“Every Christian can have a meaningful, satisfying prayer life.”

Most of us would never want to admit it, but it’s not uncommon to feel like my prayer life has lost its luster or that I’m just not doing it right. Donald Whitney addresses this issue in Praying the Bible, and he offers a solution and a method for a richer, more effective prayer life.

The Problem

We feel the Holy Spirit’s prompting, we know we should pray, and we want to pray. But when it comes to prayer, we can be guilty of saying “the same old things about the same old things” for too long.

The Solution

Pray through a passage of scripture. 

Read a passage of scripture, and use the text as prompts to praise and pray. This particular exercise is not about interpreting the passage, rather it is about using any part of the passage as a guide to help make our prayers more specific, diverse, and in-depth.

The Method

“Open the Bible, start reading it, pause at every verse, and turn it into a prayer.” John Piper

Whitney suggests starting with the Psalms. Read one chapter at a time, and talk to God about what comes to mind. 

Here are just a few ideas of what that might look like with Psalm 23.

“The Lord is my shepherd.”

  • Give Praise for His shepherding.
  • Give thanks and pray for those shepherding me.
  • Pray for those whom I shepherd.

The Benefits

This method of praying through scripture gives us a fresh way to pray.

We may still be praying about many of the same things, often our families, our work, others in our lives, and our world, but praying through scripture will open our eyes to a fresh perspective and way to pray about those things.

Praying through scripture easily adjusts to different time frames.

Maybe in the mornings before work, you only have 15 minutes to pray before leaving, but on the weekends you can spend an hour or more in prayer. You will never run out of scripture to pray through.

Praying through scripture keeps you focused.

Have you ever started praying and found yourself thinking about something totally unrelated right in the middle of your prayer? Praying through scripture keeps you focused and keeps the mind from wandering.

Praying God’s Word helps make prayer more about God and less about me.

It immediately puts my prayers through the filter of His Word and perspective. 

Take Action

Pick a Psalm right now to begin praying through, and set a timer to pray for 7 minutes. 

If you want to take it one step further, add an ESV Scripture Journal: Psalms or a scripture journal for any book of the Bible to use or gift, and begin reading and journaling your prayers right away. 

Grab Donald Whitney’s concise book, Praying the Bible, and get rid of discouragement in prayer today.

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Mike Young
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