Do you struggle with a consistent prayer life? It always seems like prayer is the first thing to go when we get busy or wrapped up in our everyday tasks or to-dos. Why? If we are truly filled with the Holy Spirit like Romans 8:15 tells us — then shouldn’t we have this undying desire to talk to Him. While the Spirit is pushing one side of our souls to pray and talk to Christ and cry out to Him, there’s another side pushing against it because (for me anyways) prayer can be mundane or boring. We tend to pray the same words or phrases over and over again, or we get distracted and our mind wanders to others things that need to get done for the day. The devil will use that feeling of ‘why bother’ mentality to keep you from crying out to your Father in prayer. So, what’s the solution? I’m so glad you asked.
I’m not claiming to have answers and solutions to all your problems and struggles but I do have a suggestion. Pray the Bible. Simple enough, right? Let’s start simpler, pray the Psalms. The Psalms are designed to be prayed, sung, and told back to Christ. You are taking the words that originated in the heart and mind of God and circulating them through your heart and mind back to God your Father. Go through a Psalm or a passage line by line and pray what comes to mind. Let me defend that biblically, what does scripture tell us to pray about? Phil. 4:16 tells us “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” So everything, right? Every person, every fear, every circumstance, every relationship, every situation — everything you could think of or be going through can be brought before the Lord in prayer.
(I would like to insert a disclaimer here so I’m not misinforming or misleading anyone, this method of prayer is not saying it’s ok to make the Word of God say what you want it to say. The text of the Bible means what God inspired it to mean, not “what it means to me.” I have enough confidence in the the Word and the Holy Spirit that if you choose to pray this way, your prayers will be far more biblical than if you just make up your own prayers.)
I introduced this method of prayer into my prayer life a couples months ago and it has encouraged me so much. I walk away from my prayer time feeling accomplished and refreshed. John Piper made a statement — “For me it is absolutely essential that my prayers be guided by, saturated by, and sustained and controlled by the Word of God.” I agree with him, this has also become an essential part of prayer for me.
I want to leave you with a few resources that could spark this type of prayer life if you happen to struggle with prayer like I do. First there’s a book called “Praying the Bible” by Donald S. Whitney. This book is what introduced me to this idea and method. The book takes you step by step in how and why it’s important to use the Bible in your prayer life. Second, I encourage you to get a Psalms scripture journal that you can read through and write down prayers or thoughts during your prayer time. This helps keep me engaged and also allows me to go back and reflect on answered prayers or how the Lord might have intervened.
I have attached the links for the book and scripture journal that I use for your convenience!