Praying through Scripture was something that has been helpful in the lives of saints for century. For example, there is the story of a very well-known prayer warrior named George Muller. It is estimated by Muller who kept a record of such things, that he saw 50,000 positive answers to prayers in his life, 30,000 of which were within the same day of his intercession. The equivalent of 500 million dollars was given to his ministry to orphans. He tells about one small change that made a huge difference in his personal and ministry life. Up to this point he felt like it took him anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour to really concentrate in his prayer life. But then he describes something that happened. He started to read Scripture and then pray it. Here’s what he says in his own words:
The point is this: I saw more clearly than ever, that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord. . . . Before this time my practice had been, at least for ten years previously, as an habitual thing, to give myself to prayer, after having dressed in the morning. Now I saw, that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God and to meditation on it, that thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed; and that thus, whilst meditating, my heart might be brought into experimental, communion with the Lord. I began therefore, to meditate on the NewTestament, from the beginning, early in the morning.
The first thing I did, after having asked in a few words the Lord’s blessing upon His precious Word, was to begin to meditate on the Word of God; searching, as it were, into every verse, to get blessing out of it; not for the sake of the public ministry of the Word; not for the sake or preaching on what I had meditated upon; but for the sake of obtaining food for my own soul. The result I have found to be almost invariably this, that after a very few minutes my soul has been led to confession, or to thanksgiving, or to intercession, or to supplication; so that though I did not, as it were, give myself to prayer, but to meditation, yet it turned almost immediately more or less into prayer.
When thus I have been for awhile making confession, or intercession, or supplication, or have given thanks, I go on to the next words or verse, turning all, as I go on, into prayer for myself or others, as the Word may lead to it; but still continually keeping before me, that food for my own soul is the object of my meditation. The result of this is, that there is always a good deal of confession, thanksgiving, supplication, or intercession mingled with my meditation, and that my inner man almost invariably is even sensibly nourished and strengthened and that by breakfast time, with rare exceptions, I am in a peaceful if not happy state of heart. Thus also the Lord is pleased to communicate unto me that which, very soon after, I have found to become food for other believers, though it was not for the sake of the public ministry of the Word that I gave myself to meditation, but for the profit of my own inner man.
Autobiography of George Müller (comp. Fred Bergen; London: Nisbet, 1906), 152–54; quoted in Piper, Desiring God, 155–56.