Scripture to Pray When You Don’t Have the Words

When you don’t have the words to pray, God does. Scripture can help us.

Have you been so frustrated facing problem after problem (after problem) that you couldn’t find words to cry out to God? I have.

Has an illness snuffed out the fire of your faith, and prayer seems a vain attempt to be heard? I know that heartache.

Or do you speak the same prayer every day, and you’re stuck on rewind, pray, repeat? You’re bored with it, and you wonder if God is too. I’ve been in this place also.

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, I want to encourage you to use the Bible to help. Through my many years as a believer and the ups and downs of life, I’ve found the Bible to be a great resource of powerful prayers that helps me when I’m stuck.

Ancient words penned thousands of years ago will touch your heart and lift you to heaven’s ear. That’s the eternal quality of the Bible and our God. When we pray using Scripture, I believe it unites our hearts with the heart of the authors and the ultimate Author, God Himself.

Using Scripture to pray

God’s Kindness in tough times

When life got me down, I would think, Why am I so frustrated? Why am I struggling for joy and feel so hopeless at the moment? Everything is relative. This problem could be so much worse!

I felt ashamed for not being as strong emotionally and spiritually as I thought I should be.

But I distinctly remember the Lord’s kind response when I asked Him about my “failure.” Rather than agreeing with me and berating me for lack of faith and hope, he replied, “It wouldn’t be a hard time if you weren’t struggling. That’s part of growing in me. It draws you closer.”

Holy Spirit’s counsel was so simple. Grace-filled. And kind.

I began to see that any struggle I faced– a lack of faith, grief, or discouragement, gave me empathy for others. I could minister with the same kindness and grace, and comfort, that God had given me. There’s a scripture about that.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:4).

I love this verse. We can learn a lot in this promise.

God’s Comfort: Word Study

When I think of comfort, I think of someone agreeing with me, rubbing my back, giving me a hug, and validating my emotions. But let’s look at the Greek word in the God of comfort. The word is Paraklesis. Here’s the definition according to my Key Word Bible. 

Paraklesis: The act of exhortation, encouragement, comfort. All of Scripture is actually a paraklesis, as an exhortation, admonition, or encouragement for the purpose of strengthening and establishing the believer in his faith . . .  (Key-Word Study Bible NIV).

Read it again.

I am so excited about this! (Of course, I am a word nerd.) Paraklesis is so much more than somebody rubbing my back and validating my emotions. Paraklesis encourages, exhorts, strengthens! God is the God of encouragement through His word!

This definition is annotated; it has commentary. I love the explanation. According to this commentary, the Bible is our paraklesis. 

Scripture Can Comfort and Encourage Us

I’m so quick to pick up the phone and call a sympathetic friend, but my first line of defensive and comfort needs to be Scripture. Holy Spirit’s comfort. Wisdom. Truth that sets us free. Promises that give us hope.

I’m praying that the Bite of Bread reading plan will bring such comfort and hope to you as you incorporate these verses into your prayers.

bible reading plan

Bite of Bread Reading Plan (Scriptures, Journal lines, and Prayers)

This week I’ve turned these verses into prayers. I want to encourage you to make these verses your prayers. You may want to use mine, but putting your needs and heart cry in them will be even better.

Psalm 121: 1-2

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Prayer: “Lord, I give up! I look up. I look to you. You are my help. Please help me trust you, Elohim, the maker of heaven and earth. You created good out of a formless, dark void. Here’s my mess. Shine your light and separate the light from the darkness. Amen”

(We studied using the names of God in prayer. Elohim was one of them. Here’s the video teaching on using the name Elohim in prayer.)

Psalm 116:1-2

I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.

Prayer: “Lord, Yaweh, I love you. Help me love you more each day. I know you hear me. Don’t let me become discouraged in prayer. Have mercy on me and this situation. I need your hand, your help. Thank you LORD, the covenant God. Amen.”

Luke 18:38-39

Jesus of Nazareth is passing by, they told him. So he called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who led the way admonished him to be silent, but he cried out all the louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me.”

How to pray: “Mercy” comes from the Greek word “eleos” which means merciful compassion that heals, restores, and helps. Cry out for Jesus to have eleos on you or a loved one who needs his healing mercy. Specifically use this word in your prayer. I love using the ancient words. Don’t worry about pronunciation.

Get the Printable with lines to journal your own prayers!

Psalm 119: 49-50

Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.

Prayer: “Oh Lord, thank you for your word. The Bible gives me hope. Lord, comfort me in my suffering. Lead me to the promises in Scripture that will comfort me, and give me hope to hold onto during this hard time. ”

(I love Psalm 30:5- joy comes in the morning!)

Psalm 120: 1-2

I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me. Save me, Lord, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues.

Prayer: “Oh Lord, I’ve been slandered. My name and reputation have taken a blow, but Lord, I know you will save me. Lord, heal my wounded pride. Guard my lips and my desire to set the record straight. Help me speak life, and grant me your favor.”

Psalm 115:1

Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.

Prayer: “Dear Lord, I pray you will be glorified in this problem. Let people see your love and faithfulness to me.”

Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Prayer: “Oh Lord, I know that even in these hard things in my life, you work it out for good. Work ________________ out for good Lord! Help me love you more and live with eternal purpose.”

Get the Printable with these verses and lines to journal your own prayers.

Worship in Prayer

As I climbed in bed one night after a series of set backs and discouragement that day, I grabbed my Bible on the nightstand. I asked the Lord to speak to me through His Word, and this is what I opened to:

Though the fig tree does not bud and no fruit is on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though the sheep are cut off from the fold and no cattle are in the stalls, yet I will exult in the LORD; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!…Habakuk 3:17

Habakkuk 3:17

I love when God does that. His word comforted me and reminded me to worship him through this hard time. I went to sleep in peace. Our circumstances hadn’t changed, in fact, they would get worse! But God had given me my strength. He’d given me the verse to hang onto, and I turned it into a prayer: “I worship you God, no matter what. You’ve got this. You are good. Amen.”

Midweek Encouragement

Every week a whole bunch of us jump on-line and gather together via Facebook to pray, laugh, dig into God’s word, and be encouraged. Just friend or follow me on Facebook and join me at 7:30 PM ET. The videos can also be found on You Tube, if you need to watch at a later time.

I’m praying for you! I’m praying you experience the breath of God as you incorporate His words into your prayers. Don’t forget the printable! 

Digging Deep in Prayer,


FacebookLive Bible study

P.S. If you found this post encouraging, and you don’t want to miss any Bite of Bread reading plans and posts, subscribe today! You’ll receive a 22-Day Devotion on Psalm 119 called Finding the Beauty {Full} in God’s Word.Just click here for simple Bible reading plans to live fully. 🙂 

1 Comment

  1. […] a tool to help you go deeper and live a fuller, healthier spiritual life. I’ve made a Printable with Prompts and Questions. Every week I make printables with all of the verses for the BoB and extra thoughts and questions […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *