Praying the Bible

Taking a detour from writing from The Essentials of Effective Prayer, today I wanted to share a talk from Don Whitney about praying directly from the Bible. In my struggle to develop a more robust prayer life, I’ve read several books on prayer, read many articles, and heard many sermons about it. All of it has been helpful to some extent, but I think that Mr. Whitney has found something that may keep our prayers from falling into stale repetitions. It is simply using the Bible to fuel our prayers, and not just the prayers of the Bible but rather all of God’s Word.

These are two of the talks that I found about praying the Bible (please note: Part 1 cuts off abruptly but you’ll have gotten the gist of the message long before the end):

Praying the Bible (Part 1)

Praying the Bible (Part 2)

A Practical Help

The part of the first talk that cuts off is where Mr. Whitney is explaining practically how you might use the Psalms to pray the Bible. The instructions including choosing from five Psalms in which you will pray through (either partially or in total – doesn’t have to be the whole Psalm). The method prevents spending too much time deciding what Psalm to use, while also providing some variety.

The way you choose the five Psalms is by taking the day of the month, beginning with the Psalm that corresponds to the day of the month, then adding 30 to that number four times to get the remaining Psalms that will be your choices for the day.


Today is the 24th day of the month, so I’ll start with Psalm 24, and after adding 30 to that number I’ll get Psalm 54; adding another 30 I get Psalm 84; then Psalm 114 and Psalm 144. Choose from any of those Psalms to pray. On months with 31 days, the 5th choice would yield the number 151 — since there is only 150 Psalms, use Psalm 119 as the 5th Psalm choice again. Psalm 119 is a great choice to use often as it’s quite long so there is much to fuel our prayer there and it is such an important Scripture about esteeming the Word of God.

There’s an app for that!

There’s an app called Five Psalms developed by Bryant Huang, a graduate of the Master’s Seminary in California, that will do the Psalm selections for you and even includes the text (ESV). The app is available freely on either the Android or iOS plaforms. The app includes changing Day 31 to choose a random Psalm instead of always Psalm 119 as well as the ability to add on the Proverb that corresponds to the day of the month into your choices. I’ll add this app to my Resources page.


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