Praying Scripture

Praying Scripture

“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
-Colossians 1:9-14

Have you ever prayed Scripture? The practice of praying Scripture goes beyond grounding your prayers in the focus and message of a particular passage, and involves using the specific words of a passage to express your prayers. 

Some people jokingly call this “cheating,” but praying Scripture is truly a maturing and convicting practice for your prayer life. It can sometimes be difficult to feel confident about the content of our prayers. “Is it okay to ask for this?” “Am I approaching this topic in the right way?” When you let Scripture form your prayers, you can pray with an added measure of confidence knowing that you are praying about true, important things that are in line with God’s character and will.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

Take Paul’s prayer in Colossians 1:9-14 for example. In this passage, Paul is describing his prayer for the Colossian believers. While this is a record of Paul’s specific prayer for that group of believers, this is also an excellent prayer to apply to any believer. God desires all of His Children to know His will and be spiritually wise, to walk in a way that pleases Him, to bear fruit in their good works, and to know Him more and more.

Instead of praying, “God, please continue to work in so-and-so’s life,” this passage gives you the words you need to pray specifically: “God, I ask you to fill so-and-so with knowledge of Your will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that they can walk in a manner worthy of You, that fully pleases You, and so that they can bear fruit in every good work and thereby increase even more in knowledge of You.” Isn’t that helpful?

An added benefit of praying Scripture is how God uses it to change you. When you first begin praying through a passage, it may take you a while before you understand everything you’re praying for. Colossians 1:9-14, for example, is by no means a simple passage! The beauty of confidently praying Scripture is that you meditate on the passage each time you pray through it: God will refine your understanding, give you wisdom, and keep you focused on Him as you meditate on His Word.
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