How to Pray the Psalms

The Abide Bible offers five Scripture Engagement practices that are designed to help you slow down and draw you into a deeper relationship with the Word of God. Every day, the Abide Bible helps you approach Scripture with the goal of having a thriving, living relationship with Christ.

One of the Scripture Engagement practices found in the Abide Bible is Praying Scripture.

What Does Praying Scripture Mean?

Are you ever unsure about what you should pray? Do your prayers become dull or repetitive? Do you feel like you’re praying “wrong”? Your confidence in your prayers will be strengthened when you pray God’s words. Praying the Scriptures allows you to use the words and emotions of the Bible to gain more confidence in your own prayers.

Not only can the prayers of the Bible be prayed, any part of the Bible can be used to communicate with God. As you read the Bible (stories, history, poems, parables, etc.) in the presence of God and pay attention to the Spirit, you will identify with passages that relate to your life, the world, and people you know. Over time, it will become natural to immediately turn these thoughts into prayer. Out of the thoughts you have as you read, you turn to God in worship, confession, thanksgiving, and petition for yourself and others. Your Bible reading becomes a conversation with God, a cycle of reading and prayer.

Tips for Praying the Scripture

  • Select a passage that is meaningful to you and that you feel speaks truth into your life. A psalm is a great place to start this practice (e.g., if you want to pray a prayer of praise to God, try Psalm 100).
  • Take a moment to ask God to bless your time in Scripture, to keep you focused, and to help you pray His Word.
  • Start reading through your passage slowly, meditating on each word and verse.
  • As you finish a sentence or a verse, stop and turn your thoughts into a prayer. Bring the ideas or truths of the passage into a conversation with God.
  • Use the words of the Bible to guide prayers of worship, confession, thanksgiving, and petition for yourself and others.

Praying the Psalms

The following Praying Scripture prompt is taken directly from the Abide Bible:

Psalm 4:1-8, NET

When I call out, answer me,
O God who vindicates me.
Though I am hemmed in, you will lead me into a wide, open place.
Have mercy on me and respond to my prayer.
You men, how long will you try to turn my honor into shame?
How long will you love what is worthless
and search for what is deceptive? (Selah)
Realize that the Lord shows the godly special favor;
the Lord responds when I cry out to him.
Tremble with fear and do not sin.
Meditate as you lie in bed, and repent of your ways. (Selah)
Offer the prescribed sacrifices
and trust in the Lord.
Many say, “Who can show us anything good?”
Smile upon us, Lord!
You make me happier
than those who have abundant grain and wine.
I will lie down and sleep peacefully,
for you, Lord, make me safe and secure.

In this Psalm, David called readers away from idolatry and sin and pointed them to trust in God. He said that those who follow idols “love what is worthless.” Therefore to trust in God is to walk in truth.

As you pray through the psalm, ask God to reveal any subtle forms of idolatry in your life. Consider whether your ultimate dependence is on God or on something else. This trust, said David, leads us to inner rest and safety. Thank the Lord that He knows what is in your heart. After talking with the Lord, acknowledge your need for Him now and every day.


Content in this article taken from the NET Abide Bible.

Do you yearn for life-giving, intimate communion with God? The Abide Bible is designed to help you experience the peace, hope, and growth that come from encountering the voice and presence of God in Scripture. Every feature in Abide is designed to teach and develop Scripture-engagement habits that help you know the power and spiritual nourishment of abiding in Christ.

Created in partnership with Bible Gateway and the Taylor University Center for Scripture Engagement, The Abide Bible’s features include book introductions and practical Scripture-engagement prompts based on five ways of interacting deeply with the Bible.


Shop now to start your year off deeply engaging with the Word of God.


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