By: Steve Shirley
Prayer is an awesome gift from God. What a privilege to be able to speak to the Him anytime we wish, and be able to call Him our Father! Here are some of the things the Bible has to say about prayer.
In Christ's name:
(Jn 14:13-14) And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (14) If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.
(Jn 15:16) ...: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
(Jn 16:26) At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:
Pray for others:
(James 5:16) Confess your faults to one another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Ask in accordance with His will and He hears:
(1 Jn 5:14) And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us:
Ask, believe, receive:
(Mt 21:22)(Mk 11:24) And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
(Jn 15:7) If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
(Mt 7:7)(Lk 11:9) Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
Ask, obey, receive:
(1 Jn 3:22) And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
(Jn 9:31) Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
We don't receive because it consumes on our lusts:
(James 4:3) Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Ask and do not doubt or you won't receive:
(James 1:6-7) But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. (7) For let not that man think he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
Be persistent in prayer:
(Lk 18:1-8)(Lk 11:5-13)
Failure to pray for others is a sin:
(1 Sam 12:23) Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way.
Pray without ceasing:
(1 Th 5:17) Pray without ceasing. (I explain what this is here)
(Eph 6:18) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching there unto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
Pray for leaders:
(1 Tim 2:1-2) I exhort thee therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; (2) For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
Pray for enemies:
(Mt 5:44) But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.
Don't pray vain repetitions:
(Mt 6:7) But when ye pray, not with vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Pray with thanksgiving:
(Phil 4:6) Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
(Col 4:2) Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.
Pray if afflicted:
(James 5:13) Is any among you afflicted? let him pray...
If sick, call for the elders to pray:
(James 5:14-15) Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: (15) And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Pray that you won't enter into temptation:
(Mt 26:41) Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.
The Spirit helps us pray:
(Rom 8:26-27) Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (27) And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
(1 Cor 14:15) What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the Spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
There is a guideline I have heard for prayer that I think is great. It is five steps in order to remember. This is not something that has to be followed, just something to help you.
1. Enter His gates with thanksgiving.
2. Enter His courts with praise.
3. Ask Him to forgive you of any sins in your life, and restore your fellowship.
4. Pray for others.
5. Pray for your own needs.
Then listen for the answers, which is not always easy to do.
For more on prayer, see the following questions:
Q: #96. Is it ok to pray to Jesus?
Q: #143. Why do we pray in Jesus' name?
Q: #262. Is it ok to pray silently?
Q: #348. What is a "prayer closet?
Q: #378. Why doesn't God answer my prayers?