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The Secret to Growing in Prayer

By Dan Vis
April 04, 2022
Comments: 63

As you probably know, our featured class this month is called Prayer Secrets. And it's free through the month of April. This week's memo adds right to that theme of prayer. Enjoy the reading, then head right over to the class and sign up if you haven't already!

A Bible and praying hands

Many people find growing in prayer a challenge. And there are plenty of opinions out there about how to improve. In the paragraphs below, I'd like to share one of the things that helped me learn to pray. It's something I call Scriptural Praying.

And I stumbled on to it by accident.

Prayer & Scripture

From the first years of my Christian journey, I felt it was important to connect prayer and Scripture. Memorizing verses like John 15:7If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. and Romans 10:17So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. strengthened that conviction. So I made it a point to attach specific promises to specific requests and claim them.

Later, I began to understand experientially the prayerful state we should be in when studying, and conversely, the need to listen for God speaking back through memorized verses when in prayer. In time, the link between prayer and Scripture became so close it was not always clear how to distinguish between them.

“Prayer and Scripture are so closely connected, it's not always easy to distinguish between them.”

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At some point, the idea occurred to me to use Scripture as a framework for prayer. I would focus my prayer time on the beatitudes in Matthew 5--asking God to build each characteristic into my life. Or I would pray through the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20, asking God to search my heart for pockets of sin I had not seen before. Or I would pray through Ephesians 6, asking God specifically to equip me with each piece of spiritual armor.

It was a simple process. I would find a passage appropriate to my needs and turn to it in my Bible. Then I would go through the passage verse by verse, slowly, simply talking with God about what each verses said. And listening. After a few moments, I'd proceed to the next verse and continue. I could go as fast or as slow as I wanted.

It was always powerful.

Useful Passages

In time, I found many more passages that were useful for this kind of prayer. Psalms of praise. Praying through a string of proverbs--asking God for the wisdom of Solomon. And of course, many of Paul's epistles were filled with amazing statements about God's will for the believers he was writing. And there were plenty of model prayers recorded in Scripture I could pattern my prayers after. Even parables and familiar Bible stories, were easy to take and adapt to situations in my life. The more I looked, the more I found.

FREE Gift!

Want a list of some of my favorite passages for this kind of prayer? Check out this FREE download and get ready for some amazing prayer experiences!

More Info

Incorporating Scripture into my prayer life helped me stay focused. It also strengthened my faith, because I knew my requests were in line with God's will. In fact, they weren't just in harmony with Scripture, they were sparked by Scripture as the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart.

And this practice further deepened my conviction that prayer and Scripture are two sides of the same coin. Communication with God. Intimacy. The divine encounter. They shouldn't be disconnected.

Why not give Scriptural praying a try for your self?


What do you think of the suggestions in this article? Do you use Scripture in your prayers? How has it impacted your prayer life? How important is it to link prayer and Scripture together? Share a thought in the comments below...

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Posted by Dan Vis on 04/07/22
Thank you for your testimony Barbara. The more we mix pray and the Word, the stronger both become. God is good...
Posted by Barbara E. LaRose on 04/07/22
Pastor Dan the suggestion is wonderful. As I started my prayer journal and placed scripture by each persons name to what the need was, I found myself learning even more scripture and the need of knowing these scriptures to share with others as they were going through similar situations. It’s a real faith builder. Prayer really comes to life and you feel so much closer to God.   
Posted by Dan Vis on 04/06/22
I pray you find it a blessing Rhoda! It is a somewhat advanced technique, and it may take a bit of practice to get used to it, but it can be very powerful...
Posted by Rhoda Forbes on 04/06/22
Thank you Pr Dan, this is a new approach to prayer for me, will certainly apply it.
Posted by Dan Vis on 04/05/22
It's a beautiful verse isn't it Terri? We include that in our Basic Training course. But consider trying a longer passage some time and using it as an entire framework for prayer. You could for example try doing that whole chapter, working through it one verse at a time, and spending several minutes on each verse. Looking at it now, it looks like it could be an amazing experience!

Yes! That's the whole point exactly Lana: to "frame our petitions in harmony with the divine design". Not sure where that quote is from, but I love it. And even more the clear reason behind this approach--to bring our prayers into greater harmony with His will. Good post!

