How can I cultivate a consistently biblical prayer life?
First of all, take the Lord’s model prayer in Matthew 6, “Our Father, who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name.” That was really given to be an outline to provide the structure for our prayers. It’s like the skeleton, and we now supply the muscles and the skin. I would take the Lord’s model prayer and use that as the tracks you run on in your own prayer life.
You can take other prayers in the Bible as well. You can take Paul’s prison prayers, two in Ephesians, one in Colossians, one in Philippians, and pray those to God.
You can also take the Psalms and pray verse by verse through them. It will keep your mind from wandering as you make it personal and vicariously place yourself into the psalmist as he is praying to God. Every other book in the Bible is written to man—the book of Philippians was written to the Philippians and Ephesians to the Ephesians—but Psalms is very vertical and directed upwards to God. So, I would take the Psalms and pray through those.
There are other great prayers as well. In Nehemiah 1 there is a great prayer by Nehemiah, cupbearer to the king. Just take great prayers and use them as a springboard to pray what’s already in the Scripture. Think about how powerful that is—to take the Word of God to speak words to God. Then personalize it and make it your own.
This transcript is from a live Ask Ligonier event with Steven Lawson and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, just visit Ask.Ligonier.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.