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  • Writer's pictureDarrell Stetler II

Praying Using Scripture: Psalm 5

Updated: Jan 20

Praying using scripture means to use the Scripture as a guide for your prayers. This can be done by selecting a passage or verse and using it as a starting point for your prayer. It's an incredibly valuable spiritual practice that keeps it from getting stale.

Why Should I Pray the Psalms?

The Bible encourages us to use the Psalms to speak to one another, and to ourselves devotionally using them. This means the Psalms should inform and fill your speech even in normal conversation. Praying the Psalms is a great way to fill your mind with the phrases of the Bible, so they naturally come out in conversation with others... because you've been using them in conversation with God.

"Be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs." (Ephesians 5:18-19)

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God." (Colossians 3:16)

Here's a method for praying using Scripture, using Psalm 5 as an example:

Prayer for Illumination

Almighty God, the power of your Word does not come from the ink and paper of my printed Bible, but from the work of your Holy Spirit. Inspire your Word to work in my own life. To challenge, correct, comfort, inspire, deepen, and transform my life for your glory. In Jesus’ name I ask. Amen.

Praying Using Scripture: Psalm 5

This Psalm is a song of lament to the Lord, it is also the first imprecatory psalm. David cries out to God for the destruction of His enemies. In this prayer of David, we are shown what to do when we were lied about and slandered: we must turn to the Lord for help, recognize His holiness and righteousness, and trust in His justice.

Using the ACTS model of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication, read through Psalm 5 and then pray the following:


Look for anything that tells you what God is like or points to His character and give Him praise.

  • “Father, I praise you that you hear my lament and my cries for help” (5:1, 3).

  • “Father, I praise you that you are my King and my God” (5:2).

  • “Father, I praise you that you are righteous and just” (5:5-6, 8).

  • “Father, I praise you that your steadfast love and mercy are abundant” (5:7).

  • “Father, I praise you that you are my refuge” (5:11).

  • “Father, I praise you that you are worthy of my worship and adoration” (5:11).

  • “Father, I praise you that you are my source of blessing” (5:12).

  • “Father, I praise you that you are my protector and shield” (5:13).

For a video for Praying Psalm 5 with quiet musical background, use this:

Praying Using Scripture: Confession

As you acknowledge who God is and adore Him for all that He is, confession is a natural consequence. This is a moment of introspection as you ask God to search your heart for areas that displease Him.

  • Confess ways in which your groanings and cries are the result of sin or your own shortcomings.

  • Confess ways in which you have not let Christ be the King of your life (5:2).

  • Confess ways in which have tried to take matters into your own hands rather than trusting in God.

  • “Lord, because you not delight in wickedness, I confess _______________.”

Praying Using Scripture: Thanksgiving

This is a time to express gratitude for what God has done and for who He is. Allow the Scripture you have read to feed your thanksgiving.

  • Thank God that He hears you, even your inarticulate “groanings.”

  • Thank God for the specific ways He has shown you His steadfast love.

  • Thank God for the assurance that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us.

  • Thank God that because of Jesus and through His abundant love you have access to God.

  • Thank God for the victory He gives us over sin, the flesh, the world, and the devil.

Praying Using Scripture: Supplication

Supplication means "asking." In this moment, pray for yourself and others that you will be able to put into practice what you have read and heard.

  • What is causing you to “groan” right now? Share that need with the Lord and with another believer.

  • Pray that God would “break” the wicked and bring justice.

  • Pray that God would save your enemies.

  • “Lord, may your favor be my shield today as I encounter......”

  • I pray that ________ (name) would find you to be their refuge today.

Hymn of Reflection

Hear my words, O gracious Lord, To my thoughts attentive be; Hear my cry, my King, my God, I will make my prayer to Thee.

With the morning light, O Lord, Thou shalt hear my voice arise, And expectant I will bring Prayer as morning sacrifice.

Thou art holy, O my God, Thou delightest not in sin; Evil shall not dwell with Thee, Nor the proud Thy favor win.

In the fullness of Thy grace To Thy house I will repair; Bowing toward Thy holy place, In Thy fear will worship there.

Closing Prayer

Our gracious Lord, it is comforting to know that you are our eternal refuge. You protect us, defend us, and cover us. In your goodness, you bless the righteous. At this moment, hear my cries. In the face of enemies who threaten my soul, may I trust in your justice. I bow to you today as my King and submit myself to your authority. I seek first your kingdom and your righteousness today. Let me be open to what you want to teach me, to the ways you want to help me grow. Throughout this day, Lord, may I know you are with me, that you will never leave me or forsake me. In you I put my trust. Amen.

Thanks to Rev. Travis Johnson for writing this prayer guide!

Want to Continue Praying the Psalms?

Use this button to continue on to Day 6: Praying Psalm 8.

Are you a Pastor who wants to lead your new Christians to learn Spiritual disciplines?

You will want to check out this 21-day challenge, called "How to Pray the Psalms" from NewStart Discipleship Resources. To get the workbook and all videos, along with an unlimited printing license, visit NewStart Discipleship.

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