I don’t know about you, but I often find it easier to pray for others than it is to pray for myself. I’ll be in conversation with a friend and they’ll share about an issue with their kid or a sick relative, and I don’t have a problem storming the gates of heaven to ask God to intervene. And yet, when it comes to praying for me, I find myself coming up short, unsure of what to say.
And yet I have found that the Psalms have been such a helpful guide when my words fall short. This is why the SOAP method is so important and why meditating on Scripture is so critical to the life of a believer. When we hide God’s Word in our hearts, it becomes our guide when the path becomes unclear. It shows us the way, gives us the words, and lights our path.
I love how David doesn’t shy away from making big requests from God in the Psalms. We see him ask for shelter, for justice, for God to take care of his enemies. We see him ask for forgiveness, salvation, safety, provision, and health. The book of Psalms leaves no request unasked, and not only that, but we see raw emotion expressed—joy, sorrow, anger, despair, hope, etc.
And so, like the writers of the book of Psalms, we too must approach the throne of God boldly. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help.” You see, when we pray for ourselves, we must model what we see laid out for us in Scripture and use it as a guide.
Let’s take today’s SOAP passage and use it to pray for ourselves: Psalm 103:1–5
“Praise the Lᴏʀᴅ, O my soul!
With all that is within me, praise his holy name!
Praise the Lᴏʀᴅ, O my soul!
Do not forget all his kind deeds!
He is the one who forgives all your sins,
who heals all your diseases,
who delivers your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with his loyal love and compassion,
who satisfies your life with good things,
so your youth is renewed like an eagle’s.”
If we use that passage to guide our prayers for ourselves this could be an example of a prayer you could pray:
“God, I praise You, help me to praise You with every ounce of my being. Oh God, You are holy and good, and deserving of my praise. Help me to not forget Your goodness and faithfulness. God, forgive me of my sin and heal my heart from longing for things that Your heart hates. God deliver me from the pit of sin and help me remember that Your Word says that, because I’m a child of God, I never have to earn Your love or compassion. Your love satisfies me more than anything this world has to offer. Father, thank You for saving me and for being a God who hears our cries. Amen.”
It takes some practice, but over the years I’ve found that you can’t go wrong when praying Scripture over yourself and your loved ones. Using Scripture gives me words when life’s heartaches leave me speechless. It keeps my prayers from becoming too self-centered, too earthly-minded, and instead, fixes them on things above. Ultimately, it reminds me of the character of God when I’m too consumed with earthly circumstances.
Our heavenly Father wants to hear from us. So cast your cares upon Him, because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). This week, intentionally set aside time to practice praying for yourself using the passages we’re studying. Ask God to grow your faith, hear your cry, provide healing in the broken areas of your life. Ask Him, and then watch expectantly for how He answers your cries. Because here’s the thing about God’s Word: It never returns void and always accomplishes the Lord’s purpose.
And that’s a promise.
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