I just finished listening to a message on praying with Scripture. It was very good and laid out a simple structure:
Read a passage of Scripture. Have a reading plan so you always know what to read each day.
Think about the passage, asking what the passage tells you about God, what it tells you about yourself, and what it tells you about the gospel. You might answer these questions and write down any other thoughts about the Scripture in a journal.
Pray about the subjects the Spirit leads you to pray about from the passage, such as sins to confess, things to be thankful for, a particular work of God, etc. Pray for yourself, your family, your church, the world, etc.
Two benefits of using Scripture as a resource for our prayers are:
–It makes our prayers more fruitful. It shows us the will of the Lord and allows us to pray in faith that God will do what we are asking. The Spirit works together with the word to guide our prayers.
–It enables God to use His word to change our lives for His glory.
I personally have benefited from this type of prayer. So often I struggle to know what to pray about, but when I meditate on Scripture I am able to pray boldly, all the while growing closer in my relationship with the Lord and gaining wisdom in how to pray for myself, my family, my church and other situations.
“In all your settled meditation begin with reading or hearing (Scripture). Go on with meditation. End in prayer. For as Mr Greenharn saith well, “Reading without meditation is unfruitful; meditation without reading is hurtful; to meditate and to read without prayer upon both is without blessing.” If you do read and not meditate then you will want (lack) good affections. If you do meditate and not read or hear you will want good judgment and be apt to fall into some ill opinions. If you do read or hear or meditate and not pray you will want the blessing of the Lord upon both. Read or hear first, then meditate, and then pray upon both.” The Works of the Rev. William Bridge … Now First Collected … By William Bridge
“Before this time my practice had been, at least for ten years previously, as an habitual thing to give myself to prayer, after having dressed myself in the morning. Now, I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the word of God, and to meditation on it, that thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed; and that thus, by means of the word of God, whilst meditating on it, my heart might be brought into experimental communion with the Lord.” Read the rest of this section of George Mueller’s autobiography here: George Mueller on Morning Devotions