How to Pray Inspired Prayers

Many of the Psalms were originally written as prayers, and when we read them as prayers, we discover that they draw us into God's presence. One lady says each week she selects a Psalm and then daily takes a few moments to pray through it. She tries to live with it, returning to it each day, praying it as if it were her own prayer-whispering its pleas for help or joining in its praise and worship. Slowly the Psalm becomes her prayer.

Phoebe Palmer, a Methodist preacher in the 1800s, began each day by praying for each member of her family individually, pleading the promise, "I will pour out my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring" (Isa. 44:3).

Dick Eastman wrote in The University of the Word that he had prayed daily a specific prayer for his family based on Luke 2:52. He prayed: "Lord, help my family to grow mentally (in wisdom), physically (in stature), spiritually (with favor toward God), and socially (with favor toward man)." After seven years, God graciously revealed to him precise ways He was answering this prayer.

As we look for a personal word from God regarding specific needs, the Lord will help us to apply verses others would never have thought of claiming. For instance, if hindered in praying for grown children because of personal failures, read Ps. 27:10: "Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me." Remind God that in the areas you've failed (forsaken) them, He promises to step in. If praying about friction in the home or sibling rivalry, you could base your prayer on Ps. 147:14: "He grants peace to your borders."

Dear Jesus, direct me to the scriptures to pray that You see will meet the deepest needs of others.

"Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17-18).