Personalizing, Paraphrasing & Journaling Scripture To Bring About Life Change


A Beautiful Way To Pray Scripture

Personalizing, paraphrasing & journaling Scripture is changing my quiet times & making my prayer life full and meaningful. I feel it changing me as I pray from His Word. I have loved looking at passage or chapter of Scripture in the Bible, reading it in a version that most appeals to me,  paraphrasing it, and making it personal by choosing words to journal.  I write the words in my journal,  then pray the words back to God.  It ends up being a beautiful way to pray scripture, and I find so often it is exactly the encouragement my heart needs.


Praying Scripture Exposes What We Need

I have been asking God to help me in my prayer life & this is one way He has shown me that has enriched it and has given me words to pray.  What better words to pray than ones that are given to us in His Word?  Scripture is so full of rich & powerful words, and they expose just what God wants us to see and think, and also exposes that which needs to be challenged and changed in us.

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Hebrews 4:12

Praying Scripture Helps Us Apply What We Read, To Ourselves & To Others

Too often in my life, Scripture is read, but then forgotten and not applied. Journaling and praying Scripture is a way to use its power not just for my life, but also in the lives of those I love.  I will often substitute their names in place of mine.  I have especially found it a great way to pray for my kids.

How I Personalize, Paraphrase & Journal Scripture

The easiest way I have found to personalize, paraphrase and journal Scripture is to use the YouVersion Bible app, choose a version of Scripture that appeals to me (usually the New Living translation or The Message translation) journal it, read it, and then pray it.

I have my YouVersion Bible app set up to a plan that sends me one Psalm and one Proverb each day.  I have LOVED doing this process with the Psalms especially, as they so often express what my heart desires to express, but often can’t.

I usually do this process in the quiet morning with a cup of coffee and a breakfast of oatmeal & toast. I bring the app up on my phone, scroll down as I journal, choosing words that most jump out at me and paraphrase & personalize them.

Below is an example of a prayer response journal that I did recently on Psalm 18, using The Message version of Scripture:

Psalm 18–Paraphrased, Personalized & Journaled:

I love you God, you make me strong.

I live in your castle and you are my rescuing knight. I run for dear life to you, I hide in you. I am safe in your hideout. I sing to you and find myself safe & saved.

I cry to God to help me, he hears my call.  My cry brings me right into His presence, a private audience of just me and God!

You catch me, reaching all the way from sky to sea, pulling me out of enemy chaos where I was drowning, the enemy who hit me when I was down…but YOU God, stuck by me.

You take me to wide open spaces, I stand safe & saved, surprised to be so loved.

God completes my life when I place all my life pieces before Him.

I bring my act to Him and He gives me a fresh start.

Keep me alert to your ways & help me not to take you for granted.

Keep me in You everyday reviewing your ways & watching my step.

Piece by piece you put me back together.  I open my heart to you and You see me.

I taste your goodness, I am good.

I taste your health, I am whole

I taste your truth, I am true.

When I am down and out you are on my side.  Take me down a notch when I am stuck up or stuck on myself.

Floodlight my life, in the light room you reveal & show me your glory–You are blazing with glory!

Your road stretches straight and smooth.  I run in God direction, a road tested, and I make it as you promised.

You prepare me & pointed me in the right direction.

You show me how to fight.

You protect me and hold me with a firm hand.

You caress me with your gentle ways and clear the ruble so I will not stumble.

You have surrounded me well.

Rescue me from squabbling people, Oh Lord, rescue us. Be with our family, Lord, bring your revival.

I thank you God.

I praise your name with songs.

You rule and win over all and you chose me as your beloved–always.


Isn’t that beautiful? His words and my words entwined.  His words written down in my journal, an act that makes me submit with each stroke of the pen, for it changes me. My thoughts exchanged for higher thoughts, my faith restored as I pray them aloud.


How about you? Do you journal? Do you struggle with remembering Scripture or allowing it to seep into your heart and soul? What are ways you enrich your prayer life?  Does this way make sense and would you ever try it?

If so, get the Bible app, pick a passage, get your journal, write it out then pray it for yourself, your friends, your spouse or your kids.


For more about journaling at New Nostalgia:

7 Ways To Journal & Why I Write Versus Type 

A New Way To Count The Gifts–A Thankful Journal

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  • kathy w
    October 22, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    Wow! That is beautiful and it is so personal. I really appreciate you sharing this, it will give me another way to pray and use Scripture. Thanks again.

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      May 6, 2016 at 11:05 am

      thank you for your comment! It is so encouraging to read that a post of mine is appreciated. <3