Do you feel like God does not hear you when you pray? Are you walking through a season of silence from Him? I cannot say why He may not be answering. Sometimes the answer that we seek is not for our best. Sometimes it is not the right time to receive the answer we long for. Then other times we are living a life of disobedience, knowing that we are acting in a way that would not bring honor to Him. Yet we stomp our foot and demand an answer when we are unwilling ourselves to deal with an area He has asked us to change. During these times and at all times, let’s make a habit of praying the word. Praying the Word back to God is a wonderful way to learn so much about the One who made us and wants good things for us.
The Habit of Praying the Word
There are times when my five-year-old wants something and I have already asked her several times to do a chore or task for me. Many times I will tell her she may not have the special something until she has done as I have asked. Oh, how she delays what is awaiting her because she would rather stomp her foot and whine, which brings consequences that I would rather not administer. How much more pleasant would it have been if she had just obeyed the first time? The words “slow obedience is no obedience” have been said more times than I can count in our home. Many times I find myself, just like my five year old, wanting something when I am not walking in obedience in a specific area.
If we are walking with God and find no area of rebellion in our lives, then we must walk each day being content with what He has given us for that day and we must continue to pray.
How to Pray the Word
Scripture says the Word does not return void. So, how do we pray the Scripture?
- Use a resource like biblegateway.com to look up scripture that applies to where you are in life. Replace your name in the Scripture and pray it back to God. Here is an example.
Psalm 43:3 O God, send forth Your light and Your truth to my life; let them bring me to Your holy mountain, to the place where You dwell.
- If you are praying for someone else, put their name in the verse and pray it for them.
How to Pray the Word for Others
Here are a few other Scriptures you can use. Remember, put your name or the person you are praying for in the verse.
- “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:2
- “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, Colossians 3:23
- Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
- “And has He not given you rest on every side?” 1 Chronicles 22:18
Pray the Word for Your Children
- Desiring the pure milk of the Word that they may grow thereby. 1 Peter 2:2
- Their conduct is without covetousness, and they are content with what they have. Hebrews 13:5
- They do not forget to do what is right and to share. Hebrews 13:16
- I pray that they grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord 2 Peter 3:18
Pray the Word for Encouragement
- “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16
- “You will make your prayer to Him, He will hear you…” Job 22:27
These are just a few I found. There are so many more just waiting for you to find them.
Resources for Praying the Word
Here are a few quotes and resources that I hope will also help you as they have me over the years.
- How often have we prayed something like, “O Lord, be with Cousin Billy now in a special way”? Have we stopped to consider what it is we’re requesting? Imagine that you are a parent who is preparing to leave your children with a babysitter. Would you dream of saying, “O Betsy, I ask you now that you would be with my children in a special way?” No way. You would say, “Betsy, the kids need to be in bed by 9 pm. They can have one snack before their baths, and please make sure they finish their homework. You can reach us at this number if there’s any problem. Any questions before we go?” We are very specific with our requests and instructions for our babysitters. We want them to know specifics. It should be no different with prayer. – David Jeremiah
- He who lives without prayer, he who lives with little prayer, he who seldom reads the Word, and he who seldom looks up to heaven for a fresh influence from on high—he will be the man whose heart will become dry and barren. However, he who falls in secret on his God, who spends much time in holy retirement, who delights to meditate on the words of the Most High, and whose soul is given up to Christ—such a man must have an overflowing heart. As his heart is, such will his life be. ~ C.H. Spurgeon
- Devotional book Lord Teach Us to Pray by Kay Arthur.
Make it a habit to pray.
-originally published December 2009