There are some great verses of Scripture that you can use directly in your prayers. Of course, the ability to use these in your prayers is greatly enhanced if you have them memorized, so I give you the suggestion to not only use these in prayers, but to first memorize them. Here are the ones that are most effective in opening my heart to God and my conscience to the conviction of the Holy Spirit:
- Psalms 141:3-4 – Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies.
- Psalms 139:23-24 – Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
- Psalms 119:36-37 – Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.
- Psalms 86:11 – Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
- James 1:5-7 – If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord
- Matthew 23:24-28 – You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
This last one (Matt. 23:24-28) is most effective for me as a Christian Teacher and Ministry Leader. Whenever I become aware of a hypocritical attitude or a sinful pattern of thought that I cannot seem to get rid of, I will hear Jesus saying this to me. I’m not a Pharisee, but I am a teacher and I really do want the inside of my cup to be as clean as the outside. I don’t want to be like a white-washed tomb, appearing to people as righteous on the outside, but on this inside full of hypocrisy, wickedness, greed and self-indulgence. Thank you Lord for these words of Jesus which are so convicting to me! Praise His Holy Name!