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Praying the Scriptures


Many Christians experience a season of life where the Scriptures just aren’t “coming to life” like they used to. We acknowledge that the Bible is God’s word, that it is life-giving, and that it strengthens and encourages us. But sometimes we just don’t feel it like we want to.

One of the best things we can do when the Scriptures seem dull or flat is pray them back to God. Making God’s word our words can bring back the vitality we once experienced in reading and studying the Bible. When we think of praying the Scriptures, we often think we need to go to the Psalms. But the Bible is full of prayers, and with a little creativity, you can turn almost any passage into a prayer. For example, let’s pray Colossians 3:5 back to God. Here’s the verse:

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.

You can pray this back to God like this: “Father, I put to death the sexual immorality that infests my body, my heart, and my mind. But I don’t simply put it to death, I crucify it. I place it upon the shoulders of your Son, my Lord.” You can say this prayer with everything in the list – impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed. Then, if you read a bit further, you’ll find a second list of other things that need to be put to death: anger, rage, magic, slander, lies, and division. We can confess all of these things and put them to death on the cross of Christ as we read and pray these Scriptures back to God.

Reading the Scriptures this way not only brings vitality back into our devotional times, but also into our relationship with God. Praying his words back to him is how we can experience holy communion with our Creator.

One thought on “Praying the Scriptures

  1. Bill K says:

    I just read about a similar practice in Tim Keller’s book entitled Prayer. It is a great way to “eat” the Word!

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