The Right Words to Pray
There are times when we look around and find that life circumstances seem so overwhelming that we’re not sure what to pray. Words seem to fail us. But thankfully, our good Father gives us His Word to speak back to Him in every situation.
“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.” (Heb. 4:12)
Prayer is key to abiding in Christ, a God-given way of connecting with the Spirit and encountering Jesus.
Through prayer, we receive grace and strength to love God and grow in love. We are led into greater intimacy with Him as we connect with Him through His Word.
“He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (Jn. 15:5).
We may have the desire to abide, but the ability to do so is directly linked to conversation with God—prayer is simply talking with Him. But we don’t always know what to say or feel that we have the right words to articulate our prayers. Thankfully, God was prepared for these moments and gave us His Word in advance.
Throughout the centuries, the Church has prayed the prayers of the Bible. Several books can be found today on praying the Scriptures, and yet we sometimes overlook the powerful benefits of praying the powerful Word of God. “Pray-reading” the Word is when we take time to speak the truths of Scripture back to God as we read.
True fellowship includes a two-way dialogue. The Spirit honors our part in the relationship by not forcing us to speak with Him. Instead, He calls us to a deeper and more continual conversation.
The same God who calls us to abide has provided a way for us to do so through His Son and His Word. This invitation comes with overwhelming assistance.
The most substantial way in which we can bolster our prayer lives is by feeding on the Word of God. Through the Word, we can actively dialogue with God by praying promises that we are to believe and Scriptures that we are to obey.
For example, the Bible says that God is our good shepherd.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” (Ps 23:1)
First, we thank God for this particular truth. Then, we ask Him to release a greater measure of that truth in our everyday lives.
We can thank God for this truth that He is our good shepherd. Then, we can ask Him to reveal to us the certainty of His provision and how much He loves us in order to help us believe this truth.
The same can be done regarding our obedience to the Word. Jesus clearly stated that those who love Him will keep His commands (Jn. 14:15). As we read, we can pray, or verbalize, our commitment and say, “Thank you that I can know how to show you I love You, Jesus. I set my heart to love You and obey You with my speech, time, money, and thoughts.”
Then, we can ask for God to empower us to obey Him by praying, “Father, help me to love You, to bridle my speech, to use my time and money in full obedience and think thoughts that honor You.”
As you “pray-read” through Scripture, record your thoughts and prayers in a notebook or journal. This helps us capture the truths that the Spirit gives us and to develop language to talk with God.
With time, the power of the Word will strengthen and transform your mind, will, and emotions. As we are conformed to His likeness, we will experience more of God’s grace renewing our minds and emotions, if we ask for it on a regular basis. God increasingly releases blessing if we ask for it regularly with faith (Jas. 4:2).
We can be encouraged knowing that even when we do not feel particularly strong in our inner man, the Spirit’s power is working to influence our thoughts and emotions as we “pray-read” the Word and dialogue with Almighty God.