I walked out to the front of the church parking lot, found a nice bench to sit on, and opened up my Bible to the book of Psalms.
This is going to be a long ten minutes, I thought to myself.
I was attending a conference on prayer, and the speaker challenged us to be alone for ten minutes to pray. He challenged us to use a certain passage from the book of Psalms to guide our prayers, encouraging us that praying through Scripture was an incredible way to deepen and enhance our prayer lives.
I wasn’t so sure.
I was convinced that reading through Scripture for ten straight minutes would feel like an eternity. Despite my feelings of hesitation, I opened my Bible and started praying. And praying and praying and praying. To my surprise, the passages guided my prayers so perfectly and brought up truths, promises, and ideas that I never would have thought to pray on my own.
After what felt like ten minutes, I wandered back into the church feeling energized, refreshed, and totally in love with the idea of praying through Scripture. When I walked into the conference, something didn’t seem right. The one-hour session following the ten-minute prayer break was coming to a close.
My sister looked at me and asked, “Where have you been all this time? You missed the entire session.”
To my utter shock, I had just spent an entire hour praying.
I didn’t enter a time warp but had discovered a powerful way to pray that I didn’t want to rush away from. I was amazed and excited. Praying through passages in the Bible became a new love and habit of mine starting that day.
Today, I want to challenge you to this very same idea of praying through Scripture.
Here’s what I want you to do: Use the passage I’ve listed below, and pray through it. If you aren’t exactly sure how to pray through Scripture, I encourage you to check out this post by Mary Kassia from the True Woman blog.
In a nutshell, Mary gives these tips to help us pray through Scripture. She suggests that we:
- Read. Read the passage of Scripture slowly.
- Reflect. Think about how to personalize the text and apply it to your own life.
- Resonate. Respond to/agree with the passage by praying it back to God.
- Receive. Prayer is a conversation with God. A conversation is a two-way process. So it’s helpful to take a moment to listen to what the Lord is saying back to you.
Let’s try it!
Take ten minutes to apply those four tips and pray through Psalm 23. Work through the passage slowly, utilizing the whole ten minutes (or hour like I did!). Here it is, verse by verse.
- The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want (v. 1).
- He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters (v. 2).
- He restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake (v. 3).
- Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me (v. 4).
- You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows (v. 5).
- Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever (v. 6).
I’d love to hear about your experience praying through this passage.
- Did you enjoy using Scripture as a guide for prayer?
- Did anything new stand out to you?
- In what ways were you reminded of truth as you prayed through Psalm 23?