The Power of Praying the Word of God
I love hearing intercessors declaring faith-filled prayers and decrees. Seasoned intercessors often pray directly from the word of God, or pepper their prayers with scripture. They fill themselves with the word, soaking in it until they become deep wells Holy Spirit can draw from as they pray. Intercessors often speak the very word of God into the atmosphere, and those words have God’s creative life in them. Jesus said His words were spirit and life (John 6:63). They still are.
Proverbs 18:21 tells us, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” This scripture is warning us to be careful what we say, and also that we can release life through speaking right words, which would obviously include Scripture. They “create” God’s will in situations.
Wycliffe is a Bible translation ministry, devoted to the Word of God. They recommend the following, in regards to praying the Scriptures:
“When we use God’s own words by praying Scripture, we’re aligning ourselves with His heart and praying according to His will. What better way is there to give our prayer life new meaning? So when words fail you, open up the Bible and allow God’s words to be your prayer.
“If you don’t know where to begin, the book of Psalms has some great prayers! Paul’s epistles also have some great encouragement and prayers. Pick a verse and declare it as truth for a people group or nation. God invites us to intimately connect with Him through prayer, and what better way to do that than to use His own words in the Bible! And…as you pray Scripture, you’ll find new ways to talk to God.”(1)
I know one intercessor who consistently asks the Lord to put a sword in her mouth to use against the enemy. She says Holy Spirit is always faithful to do so. This analogy comes from two places in the New Testament. Ephesians 6:10-18 tells us to put on the armor of God, then mentions our weaponry: “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (v 17b; NASB) W. E. Vine says regarding the sword mentioned here, “[The reference here in Ephesians 6:17] is not to the whole Bible as such, but to the individual Scripture which the Spirit brings to our remembrance for use in time of need, a prerequisite being the regular storing of the mind with Scripture.”(2) I would add that the Greek text indicates the scripture must be spoken in order to be effective as a weapon. We are not to simply think about the verses, we are to decree them over the situation.
Hebrews 4:12 tells us more about this sword, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (NASB)
Spiritual warfare often entails warfare against mindsets. These mindsets could be in individuals or over an entire culture. Either way, the Word of God spoken into the spiritual realm addresses the situation, and works to divide between truth and deception. Praying the Word over people can bring deliverance to those trapped by wrong mindsets.
Author Ruthanne Garlock in her book A Woman's Guide to Spiritual Warfare co-written with Quin Sherrer shares the following example:
“Rosa discovered the power of words when Robert, her fifth grader, came home with a low grade on his semester’s work. The teacher had written that she was giving him this grade because he was capable of doing much better.
“When praying about it, Rosa was reminded that her mother-in-law used to speak over Robert that he would have problems in school.
“Rosa felt Holy Spirit was showing her that Robert’s grandmother had unwittingly cursed him with her words. She recalled the Scripture that says, ‘No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord.’ (Isaiah 54:17). Using this passage in her son’s situation, she prayed and broke the words his grandmother had spoken over him. His grades improved immediately, and soon he was chosen as one of two students in his class to appear on a television program - because of his exceptional learning ability. To Rosa, it was confirmation that the word curse was broken [over his mind.]”(3)
We can also pray the Word over national situations. In White House Watchmen, Jon Hamil relates a story from the war in Iraq. A friend serving there was on the phone with his wife when shelling began. She got off the phone and prayed fervently; Holy Spirit gave her instructions. When they talked the next day, she told her husband what the Lord said. Jon says:
“My friend followed through on what the Holy Spirit showed his wife. He walked the perimeter of the compound...asking God to secure it from shelling. He asked God to forgive all sin which defiled the land. He decreed Psalm 91, saying, ‘Lord, we choose to dwell in the secret place of the Most High, and abide under Your shadow. Surely You will deliver us!’
“When your compound is being targeted with shelling, how do you gauge when to take your walk? It’s a risky venture night or day. Shelling continued in the region, but near his compound, it immediately stopped.”(4)
Whether you are praying over a personal situation, or to see a stronghold over a nation broken, ask the Lord to give you a sword from His Word to use in the battle. When we pray His Word in faith, we will see miracles.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8; ESV)
Pray with me:
Father, as we stand in the gap for our nation, cities and families, we declare that the blood of Jesus breaks every chain of bondage.
Please heal our land. We declare that no weapon formed against our nation shall prosper. Every tongue that would rise up against us in judgment will be exposed and cast down. We pray for the manifold wisdom of God to rest upon all who are in authority over our country; may truth and discernment guide every decision they make in their public and private lives. May any unrighteous officials currently in office be replaced by those who will serve with integrity. We cry for justice and mercy, truth and righteousness to be established. [See Proverbs 21:1-2; Isaiah 54:17; Romans 8:26-31; Ephesians 3:10; 6:10-20; and 1 Timothy 2:1-4.](5)
And Father, we pray for our friends and loved ones. Show us how to pray effectively for them, when to war for them and when we need to ask for Your mercy. Your Word is always our manual. Lead us to the right verse or verses to use as a sword. We will see them saved, delivered and become all that You intended for them.
We will declare God’s Word as a sword, and strongholds will fall.
Click on the link below to watch the full prayer.
2 W. E. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, vol. 3 (Old Tappan, N.J.:Fleming H. Revell, 1981), 298-99.
3 Sherrer, Quin & Garlock, Ruthanne. A Woman’s Guide to Spiritual Warfare, (Bloomington, MN:Chosen Books, 2017), 125-126.
4 Hamill, Jon & Jolene. White House Watchmen, (Shippensburg, PA:Destiny Image Publishers, 2020), 146.
5 Sherrer, Quin & Garlock, Ruthanne. A Woman’s Guide to Spiritual Warfare, (Bloomington, MN:Chosen Books, 2017), 220-221.