!  I love it!  As one song writer puts it “The word of the Lord is great and powerful, He honors it above His name.  The word of the Lord great and powerful and it shall last from age to age”.

My Prayer for Employment.  Here is another testimony of when I was unemployed from 2007 to 2009.  I prayed that God would direct my path in finding employment. “A man’s heart plans the way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9) I received a job offer in May of 2009 but honestly it was a job that I really didn’t want.  My reasoning behind that was many; it did not pay well, it was far from home, and the hours would keep me from serving the Lord the way I desired to. I prayed again that God would direct my decision and He answered me “Thus says the Lord: Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls”. (Jeremiah 6:16) 

At first I did not understand what God was telling me but after wrestling with this word I understood that God was telling me to take the position by walking in faith (the ancient way is by faith.)  I did as God had commanded me and took the job even though it didn’t seem a good fit for me.  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord”. (Isaiah 55:8) When God says to do something then we obey because “to obey is better than sacrifice” (1Samuel 15:22) and God has a purpose in it whether we understand it or not.  I later understood what that purpose was.

When God has an assignment for you He will send you wherever He needs you to go.  The assignment is just for you and no one else can do it.  God trust you with the individual and their circumstances.  I immediately met a woman of God who was homeless, sleeping in her car. When her car was repossessed she snuck into apartment complexes and slept on the concrete in the pool area.  She washed up at nearby gas stations and got dressed for work.  I ended up picking her up for work and eventually inviting her into to my home to stay with me because this is what I felt God wanted me to do but I can say that I resisted at first.  God quickly moved in her situation after that and opened up a door for her to get her own place.

A Friend’s Healing Prayer:  I mentioned in the article earlier about a friend who memorized Joshua 1:8 as her first scripture and she has this testimony about the power of praying the Word.  One day the Holy Spirit brought these scriptures to her remembrance; “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified thereby” (John 11:4) and “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord” (Psalm 118:17) She said she did not understand why these particular scriptures came to her remembrance but after some time she began to understand why.  That following year she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She said from the time she received the report from the doctor that she was at total peace because God had already provided her the answer!  God gave her the Word to confess over her sickness.  This is a wonderful example of how God will give us the promise to pray and to stand on before we even understand what is going to happen!

A Friend’s Prayer for Protection:  Another woman of God who is a mighty prayer warrior who prays diligently the scriptures, was praying for her husband who was due to go to court for a violation.  She prayed Psalm 91 for protection for her husband’s situation and when they got to court on the appointed day they had dismissed the case!  The clerk said his paperwork was somehow lost! “Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name.  When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them”. (Psalm 91:14-15)    The word is faithful to perform what it says!  “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”. (Hebrews 4:12)

A Grandmother Reunited with a Granddaughter:  God is so good!  Even while I am in the process of finishing this article God would have a very personal friend call me to let me know that she received a phone call from her granddaughter today who she had not talked to in at least 7 months due to a family conflict.  I had been praying for this situation confessing scriptures on forgiveness and reconciliation.  (Ephesians 4:32, Mark 11:26) and confessing other truths from the bible concerning their situation.  God is faithful!

Here is a sample prayer that shows how to pray God’s Word for a specific need:  

Workplace Prayer of Forgiveness

Father God, I pray that you will help Jane Doe to forgive her boss for the unfair treatment she received in her performance review.  You said in your word that we are to forgive others their trespasses as we forgive those who trust pass against us (Matthew 6:12)  You said if we don’t forgive others their sins, You will not forgive us our sins (Matthew 6:15)  I stand in the gap for her declaring and decreeing your word over  her situation .  You said that this is the confidence we have as your children, that if we ask anything according to your will that you hear us and because I know you hear me, I know that I have what it is that I have asked for.  (1John 5:14)

 10.  Arm yourself with God’s Word

I hope this article has been helpful to you in understanding the power of praying the Word back to God.  Yes, He already knows the word, after all He is the Living Word but God wants us to exercise our faith.    If we are going to win the battles that will no doubtedly come then we have got to be armed with the Word and know how to use it effectively as we communicate to God.  He has armed us with the most powerful weapon to use against the enemy “You give me strength for battle; you make my foes kneel before me”. (2Samuel 22:40)  The word strengthens us for any battle we will ever face and if we don’t use it we are defenseless and naked before the enemy.  So put the enemy on notice today and begin praying the powerful Word of God over every situation and circumstance in your life.

Other Articles by Sondra  Green

Knowing your spiritual season through prayer

Spiritual Discipline: a lifestyle

Prayer Breakfast ideas

Copyright 2013  Sondra Green.  All rights reserved.

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