Six Great Bible Verses for the Elderly to Pray
There is evidence to support the fact that the older people become, the more they pray, according to Lawrence T. White Ph.D in Why Are Old People So Religious? They have learned by experience that more satisfaction comes from praying than from worrying. Their prayer time usually includes the reading of Bible passages which express the prayers of their hearts.
Here are six great Bible verses which the elderly can adopt, memorize and offer up to God even when seeing to read becomes a problem. They are short, relevant to interests of the elderly, and easy to learn if someone needs to teach it to them.
Strength of Heart
(1) My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but [you] God remain the strength of my heart. - Psalm 73:26 NLT
The time may come when the elderly are overwhelmed by personal suffering or by external circumstances beyond their control. They may be disheartened by fears of insecurity and death. They may even lose control of their minds, while their hearts are still in the right place.
Philosophers say concerning the heart, “It is the first that lives, and the last that dies.”1 So when the aged pray for God to remain the strength of their hearts, they are affirming a connection with Him though everything else fails.
(2) Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. - Psalm 63:7 NLT.
Sure, the elderly would have had struggles to become they best that they could be; but now they focus less on what they have became and more on what they have overcome.
They recall the many times when they credited God's help for their survival, and their response is to sing for joy.
They have every reason to declare their testimony in the song lyrics written in 1905 by Civilla D. Martin and Charles H. Gabriel:
I sing because I'm happy,
I sing because I'm free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.
Whitney Houston sings the gospel song in the accompanying video.
I Sing Because I'm Happy
(3) I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about them. - Psalm 77:11 NLT
While the aged can still remember, it is most helpful for them to count their blessings. With the short term memory declining first, blessings of the distant past may come to the surface more often than the more recent. Whatever good they can remember is appropriate content for their meditation and their prayers of gratitude.
The alternative is to remember the disappointments, the regrets and other negatives which may lead to depression and a sense of worthlessness. Old age is a good time to replace thoughts of frustration and failure with thoughts of calm and contentment. Talking to God helps them to nurture and maintain godly attitudes.
(4) I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. - Philippians 1: 9 NLT.
The prayers of the elderly are not complete without prayer for others. In this verse, Paul is addressing his children in the faith and informing them of the prayer he prays to God on their behalf. He wants them to love God, love each other and experience growth in knowledge and understanding.
What elderly parents do not want the same for their children? As they sense their lives nearing completion on earth, they pray for their offspring to produce and excel in all areas of their lives, including spirituality.
Prayer for salvation and eternal life is the most important legacy the elderly can bestow on their loved ones. Material possessions will serve them better if they accept the benefit of the prayer.
(5) Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation. - Psalm 71:18 NIV
In this twenty-first century when people live longer and accumulate more threatening health conditions as they age, many experience severe suffering (including injuries, mental health disorders, pain and disabilities)2. It is easy for them to feel abandoned by God.
However, those who feel assured that God will not forsake them usually maintain a strong spirit despite their ailments. They see purpose in remaining alive: namely, to teach the younger people around them what they have learned about God. They want to hold on, not only for themselves but also in the interest of others. This is a prayer of purpose.
(6) Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. - Psalm 90:12 NIV.
“Not merely to count them, how many they are, in an arithmetical way . . . but the sense is, that God would teach us seriously to meditate on . . . the shortness of our days . . . and to observe how unprofitably we have spent them; which may put us upon redeeming time.”3
Whether or not individuals pray this prayer during their earlier years, it is most appropriate during the later years. People who develop interests--for example, in sports, movies, politics, economics--keep scores. It is important to keep similar count of their days:
- to reflect on their blessings despite their shortcomings;
- to spend time correcting their mistakes;
- to forgive themselves.
The elderly realize during the declining years, that life is too short for detour, procrastination, and willful idleness. Eternal consequences become significant. They also realize that this business of maximizing their time gets complicated; therefore, they pray for God’s help.
1. Bible Hub: Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible, Psalm 73:26 Copyright 2004 - 2014 by Biblos.com
2. MNT Public Health:People Worldwide Are Living Longer But Sicker December 14, 2012
3. Bible Hub: Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible, Psalm 90:12 Copyright 2004 - 2014 by Biblos.com
© 2014 Dora Weithers