The Apostle Paul describes the Word of God as a sword (Ephesians 6:17). If that is so how are we to wield this sword in prayer? For his birthday my son got a Nintendo Wii game which includes a swordplay game. By waving the Wii remote wildly it is possible to defeat your opponent at the beginning level but very quickly that becomes harder to do and instead some technique and skill is needed. In the same way, when it comes to Scripture and prayer there is some technique which is needed in order to wield the sword of the Spirit effectively.
Prayer using God’s Word is powerful because when you pray it you know that you are praying God’s will. But that does not mean you can just pick any verse you want for a situation. Praying Isaiah 55:12 (KJV) is not a guarantee of a date on Saturday night! We have to understand the context and the meaning of the verse. “For ye shall go out with joy” is not talking about dating a girl named Joy! We need to do our best “to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
But if we have a passage like Isaiah 64, we can use that passage to praise God for his awesome power which can rend the heavens. We can pray that the Lord would make himself known to those who stand as enemies before him and that the nations would know that it is the Lord who is at work. (v. 1-2) We can pray in confidence that God will act on behalf of those who wait upon him (v 4) and in light of that truth we can become still and listen for specific directions the Lord will give us.
The Psalms are full of prayers which we can pray back to the Lord. These are prayers which cover the complete range of human emotion, from the intense pain of the confession of sin to the raw anger and desire for the Lord to enact revenge on people. They provide us with expression for our emotion. As we use God’s Word more and more as the source for our prayers we become better sword bearers, wielding the Word accurately and powerfully in prayer.