As I describe here, my prayer life used to be pitiful. My prayers where repetitive, virtually meaningless and unguided ramblings that God would “be with” someone (whatever that means). It wasn’t until I heard a sermon on using the Bible to guide our prayers that I was able to significantly change the way I pray.
In this sermon, the pastor argued that we should use a passage of scripture to guide our prayers. For example, rather than praying that God would “be with Martha”, I could pray that God would “help Martha ‘comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge’” (taken from Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:18-19). Using the Bible as a guide for prayer has numerous benefits:
- It allows me to avoid generic, repetitive, shallow, virtually meaningless phrases like “be with …” and “work in his/her life”
- It makes every day/week different because the Bible passage and the people you are praying for are constantly changing
- It allows me to be confident that I am praying according to God’s will
- It makes prayer a rich experience where you can learn more about God while praying
- Using the Bible means that God communicates, through His word, to you and you communicate, through prayer, to Him
- It allows you to worship God while praying (Yes, worshiping God is part of prayer)
If you do not use the Bible to guide your prayers, I would encourage you to start doing it. There is a prayer plan (like a Bible-reading plan) to help you setup a schedule to make faithful, powerful prayer a habit. Specifically, there are some Bible passages to help guide your prayers here.