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Becoming a Woman Who Genuinely Loves to Pray

By: Bethany Baird

I walked out to the front of the church parking lot, found a nice bench to sit on, and opened up my Bible to the book of Psalms.

This is going to be a long ten minutes, I thought to myself.

I was attending a conference on prayer, and the speaker challenged us to be alone for ten minutes to pray. He challenged us to use a certain passage from the book of Psalms to guide our prayers, encouraging us that praying through Scripture was an incredible way to deepen and enhance our prayer lives.

I wasn’t so sure.

I was convinced that reading through Scripture for ten straight minutes would feel like an eternity. Despite my feelings of hesitation, I opened my Bible and started praying. And praying and praying and praying. To my surprise, the passages guided my prayers so perfectly and brought up truths, promises, and ideas that I never would have thought to pray on my own.

After what felt like ten minutes, I wandered back into the church feeling energized, refreshed, and totally in love with the idea of praying through Scripture. When I walked into the conference, something didn’t seem right. The one-hour session following the ten-minute prayer break was coming to a close.

My sister looked at me and asked, “Where have you been all this time? You missed the entire session.”

To my utter shock, I had just spent an entire hour praying.

I didn’t enter a time warp but had discovered a powerful way to pray that I didn’t want to rush away from. I was amazed and excited. Praying through passages in the Bible became a new love and habit of mine starting that day.

Today, I want to challenge you to this very same idea of praying through Scripture.

Here’s what I want you to do: Use the passage I’ve listed below, and pray through it. If you aren’t exactly sure how to pray through Scripture, I encourage you to check out this post by Mary Kassia from the True Woman blog.

In a nutshell, Mary gives these tips to help us pray through Scripture. She suggests that we:

  1. Read. Read the passage of Scripture slowly.
  2. Reflect. Think about how to personalize the text and apply it to your own life.
  3. Resonate. Respond to/agree with the passage by praying it back to God.
  4. Receive. Prayer is a conversation with God. A conversation is a two-way process. So it’s helpful to take a moment to listen to what the Lord is saying back to you.

Let’s try it!

Take ten minutes to apply those four tips and pray through Psalm 23. Work through the passage slowly, utilizing the whole ten minutes (or hour like I did!). Here it is, verse by verse.

  • The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want (v. 1).
  • He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters (v. 2).
  • He restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake (v. 3).
  • Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me (v. 4).
  • You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows (v. 5).
  • Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever (v. 6).

I’d love to hear about your experience praying through this passage.

  • Did you enjoy using Scripture as a guide for prayer?
  • Did anything new stand out to you?
  • In what ways were you reminded of truth as you prayed through Psalm 23?

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Radical Purity
  • Such a wonderful post!!! and. beautiful beautiful reminder!! I know for a shameful fact that my prayer life has been lousy lately, but praying just now was almost surreal. I felt like even though i haven’t been talking to Him as i should, i could still approach Him. And sometimes it is hard to know what to say..But this helped me so much!. thank you SO much for post:))

  • Rachel M.

    This is such a true post Bethany! Recently I have been trying to pray Scripture because my prayer life is not that strong. Thanks for this reminder!

  • Althea

    I was just thinking about praying more to God in my life! Thank you for this blog.

  • Brianne

    Thank you so much for this amazing post!! I have been praying through scripture and didn’t even realize it haha. But this is so encouraging and I really needed this right now <3

  • Lilly Shyree

    Thank you for this awesome post!!! I look forward to reading more posts! My friend told me about Girl Defined and I am glad I looked y’all up!!

  • Mishala

    I am so glad I saw this post this morning. I always had a problem reading my bible, but I think I am going to start using this advice <3

    • <3 So glad you read it and found it helpful! – Bethany

  • Thanks for this post! I love praying through sections of Psalm 119. It helps even more when it’s memorized! Or when I sin, praying through Psalm 51.

    I don’t entirely agree with you that PRAYER is a two-way conversation, but I know what you mean. Since Scripture is God’s chosen way of revealing Himself to us, I think that prayer (us talking to God) is a one-sided conversation. With that said, as you pray, especially when you’re praying through the Scriptures, God often brings Scripture to mind–which MAKES it a two-way conversation! Which is so wonderful!

    For example, I may pray something like, “Lord, I am so tired of sinning. Please remove my sin from me!” And then Philippians 1:6 may come to mind, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Which is why I believe that Scripture memory is so critical to my walk as a Christian. Having Scripture “hidden in my heart” enriches my prayer time and increases the level of joy that I find in Christ.

    Thanks for this post! It addresses such an important issue that is often neglected!

    • Reigha Sunshine

      Do you believe that the Holy Spirit can speak to us outside of scripture as long as it lines up with Scripture? Do you believe that the Holy Spirit can lead you with a nudge or a whisper outside of strict scripture? I am genuinely curious as to what you believe, because I have a friend who kind of believes the same thing because of her denomination (reformed), but couldn’t explain why herself. I’d love to hear your opinion on the subject as a fellow Sister in Christ. :)

  • Kara

    What an awesome post. Thanks Bethany!

  • Reigha Sunshine

    I love getting alone and talking with God and this sounds like a good way to start off our time. :)

  • Bre’Shayla Brooks

    Beautiful post! This is really an eye opener. Praying Scripture is so amazing and very refreshing. When we pray Scripture we are praying God’s Word back to Him. God’s Word does not return to Him void. And I think it is so beautiful how you were so captivated in praying! God bless you.

  • Celtic Princess

    Thank you so much for this post! This is something I struggle with a lot, especially with how busy my life is these days, and how hard it can be to drop all of the week’s busyness and get my heart to a state of prayer. I’m going to print the list in this post out and stick it in my Bible as a bookmark!


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