My prayer life is constantly expanding and evolving. Early in my faith walk I was praying from my heart and CRYING OUT TO GOD in pain and praise. Crying out to God for strength to conquer my oppressive fear. Crying out to God for clarity and purpose in my life. And that is exactly what God wants us to do with and through our prayers to him. That was the FIRST PHASE of my prayer life.
Later in my faith journey I deepened my prayer focus by building on my spontaneous and heartfelt cries for God. My goal was to connect with him in deeper ways that led to SPIRITUAL GROWTH. To establish a deeper dimension than crying out to God and presenting my wants and needs. To allow my prayer life to evolve naturally and bring me closer to Jesus.
That second phase pumped energy and life into my faith walk and led to significant spiritual growth. The third phase of my evolving prayer life came when I began praying the WORD OF GOD.
Praying scripture is yet another deeper dimension of prayer that creates a new way to PRAISE GOD. It makes sense. We should MARINATE in God’s Word so what we learn from it can be expressed through our prayers.
To incorporate praying the Word of God into my faith walk, I started in Psalms—the prayer book of the Bible because I knew Jesus used it as a prayer on the cross when he exclaimed: (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Psalm 22:1).
Here are the steps I took to incorporate praying the Word of God into my faith walk:
Know what the verse says and means before turning it into a prayer.
Personalize the verse to your situation but do not change its meaning.
Search the verse for God’s nudge toward your repentant SURRENDER.
Find some part of the verse that creates an opportunity to PRAISE God.
Shift your focus from SELF to SAVIOR by considering what the prayer has to do with or say about Jesus and our call to live a Christ-like life.
Consider what the verse prompts you to ASK God about in prayer.