Skip to main content

Praying Scripture

January 10, 2024 | Maureen Wetzel

Corrie Ten Boom asks, “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” We all know it’s supposed to be the steering wheel, but we often use it as the spare tire… you know…the emergency backup when things don’t go our way or we feel the weight of life and decisions pressing down on us. Yet, if we are called to be fully alive with Jesus, in community, and on mission a more intimate relationship with the Father is where we begin. And that begins with prayer. For me though the biggest challenge in prayer has been what to say. Where do I begin? When I pray scripture, I know I’m in a good conversation based on truth with the God who created it.  

Praying scripture is something I have long loved doing. During difficult times it gives me the words I need when I can’t find them. It reminds me of the strength of scripture and of the promises of the God who wrote them. I pray scripture because my heart is often anxious and anxious hearts don’t always use vocabulary that reflects the truth of who God is; it usually just reflects my anxious spirit. When I’m anxious I’ll often pray Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” However, I will pray this scripture in a way that makes it more personal. “God, you have told me not to be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, to present my requests to you. You promised that Your peace, which transcends all understanding, would guard my heart and mind in your son Jesus. So here’s what I’m anxious about. I ask for your peace.” When I pray this I say out loud all I’m anxious about. I lay it down at the throne of the One who can, “do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine.” Ephesians 3:20  

I pray scripture because Jesus did and people in the Old Testament did. If the Bible is a map steering how we live our lives then it makes sense to do what they did, right? In Exodus 32:9-14 Moses prays for the Israelites because God has had it with them! He wants Moses to leave Him alone so that His “wrath may burn hot against them.” Moses prays and reminds God of His promise to Abraham that his descendants would be, “as numerous as the stars.” God relents and the Israelites are spared. That last bit reminds me that God hears and answers our prayers. We want to pray that God’s will is always done, but God hears us and takes into account what we ask for. God heard Moses. He hears us.  

Praying scripture keeps me in the will of God. I just returned to the US after living in Kosovo for 9 years. This was a move that I felt God was asking me to make, not one that I wanted to make in that moment. Something that I had routinely done was to pray throughout the summer for what God would have for the next year. What did He want me to do? I would often pray, “Not my will but Yours be done.” Luke 22:42  When God kept moving things towards leaving, even though it was difficult, my confidence in knowing I was operating within the will of God made walking in difficulty more bearable. When I pray to be in His will, I know He keeps me there. Inside His will, I can walk out anything in confidence that God is with me. 

Praying scripture allows my prayer time to be an act of worship. When I pray scripture, I sense a deeper connection to the Father. He wrote it! It’s like getting to talk to the author of your favorite book and sharing your favorite lines they wrote or asking questions about parts you didn’t understand! This especially happens to me when praying in the book of Psalms. It’s the only book that’s specifically written to be prayed back to God. If I want to worship and proclaim the goodness of God, then I use Psalm 146. If I need to repent but can’t find the words; Psalm 51. If I am angry; Psalm 109. Getting ready to have a difficult conversation or heading to a meeting where I want to reflect Christ well? Psalm 19:14.  

Finally, praying scripture has helped me write God’s words in my heart. When I pray scripture often, I find myself memorizing it. We are called to, “pray without ceasing.” When I have scripture memorized I can pray it throughout the day. When God’s word is written on my heart and flowing on my tongue throughout the day, prayer has become the steering wheel in my life, not the spare tire that I keep in the trunk in case of an emergency. When Prayer is the steering wheel, I’m in a constant relationship with my Father.  

Now, please don’t think for a second that this comes easily or consistently! I am consistently inconsistent. I wish that weren’t true, but it is. It’s true for most of us, right? Here’s what I know; my relationship with the Father is richer for this practice, my prayer life is richer for this practice, and I have found myself better able to see how God is working and answering prayer through this practice. Even when I’m consistently inconsistent He is the steering wheel that keeps my paths straight.  

If you are anything like me, when I read about something new and hear lots of ideas, I get overwhelmed with the thought of implementing the whole thing. Can I encourage you? Which part of this resonated in your heart? Start there! You’ll hear lots of other ideas through this series. Just start with what resonates and God will do the rest. 


Sunday Services at 7:45am; 9:15am; 10:45am
In-Person and Online

Plainfield Christian Church

800 Dan Jones Rd | Plainfield, Indiana 46168