The Bible is the most important book in the life of a Christian. It is where we find God and through Him, eternal life. We believe that prayer is very important. It is how we communicate with God. It is through prayer that we repent of our sins, praise who He is, and approach Him with our needs.

What if we faithfully used prayer and Scripture together? How would our lives be different if we used the two offensive weapons we have against the schemes of the enemy every day (Ephesians 6:17-18)? In his book God’s Prayer Book: The Power and Pleasure of Praying the Psalms, Ben Patterson describes a technique for praying through Scripture that we can use with any passage of God’s Word.

Patterson explains the three uses of Scripture: rejoicing, repenting, and requesting.

When you read a verse or passage, answer these questions:

  1. How can I rejoice (or give thanks or praise God) because of what this passage says?
  2. Do these verses reveal any sin in my own life that I need to repent of?
  3. What request can I make in light of this passage?

Let’s use our SOAP verse for today as an example:

May my words and my thoughts

Be acceptable in your sight,

O Lord, my sheltering rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 19:14

Using the above verse let’s answer the above questions.

  1. How can I rejoice (or give thanks or praise God) because of what this passage says?

I am thankful and can praise God for the fact that He is my rock. He is reliable and steadfast. I might change, but He never does. I can praise Him for being my Redeemer. He saved me even though He didn’t have to.

  1. Do these verses reveal any sin in my own life that I need to repent of?

My words, and the tone in which I say them, are not always acceptable in God’s sight and for that I repentant. I also need to repent of the fact that what my heart dwells on is not always pure, right, lovely, or beneficial (Philippians 4:8).

  1. What request can I make to God in light of this passage?

My request is that God would help me be more controlled with the words I use and what I to dwell on. Luke 6:45 says that my mouth speaks out of the overflow of what is in my heart and I pray that God would work in my heart to make it more like Him.

After these questions have been answered, either in your head or written down, we can put them together into an actual prayer.

Praying through verses or passages of scripture allows us to make sure that our prayers are shaped by God’s Word. It helps make our prayers centered around God instead of ourselves. It is easy to get into the habit of asking for things from God instead of spending time repenting and praising Him for who He is and what He does.

Quick warning: Sometimes we can’t pray though only one verse. If you are reading a passage about King David you will probably have to read a lot more than one verse in order to get the meaning of the passage. We’ve seen this in the last few weeks as we’ve looked at how to properly observe and interpret passages. We want to make sure we are not taking God’s word out of context. Praying through Scripture is a step of application, meant to follow after our careful study of a passage.

I hope that praying the Scriptures deepens not only your prayer life but also your love for God’s Word.

Looking to Jesus,

Week 6 Challenge: Since we know and believe that God’s Word is living and active and changes our hearts and lives, how should we approach it? How can you apply what you have learned in this study long term? How will you approach Scripture differently this year?

Reading Plan

Memory Verse

Jen Thorn

Jen Thorn

Jen Thorn grew up in Germany and then spent her teenage years in Africa, where her parents were missionaries. She moved to the United States for college and attended Moody Bible Institute in Chicago where she met her husband. They have been married for twenty-two years and have four children. Jen lives in the suburbs of Chicago, where her husband is the pastor of Redeemer Fellowship. Jen is passionate about theology and the connection to daily living.

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