Following the previous blog post on borrowed prayers, here are seven examples on what a “borrowed prayer” looks like. These are simply inspiration; there are no rules for how often or how many of these borrowed prayers you can use. You may choose to pursue each of the seven ideas, implementing one per day- or, you may find God leading you to one specific point and integrating this into your prayer routine.
1) Praying Scripture
Praying scripture is probably the most commonly referenced way to pray, in general. To borrow a prayer, start by selecting a verse or prayer in the Bible that resonates with you or using one provided from a devotion plan. It’s okay if you don’t know which to choose from. In the back of some Bibles there are lists of prayers that will direct you to the page or provide the chapter and verse it is in. Otherwise, if your Bible is more minimalistic, head to Google (or your preferred search engine) to learn about your options! Once you have your verse (or multiple), become more comfortable with it. Say the verse(s) out loud, read the words over so you understand and are doing more than reading words on a page. Look up any words that are unknown to you and connect with what you are reading. Try to identify aspects of your life- thoughts, feelings, experiences, hopes, dreams, insecurities, blessings, etc. in the text and make note of it. This can be quite literal on a page or stored away in your brain. Next, pray these words to God. For example, below is the traditional version of The Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
For other verses that are not already in full “prayer format” as I like to call it, here is an example of what you can do. Other tips include replacing your name in any verses writing “you” or “I”- or even placing in a friend’s name you think would benefit from what that particular verse in scripture is saying. A personalized borrowed prayer suggestion for the verse below is this: “Lord, help me to not be afraid. Give me the courage to keep on speaking- help me not to be silent.” There really isn’t a wrong way to pray scripture as long as your heart and mind has pure intentions. Add in a few words, pray part of the verse and then give an example of where you need that courage to not be afraid, in your life.
“One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.” Acts 18:9
2) Have Someone Pray With Or Over You
Jesus says in Matthew 18:20 “where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Ask a trusted friend/family/community member to pray with or for you. Listen to this person’s words as they wash over you. Pay attention to the words they choose, the tone of voice, and their passion and authenticity before the Lord. In this space, choose to borrow this prayer and listen as someone else speaks the words to God. Still, have your heart and mind focused on these words and meeting God in the holy space. Having someone else pray for/ with you isn’t an excuse to daydream or make a silent to-do list.
3) Research historical Christian Prayers
Christianity has seen so many wonderful writers, poets, musicians, speakers, and teachers over the last 2,000 years. There are also many monarchs throughout history who have published journals with prayer filled pages floating around the internet for free- one of them is bound to capture what it is you are wanting to convey or experience.
4) Write Your Own And Pray This Repeatedly
If you enjoy writing or want to try your hand in it, sit down to write your own prayer. This doesn’t need to include any big and fancy words- God doesn’t expect us or seek the crème de la crème of vocabulary- all He seeks is a relationship with us through prayer. Once you have your prayer written down, keep coming back to this and use it as a template.
5) Ask a Friend, Family Or Community Member To Write A Prayer For You
If you’re unsure what to write but enjoy the idea of having a customized written prayer, ask a trusted person (or group of people) to write a prayer for you. This not only brings you closer to God, but allows for your earthly relationship with whoever you ask to be strengthened through Christ.
6) Memorize Podcast/ Video Prayer Recordings
There are a lot of amazing resources out there- especially since everything has transferred to digital with COVID-19. Many churches, Christian speakers, writers, spoken word poets, etc. have content online for free. If you are watching a sermon, meditation, or find yourself relating to what that person prayed, borrow it!
7) Create a Family Prayer
If you are looking to deepen or mature your family’s prayer life, I love the idea of spending time distraction free sitting around the table, outside, or having a picnic at the park to create a family prayer. Have each member of your family contribute- even if it is one word, so there is a sprinkle of each of you in this. Then, when your family sits down as a unit to pray, you can all feel closer to God and each other through this.
Read more from Macaila Britton at MacailaBritton.com and look out for the next instalment of this Christmas holiday series.