Believe it or not Mary, Melody was in one of my very first discipleship teams, back when she was in academy. It's been amazing to see how the Lord has used her! That part about using a passage of Scripture like this to keep our mind focused, and not wandering, is a very important benefit of this approach!
Posted by Mary Nicholas on 04/04/22
Yes, Scriptural praying is awesome- I first learned about it from a presentation by Melody Mason. When you claim God’s promises, they are not returned void. Scriptural praying also keeps my mind focused. My mind tends to wander .
Posted by Lana Rose on 04/04/22
I agree heartily with the thoughts in this reading.
I have been realizing it is by knowing scripture that we can know God's will. I feel it is our duty as Christians "to discover God's will and frame our petitions in harmony with the divine design." (Bible Commentaries on I John 5:14-1514 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.).
Posted by Terri Krovoza on 04/04/22
I have been trying to do that more often in my prayers since hearing about it. I really love Psalms 143:8Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. and pray it as part of my prayer every morning.
Posted by Dan Vis on 04/04/22
You are very welcome Ajai! Be sure to grab the bonus resource.

The nice thing about this approach Cecilia is you are flexible to switch between focusing more on the verses or more on the conversation as you go through the passage. The Scriptures serve as a basis or starting point, but our prayers can range however far we want as the Holy Spirit guides us. All the best in trying this out.
Posted by Cecilia D Jones on 04/04/22
I think this is a wonderful idea! I will give it a try. I always just talk to God, like having a conversation. I only use scripture as a point of that conversation.   For instance when praying for a sick person I might say something about how he healed the sick while he was here and told us we would do those things and greater things.
Posted by Ajai Mathews Joy on 04/04/22
Thank you for this study...
I am encouraged to try scriptural prayer
Posted by Dan Vis on 08/23/20
Sure, happy to share these resources Bert! Think of them as a birthday present, from us to you. :)
Posted by Bert Hopkins on 08/22/20
ThankYou for the special Scripture study note. And ThankYou for this study. Praise God .I was using it in my prayers occasionally but now will be more focused .
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/26/19
You are very welcome Denise! You can certainly add to the list, but it helps to have a few starter passages to, well, get started! :)
Posted by Denise Buglino on 11/25/19
Thank you for sharing the Scriptural Prayer passages (bonus) compilation Dan.
Posted by Dan Vis on 07/04/19
Glad you liked this Jaslyn! :)
Posted by Jaslyn C on 07/04/19
Posted by Dan Vis on 06/13/19
You are very welcome Emmanuel! I think you will enjoy it. Be sure to grab the free gift in the memo above!
Posted by Emmanuel Ajiroghene on 06/13/19
This is just great. I am willing to implement it God's grace. Thanks for sharing sir.
Posted by Dan Vis on 06/12/19
Nehemiah is a powerful book on Leadership. I'm sure there are several passages there you could adapt for this Valerie. Please see my note to Leslie about 6 or 7 comments down from here. It might be helpful.
Posted by Valerie Wise Burrell on 06/12/19
I will add Valerie to my prayers today.
Posted by Valerie Wise Burrell on 06/12/19
Thank you for this. I have also read about and practiced using God's Word in prayer because He cannot deny Himself. He is pleased when we use the Word in our prayers.
I like how you prayerfully read certain books and chapters using them in your prayers. I am reading Nehemiah and will apply this to the reading.
Posted by Dan Vis on 06/12/19
Amen to that John!
Posted by John Gilmore on 06/12/19
Yess! "... two sides of the same coin." The most valuable coin we can possess!
Posted by Dan Vis on 06/11/19
Happy to help, as always. :)
Posted by Leslie Caza on 06/11/19
Dan Thank you for the additional insight and practical application of this method- it's a helpful clarification.
Posted by Dan Vis on 06/11/19
It can be a powerful experience Leslie. I usually do this separate from praying through my prayer journal, which tends to focus more on individual, specific promises. And this approach instead focuses on a long passage and is typically a whole prayer session all by itself. I like to use it on retreats and getaways. But the more we do this with these easy passages, the more we can do this with any verse anywhere. Glad you found this helpful!

Always love to hear people commit to giving something a good try. Thanks for sharing Carole. And please feel free to put a request in our Prayer Chapel (in the Student Lab). It would be great to have our team praying for you.
Posted by Carole Bliss on 06/10/19
Praying back God's Word insures our Lord will bless us. This us in accordance to His will.
I am going to try and remember to implement this in my prayers. Speaking of prayer, may I ask you to pray for my daughter, Valerie, they are testing her for leukemia.
Our God is faithful to us all.
Thank you for the prayers
Posted by Leslie Caza on 06/10/19
Beautiful! On my index cards in my prayer box (my format for my prayer journal) I sometimes write a scripture promise to claim for the prayer request or praise on that card, but have seldom taken praying Scriptute to the level in this Monday Memo. Sounds so intimate with the Lord and I know it will be an extremely valuable help in my time with God.   
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/09/18
Glad this post could give you some ideas for how to experience that Edil! You are very welcome...
Posted by Edil Gordon on 09/07/18
I have always wanted to learn how to pray appealing to God,confirming his promises. as I pray so I am grateful for this experience which I know will make me dig deeper in the bible to find promises that relate to my needs as I make my requests,thank you, I will be helping the ladies in my soup kitchen as we all need help to learn how to reach our heavenly father.
Posted by Dan Vis on 08/27/18
You're welcome Stuart! I think that the approach we covered in the Prayer Secrets class is great for basic daily prayer, but using these passages as described here is like icing on the cake! :)
Posted by Stuart Clarke on 08/27/18
Love it
That is exactly how I'm using my prayer journal now
Thanks for the great class
Posted by Dan Vis on 08/27/18
Those are two of the passages I recommended in the FREE handout above. Both great passages I've used many times Carole. :)
Posted by Carole Bliss on 08/27/18
I am currently reading Ephesians chapter 6, and asking God to put on the Whole Armour of God.
Also, reading 1Corinthians chapter 13, praying over all I need to have His love in my life.

