praying scripture

Praying scripture is a meaningful part of my faith journey. I hope this resonates with you.

What does it mean to pray scripture?

It’s the practice of using Bible passages as the framework for prayer. Many people insert their name into the passage, while others use the phrases and ideas in the verses to build their prayer. This is a great way to strengthen your prayer life, and it’s also a great way to pray for others. In fact, including a short scripture prayer with a Bible verse is a lovely way to sign a note or card.

Praying scripture allows me to pray with confidence.

I’m always mindful of keeping my mindset and priorities aligned with God’s purposes. When Bible passages form the foundation of my prayer, I know that my words and petitions please God. This gives me tremendous confidence and boosts my faith.

When I don’t know how to pray, praying scripture gives me words.

Sometimes finding the words is difficult. This is the case when I’m deeply troubled, overwhelmed, or worried. I just don’t know how to pray. It brings to mind a particular verse:

We don’t know what we should pray, but the Spirit himself pleads our case with unexpressed groans. The one who searches hearts knows how the Spirit thinks, because he pleads for the saints, consistent with God’s will.

Romans 8:26b-27

I often claim this passage and ask for the Spirit to intercede for a particular need. Moreover, I’ve found that many other Bible verses also help me know how to pray.

Suggested passages and sample prayers:

I’ve listed twelve different areas of prayer, with a Bible verse and possible prayer for each one. Many of these overlap, but I thought it might be helpful to see several examples. You can adapt these prayers to pray on your own, for yourself, or for others.


With God are wisdom and might; God has counsel and understanding.

Job 12:13

Holy God, we come to you asking for wisdom. We know from Job 12:13 that you are the source of wisdom and power. Please bless us with understanding. Amen.


May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in faith so that you overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

God of Hope, fill us with all joy and peace in faith according to Romans 15:13. May we overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit so that we may be an encouragement to others. Amen.


Don’t remember the prior things;
    don’t ponder ancient history.
Look! I’m doing a new thing;
    now it sprouts up; don’t you recognize it?
I’m making a way in the desert,
    paths in the wilderness.

Isaiah 43:18-19

Gracious God, fill us with your vision for us as described in Isaiah 43. Help us let go of what happened in the past. Give us eyes to recognize your “new thing.” Aid our understanding and make a way for us. Amen.


Living in the Most High’s shelter, camping in the Almighty’s shade, I say to the Lord, “You are my refuge, my stronghold! You are my God—the one I trust!”

Psalm 91:1-2

Mighty God, we pray Psalm 91. May we know and feel that you are indeed our refuge. Strengthen us and remind us that we can trust you. Amen


God heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. 

Psalm 147:3

Precious God, we know how deeply you love [name]. We pray that you would be at work in their heart, body, and mind as in Psalm 147:3. Fill them with hope and peace. Amen.


Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I give to you not as the world gives. Don’t be troubled or afraid. 

John 14:27

Prince of Peace, we ask for the peace promised in John 14:27. Thank you for being our source of peace. Help us to rest in your peace, free of troubles and fear. Amen.


He said to me, “My grace is enough for you, because power is made perfect in weakness.” So I’ll gladly spend my time bragging about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power can rest on me.

II Corinthians 12:9

Righteous God, we claim II Corinthians 12:9. We know we are weak, so we ask for your power and strength. Fill us with confidence and the knowledge that you will work through us. Amen.


Whenever I’m afraid,
    I put my trust in you—
        in God, whose word I praise.
        I trust in God; I won’t be afraid.
    What can mere flesh do to me?

Psalm 56:3-4

Eternal God, we put our trust in you as in Psalm 56. We praise you and thank you for your word. Help us to have courage. Take away our fear and give us hope. Keep our focus on you instead of our circumstances. Amen.


We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to God’s purpose.

Romans 8:28

Loving God, we need the encouragement from Romans 8:28. Bolster us up with the knowledge that you can bring good things out of all circumstances. We love you and are called for your purpose. Amen.


Lord, you are my God.
I will exalt you; I will praise your name,
    for you have done wonderful things,
        planned long ago, faithful and sure.

Isaiah 25:1

Wonderful God, we exalt you and praise your name like in Isaiah 25:1. You have done so many wonderful things. You are faithful and sure. Amen.


Have mercy on me, God, according to your faithful love!
    Wipe away my wrongdoings according to your great compassion!
Wash me completely clean of my guilt;
    purify me from my sin!

Psalm 51:1-2

Merciful God, we come to you asking for forgiveness. We praise you for your mercy and faithful love. Wipe away our wrongdoings according to your great compassion described in Psalm 51. Wash us completely clean and purify us. Amen.


Don’t fear, because I am with you;
    don’t be afraid, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you,
    I will surely help you;
    I will hold you
    with my righteous strong hand.

Isaiah 41:10

Powerful God, [name] needs your comfort right now. Isaiah 41:10 promises that you are with [name], and we ask for your strength and help. Hold them with your righteous strong hand. Amen.

The basic approach is to find a verse relevant to the area of need and use the phrases from the verse within your prayer. You can personalize it as you go. Once you’ve found verses that are special to you and help you pray, you might commit them to memory so that the verses and prayers come to you in moments of need.

Using prayers recorded in the Bible

There are many places in the Bible where actual prayers are recorded. They are also great inspiration for prayer:

  • The Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6:9-13.
  • Jesus’ prayer in John 17.
  • Paul’s prayers in the first chapters of Philippians, Colossians, and Ephesians, among others.

I’d love to hear about your experiences with praying scripture.

The practice of praying scripture has added depth to my prayer life. I hope to learn more!

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2 thoughts on “praying scripture”

  1. This is rich! We CAN apply God’s Words directly to our own lives more fully! Thank you, my daughter for reminding me….”A child shall lead them”



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