My Morning Devotions

This is the prayer I found this morning in my devotional for April 19th.  I thought it was particularly appropriate for this week.  I found myself praying it through several times.

O Lord, our Heavenly Father, who orderest all things for our eternal good, mercifully enlighten our minds, and give us a firm and abiding trust in Thy love and care.  Silence our murmurings, quiet our fears, and dispel our doubts, that rising above our afflictions and our anxieties, may we rest on Thee, the Rock of everlasting strength.
New Church Book of Worship

As modern evangelicals, we don’t often use scripted prayers.  I know I used to feel like they made prayer not as personal or not as valid.  Or something like that.  I felt that when I pray, I should always rely on my own words, since prayer, is, after all, a conversation with God.

But I have found it extremely helpful in recent years to use a Psalm or prayer written by others who are far more eloquent and perhaps devoted than I.  They are not the entirety of my prayer time, but they serve as a “jumping-off point” and give me some guidance and direction as well as a little shot of theology in my morning conversations with God.  I believe there is definitely a place for both kinds of prayer.

I found this post this morning, when I googled “scripted prayers helpful” just to see what others might have to say.  I am in not necessarily endorsing this blog, for I have read nothing but this one post.  But I thought he explained my thoughts and feelings on this subject better than I seem to be doing.  Especially this line:

Although the prayers of others sometimes help me to best express the contents of my heart to God, there are other times when nothing can come close to my own thoughts and words.

What do you think?  Do you ever use scripted prayers in your talks with God?

Join The Conversation

8 Responses

  1. Yes, exactly! That’s what I found myself doing, reading it verbatim the first time, and then going back a couple of times and using each phrase to “jump off” into my own thoughts and feelings. That’s what I didn’t “get” about using scripted prayers in the past. I thought it was just reciting the words, but then I had someone model praying through a psalm once, and as you say, making it your own. I had never seen or heard of that before, and since then, I’ve found it really helpful to use scripture and pre-written prayers in that way. Thanks for helping me clarify that!

    And thanks for the book recommendation. That sounds like a good read, I’ll check it out.

  2. This was great. I do use scripted prayers a lot because right before I read my Bible I’ll say a prayer and then afterward, that I will retain it and I try to apply the verse to my prayer. It helps me get one more thing out of it, in a way. If I worded that right? But I do talk with God like he’s right here next to me (because He is) and I know to my kids or other people it looks like I am talking to myself… anyone relate?


  3. I have used both…like you, I think scripted prayers give us a “jumping off” point. But I think it’s important that we really make them our own, instead of just recite the words…that’s the danger of totally relying on a prayer written by someone else.

    Don’t know if you’re familiar with it, but Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore is a great resource for praying Scripture for yourself in all types of situations. You should pick it up if you don’t have it.

  4. I use scripted prayer a lot (I’m Catholic) but have long felt that it was a tool to draw me into deeper meditation; to really clear my mind and allow my innermost thoughts and feelings to come to the surface in my conversations with God. There are lots of ways to deepen our prayer life, and scripted prayer is just one of many tools God has blessed us with in our efforts to get closer to Him.

  5. I tried to post this 4 times…so I hope it doesn’t come up 4 times…

    I like to use God’s Word to pray. When I’m praying about something specific, I see what He’s already said about that situation and then pray that scripture. (ie: peace–John 14:27) I like scripted prayers because it makes you really think about every word you’re saying. I’d just want to know who actually scripted the prayer in the first place! 😉

  6. Growing up Pentecostal…it was silently inferred that scripted prayers were deficient.

    Within the last five years, I have begun using Scripture to pray…(insert name in promises, assurances) making it a prayer. Beth Moore’s fabulous book, Praying God’s Word, was the impetus for my new…favorite….way to pray!

    As a matter of fact…I have come to believe that scripted prayers are far superior to the endless ramblings…of a non-focused prayer pursuit! When I don’t have to try to put the words together…somehow my heart can more easily connect to what I have chosen. I don’t know why it works….it just does.

    As a side effect…..praying Scripture helps me memorize Scripture….hiding God’s Word in my heart! And of course, when I really don’t know how to pray…the Spirit leads!

    Great discussion.


  7. I have found scripted prayers can get me going when I don’t feel like praying, or am a little down and the effort of thinking of what to say feels like too much. I don’t feel like talking to my friends at those times either, but I know those are the days that I really need to talk to God ! I like Stormie Omartin’s Prayers That Change Everything. (They are about praising God.)

    As others have said, the “trick” is to say the words from your heart and not just recite words to fill the space.

  8. The only kind I use are either hymns that are of a deeper nature or preferably the Word of God as it is “God-breathed” (2 Tim 3:16). I find that any verse in the Bible is worthy of praying over, praying with and useful for touching God as a real person. I love to pray the verses deeply.

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