Q: #379. What are the best prayers in the Bible?
By: Steve Shirley
A: Depending on what source you are checking, it is said that there is anywhere from 220 to 650 personal prayers in the Bible. Without reading the Bible cover to cover, it is impossible to know for sure. These prayers cover a wide range of subjects. Some are a full chapter long, while others are but a sentence. Obviously, I cannot list every prayer in the Bible, so I have chosen 17 amazing ones. (I prefer not to say "best ones.") These prayers can not only be read, but also PRAYED. Consider praying God's Word back to Him in some of your prayers. It can be a powerful way to pray. (Note: A few of these are not technically prayers, but would make great prayers.)
#1. I think we have to begin with the most famous, and well known prayer in the Bible: The Lord's Prayer:
(Mt 6:9-13) After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
(10) Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
(11) Give us this day our daily bread.
(12) And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
(13) And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
#2. Perhaps the most important thing about prayer; seeking to conform our will to God's will. Jesus gave us the best example of this:
(Lk 22:42) "Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done." (Also see: Mt 26:39, Mk 14:36)
#3. David's prayer seeking God's forgiveness:
(Ps 51:1-19) "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of
thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
(2) Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
(3) For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
(4) Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
(5) Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
(6) Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
(7) Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
(8) Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
(9) Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
(10) Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
(11) Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
(12) Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
(13) Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
(14) Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
(15) O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
(16) For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
(17) The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
(18) Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
(19) Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.
#4. A shorter prayer from David asking for forgiveness:
(2 Sam 24:10)(NASB) "I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, please take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have acted very foolishly."
#5. One more short prayer asking God for forgiveness:
(Lk 18:13) "God be merciful to me a sinner."
#6. Give the Father glory:
(Jn 12:28) "Father, glorify thy name"
#7. Moses' intercession for Israel (being concerned for God's honor):
(Ex 32:11-14) "And Moses besought the Lord his God, and said, Lord, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? (12) Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. (13) Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever. (14) And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people." (Also see: Num 14:11-20, Deut 9:25-29)
#8. Hannah's prayer of thanksgiving:
(1 Sam 2:1-10) And Hannah prayed, and said, "My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is
exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.
(2) There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.
(3) Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
(4) The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength.
(5) They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble.
(6) The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.
(7) The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.
(8) He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and he hath set the world upon them.
(9) He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.
(10) The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the Lord shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed."
#9. One verse from Jeremiah:
(Jer 17:14) "Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise."
#10. Aaron's Benediction:
(Num 6:24-26)(NASB) "The Lord bless you, and keep you;
(25) The Lord make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you;
(26) The Lord lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace."
#11. Jude's Benediction:
(Jude 1:24-25) "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present
you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
(25) To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen."
#12. The prayer of Jabez:
(1 Chr 4:10) And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, "Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!" And God granted him that which he requested.
#13. The believers' prayer:
(Acts 4:29-31)(NIV) "Now, Lord, ... enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.
(30) Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus."
(31) After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
#14. Paul's prayer for the church at Philippi:
(Phil 1:9-11) And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
(10) That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.
(11) Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
#15. Paul's prayer for the church at Ephesus:
(Eph 1:17-19)(NIV) I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father,
may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
(18) I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,
(19) and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
#16. A second prayer by Paul for the Ephesians:
(Eph 3:14-21)(NIV) For this reason I kneel before the Father,
(15) from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.
(16) I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
(17) so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
(18) may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
(19) and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
(20) Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
(21) to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
#17. Paul's prayer for the church at Colosse:
(Col 1:9-14) For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased
to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in
all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
(10) so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
(11) strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously
(12) giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.
(13) For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,
(14) in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
I know that I have left out many great prayers. Are there some prayers from the Bible that you pray regularly? Let me know. I might add them.