Praying Scripture: How to pray Scripture

Wondering how to deepen your prayer life? Have you considered praying Scripture? 

  • Have you ever felt that God doesn’t hear your prayers?
  • Perhaps you find yourself repeating the same, worn-out supplications time and again.
  • Do you approach prayer with uncertainty, not quite sure how to pray effectively, especially in specific situations?
  • Are your prayers often centered around personal concerns like family, friends, health, work, or wealth?

If you resonate with any of these questions, it might be time to expand the horizons of your prayer life—to rediscover the revitalizing potential of praying the Scriptures.

What is praying Scripture?

Praying Scripture involves using the very words of God to shape our prayers. It’s the act of returning His Word to Him through our own petitions. In practical terms, this means employing the words, phrases, or themes of a Scripture passage to guide and articulate our conversations with God.

This can be achieved by reciting a Scripture text verbatim as a personal prayer, personalizing a Scripture passage, or translating our thoughts and emotions regarding a particular Scripture theme into a prayer.

Praying Scripture involves using the very words of God to shape our prayers.

Reading Scripture and praying them should go hand in hand. When we pray the Scriptures, we rest assured that we are aligning our will with God’s. The Holy Spirit uses this alignment to guide and inform our prayers.

The only way to interpret the Bible

An example of praying Scripture

To illustrate, here’s an example of how you might read and pray Psalm 23 in a personalized manner:

Scripture -“The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing.”

Prayer –  “Lord, I thank you for being Jehovah-Raah, my Shepherd. As my Shepherd, I lack nothing. You intimately care for every aspect of my life. I ask for your watchful eye over me and my family today.”


Scripture – “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.”

Prayer – “Lord, I appreciate the moments of rest you provide. Sometimes, I am consumed by busyness and fail to recognize the beauty around me. Help me to be still and acknowledge you as God. Rejuvenate me today.”


Scripture – “He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.”

Prayer – “Thank you, Lord, for your guidance. You lead me down the path of righteousness, true to your name. You keep me on the straight and narrow, all for your glory.”


Scripture – “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

Prayer – “Lord, even in my darkest moments, you stand beside me. It’s reassuring to know that in my lows, I am not alone. Why should I be anxious when I am secure in your presence?”


Scripture – “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”

Prayer – “Thank you, Lord. Even in trying times, you faithfully provide for me. Your service and honour toward me, in the midst of adversaries, are truly remarkable.”


Scripture – “You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”

Prayer – “Who am I that you would be so mindful of me? I am blessed from head to toe! Your blessings are boundless, pouring forth day after day.”


Scripture – “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Prayer – “Your love is astounding! Wherever I am, wherever I go, your steadfast love pursues me. Your goodness and enduring love accompany me throughout my life and even beyond. Thank you, for you truly are my Shepherd. Your immense love provides everything I truly need. Amen.”

Incorporating the practice of reading and praying the Scriptures into your daily devotions forms a continuous, enriching cycle. Why not begin today? The Psalms are an excellent starting point, or you can select a portion of Scripture you are currently studying and offer it up to God in prayer.


Family Prayer

Do you have children? Here is an article on helping your family pray Scripture from our Christian Parenting blog.

Family prayer doesn’t have to be something that’s hard to do. The Family Prayer Calendar provides a daily Scripture and a prayer prompt to help you and your children pray anytime about everything.



Originally published by Dr. Lawson Murray here.

Related Articles: How to do Lectio Divina

© Scripture Union Canada 2017

2 Corinthians 4:5

© Scripture Union Canada, 2021

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