Have you ever been reading your Bible and realized that something you read would make a great prayer? Sometimes as moms, we just ache for our kids, but we don’t feel like we have the right words to pray. Praying scripturally for our children, ourselves, or anyone is great way to find those words we’re missing! And praying Psalm 119 is a great place to start.
The Bible reveals God’s heart for us, his own children. Praying scripture is not something I learned growing up, but that I discovered being a part of a Moms in Prayer group. And now when I read, I often pause to pray for my children.
About Psalm 119
Which is what happened this summer as I read Psalm 119. As you may know, Psalm 119 has a lot to say about clinging to God’s truth and God’s laws. The Psalmist used alphabetic acrostic poetry as the form for expressing his devotion to God’s word, the blessings for those who follow, and the cost of disregarding it. Psalm 119, of course, follows the Hebrew alphabet, not our own. This is why you will see those odd headings like “Aleph,” “Waw,” and “Shin”; they are Hebrew letters. Psalm 119 also happens to be the longest psalm with 176 verses.
Why Pray Psalm 119?
All those wonderful verses about following God’s law! And we’ve often lost sight of the beauty of the law as something less valuable now that Jesus has come to establish a new covenant of grace. We’re not under the law. We don’t perform it for merit points to get us “in” with the big guy.
But the law isn’t totally to be disregarded now that grace has come. The law is a picture of what righteousness looks like. In Matthew 5:17, Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” And God has still called us to right and holy living. (1 Peter 1:15-16; Romans 6:1-3; Romans 8:13-14; Galatians 5, and more.)
And Psalm 119 is all about “living according to your (God’s) word,” (Psalm 119:9) which encompasses more than Old Testament law. The heart of devotion in this psalm is what I want for my myself and my family. That’s why I’ve been praying this over my own kids. It’s a great psalm for praying scripturally.
Praying through Psalm 119 Guide
I don’t pray every single verse of Psalm 119 as I read it. Below are the 28 prayers that I’ve created either straight from the NIV text or by combining verses. You can also print out a pdf form here and tuck it into your Bible or notebook. As you can see, you can simply insert the name of a child, a friend or even yourself into these prayers.
About the Photos
I often turn to Unsplash when I’m looking for images, and as I began the work of putting Psalm 119 over photos, I began looking for pictures with Bibles. I loved some of the photos I found from Sincerely Media and decided to check out her online collection of photos stored there. As I scrolled through her photography, I knew that her work captured everything I wanted for this project of praying Psalm 119. Every photo in this post, except the Pinterest image, has been selected from her free-to-use work on Unsplash.
God’s Word in their hearts
“May ______ keep your statutes and seek you, Lord, with all his/her heart. May ______ walk in your ways and steadfastly obey your laws.” vs. 2
“May ______ keep himself/herself pure by living according to your word.” vs. 9
“May ______ hide your word in his/her heart so as not to sin against you.” vs.11
“Lord, may ______ meditate on your precepts, consider your ways, and delight in your decrees.” vs. 15-16
“Open _____’s eyes to see wonderful things in your law.” vs. 18
“Lord, may your statutes be ______’s delight and counselors.” vs. 24
God’s Word Directing Their Paths
“Keep ______ from deceitful ways and be gracious unto _______.” vs. 29
“Lord, please give ______ understanding so that he/she will obey your law with all his/her heart.” vs. 33
“Turn ______’s eyes away from worthless things and preserve ______’s life according to your word.” vs. 37
“May your unfailing love and salvation come to _______.” vs. 41
“May ______ remember your name at night and find comfort in your laws.” vs. 52 &55
“May _______ consider his/her ways and turn his/her steps to your statutes.” vs. 59
“May all ______’s friends fear you, Lord, and follow your precepts.” vs. 63
“Even when ______ faces hardship, even when ______ is lied against, I pray that ______ would keep your precepts with all his/her heart.” 67&69
“Lord, your hands made ______, give him/her understanding to learn your commands.” vs. 73
“May ______ know your laws are righteous and may _______’s heart be blameless toward your decrees.” vs. 75 & 80
God’s Word Preserving Them
“Preserve _______’s life according to your love.” vs. 88
“May _______’s life be preserved and may ______ never forget your precepts.” vs.93
“Lord, may _______ gain insight because he/she loves to meditate on your law.” vs. 97 &99
“May your word light _______’s path.” vs. 105
“May _______’s heart be set on keeping your decrees.” vs. 112
“May _______ stand in awe of your laws.” vs. 120
“May ______ love your commands more than earthly treasures.” vs. 127
God’s Word Rescuing Them
“Direct _______’s footsteps according to your word. Redeem _______ from the oppression of people and do not let sin rule over him/her.” vs. 133-4
“Give _______ understanding that he/she may live.” vs. 144
“May _______ cry to you when he/she needs help; may _______ put his/her hope in your word.” vs. 147
“May ______ have great peace and not stumble because he/she loves you.” vs. 165
“May ______’s lips overflow with praise. Let ______ live to praise you.” vs. 171 &175
Finally, let me just say there are so many great prayers waiting for us to discover in God’s Word! How have you been praying scripturally?