Posted by Dan Vis on 08/27/18
Pam, I was talking about the Prayer Secrets class! You'll notice Vicky's quote was from last year. And I mentioned I was planning to do it in the spring of 2018! :) Well, didn't do it until August, but it's finished at last! We will do Power in Prayer at some point, but not sure when. Most likely 2020, as next year is pretty much all scheduled out... :)

Glad you enjoyed the new handout Marion. I was just thinking about it last night, pulled out my own list of favorites, and added it to the reading. Love giving away little things that I know can be life-changing. This is my all time favorite way to pray--esp when I'm at retreats and getaways. Spend a lot of time planning ahead what passage to use, and then look forward to it with anticipation...
Posted by Marion Coppock on 08/27/18
No, I don't usually use Scripture and Prayer together, occasionally yes. This will be a wonderful tool for me. Thanks. Dan
Posted by Pamela Kendall on 08/27/18
I agree with Vicky Dan as I was reading this I was thinking it would be great to have a month's course on prayer ... so glad you are thinking of a longer challenge/live course on prayer next year - I will look forward to it!

I like this idea of scriptural prayers to... thanks for the free gift!
Posted by Dan Vis on 08/11/17
Vicky, we are planning a challenge on prayer for the spring of 2018. And another on how to study the Bible devotionally. Can't wait!

Thanks for the suggestion! :)
Posted by Vicky Lewis on 08/11/17
Dan It would be great to have a challenge all about prayer.
Posted by Helen De Coteau Grant on 06/05/17
Hi Dan, thank you for this guide on prayer. I recently said to God I feel a need for a deeper way of praying . I started the journey and started with the crash course. I am so excited about what I have learned about hiding Gods word In my heart and now I see how memorising meditating on the word and praying goes together. I am super excited !! God bless you abundantly.
Posted by Shanthi Solomon on 06/01/17
This article affirms what I do sometimes. Now that I have memorised so many verses, I am able to use it more often. Thank you for the clarity provided in His article. I have shared this information with loved ones.
Posted by Robyn Pearl Hattingh on 05/01/17
Wow!this is amazing.praise the Lord.pray for me as I follow this way of connecting prayer and scripture!thank you again Dan!
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/07/16
Happy to pass this on Linda. Let me know how it works for you!
Posted by Linda Gerace on 11/05/16
I hadn't considered before praying like this. Thank you for sharing this idea... I want to incorporate it into my devotional life.
Posted by Lillian E. Cepeda on 11/03/16
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/03/16
Thanks Shirley for sharing those ideas. Lillian, Vonda, so glad this content could be a blessing. Truly God's Word is powerful, and it does bring Jesus close!!!
Posted by Vonda Beerman on 11/03/16
I am glad you are sharing this with people because this is what has really strengthen my faith over the last few years. Taking God at His Word, literally. Each verse is meant for you and as we claim it and pray it our faith strengthens. Looking at each word slowly and absorbing it, and letting it soak in is important. Jeremiah 15:16Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts. says to eat it! Your right when you say scripture and prayer are like both sides of the coin, they go together and since I have been doing this it has brought Jesus so close!
Posted by Lillian E. Cepeda on 11/02/16
This post is very encouraging to me. I need to learn to pray scriptural prayers more. The Word of God is so Powerful, and why not use it more often.

Thanks again, Dan. I am copying and printing your message to share it with my neighbors.
Posted by Shirley Alsop on 11/01/16
Hi again Jason Diehl, If you are able to download sermons and listen, here's a link to the devotional speaker's talks from our last Camp in South New South Wales, Australia:
As we chatted with Ben just before he left after camp, his last bit of advice was to "Live Dead" (Galatians 2:20I am crucified with Christ: neverthless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.), and "Keep Dusty" (in Jewish culture, a disciple following his Rabbi would stay so close to his Rabbi so he could listen to every word spoken, that he would be covered with dust from the Rabbi's feet!) Hope you will be as blessed as I have been!

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