Prayer

God Expects His People to Pray

God expects His people to pray. (Isa 56:7, Isa 62:6,7, 1Ti 2:1)

God is grieved by our lack of prayer. (Isa 59:16, Eze 22:30)

Jesus Set an Example for Prayer

The Lord's prayer (Mt 6:9-13)

Jesus prayed alone in natural settings. (Mt 14:23, Mk 1:35, Lk 5:16)

Jesus prayed all night. (Lk 6:12)

Jesus prayed for those who persecuted Him. (Lk 23:34)

Jesus prayed for His Father's will to be done. (Lk 22:42)

Jesus prayed with strong crying and tears. (Heb 5:7)

Jesus intercedes for us. (Lk 22:31,32, Jn 17:9,11,17,20,21, Heb 7:25, 1Jn 2:1)

The Holy Spirit Set an Example for Prayer

The Holy Spirit intercedes for us. (Ro 8:26,27)

The New Testament Church Set an Example for Prayer

The new testament church set an example for prayer. (Ac 1:14, Ac 2:42)

The Bible Contains Great Promises for Prayer  Prayers of Elijah

The Bible contains great promises for prayer. (2Ch 7:14, Mt 21:22, Mk 11:22-24, Lk 11:9-13, Jn 15:16, Jn 16:23, Jas 1:5, Jas 5:13-18, 1Jn 3:21,22)

Certain Prayers Displease God

Prayer accompanied by a life of willful sin (2Ch 7:14, Ps 66:17,18, Pr 28:9 compare 1Jn 3:4, Isa 1:15-17, Isa 59:1,2, Zec 7:9-13)

Prayer for self-righteous display (Mt 6:5,6, Lk 20:46,47)

Prayer consisting of long lists of personal needs (Mt 6:7,8)

Prayer that is not understood by the person praying (1Co 14:14,15)

Prayer motivated by selfish pleasure (Jas 4:3)

Prayer made without faith (Jas 1:6-8)

Prayer that is never made (Jas 4:2)

Prayer is to be an Integral Part of our Lifestyle

We are to pray constantly. (Ps 55:17, Da 6:10, Lk 18:1, Lk 21:36, Ac 6:3,4, 1Th 5:17, 1Pe 4:7)

We are to pray with thanksgiving. (Col 4:2, 1Th 5:18)

We are to pray with others. (Mt 18:19,20, Mt 21:13, Heb 10:25)

We are to patiently wait for the Lord's response. (Ps 27:14, Ps 37:7, Pr 20:22, Isa 30:18, Da 10:12,13, Hos 12:6, Lk 18:1-8)

We are to hear the Lord's response. (1Ki 19:11-13, Ps 86:7, Ps 91:15, Isa 30:19,21, Jer 33:3)

Not continuing in intercessory prayer is a sin. (1Sa 12:20-23, Jas 4:17)

Prayer is a Weapon for Spiritual Warfare

Prayer is a weapon for spiritual warfare. (Eph 6:11-13,18-20, Ex 17:8-13, Mk 9:29, Jas 5:16)

We are to pray for those who mistreat and persecute us. (Mt 5:44, Lk 6:28, Ac 7:59,60)

We are to pray for the harvest of souls. (Mt 9:37,38, Col 4:3,4, 2Th 3:1)

The power of prayer is not the prayer itself, but rather the power of God. (Mt 28:18, Rev 19:6)

Our prayers ascend to the throne of God, Who answers them. (Rev 5:7,8, Rev 8:3,4)

The Bible Records the History of Prayer

Genesis

Men begin to call upon the name of the Lord. (Ge 4:26)

Exodus

God's people cry out to Him. (Ex 2:23,24)

Moses' hands are lifted up during battle. (Ex 17:10-13)

Moses intercedes for the people. (Ex 32:31-35)

Leviticus

Individuals confess their sins to God in His temple. (Lev 5:5,6)

Offerings as prayers of thanksgiving. (Lev 7:11-13, Lev 22:29)

Numbers

Prayer of blessing (benediction) for Israel. (Nu 6:22-27)

Moses intercedes for the people. (Nu 11:1,2, Nu 21:5-9 compare Jn 3:14,15)

Moses intercedes for his sister Miriam. (Nu 12:9-14)

Deuteronomy

Moses' prayer to enter the promised land is answered in the negative. (Dt 3:23-27)

God had a better plan--Moses would be resurrected and taken to heaven. (Lk 9:28-31, Jude 1:9)

Moses recounts his intercession for Aaron and the people. (Dt 9:20,26-29 continued in Dt 10:1-4)

Joshua

Prayer walking Jericho. (Jos 6:10-20)

In response to Israel's defeat at Ai, Joshua mourns and prays. God's answer is that there is sin that must be removed. (Jos 7:6-12)

Judges

Gideon prays twice for confirmation signs (Jdg 6:36-40)

Samson prays for his strength to be restored so he can die a martyr. (Jdg 16:28-30)

Ruth

Ruth solemnly promises to God a life-long commitment to her widowed mother-in-law, her people Israel, and her God. (Ru 1:16,17)

Boaz prays that Ruth be rewarded for her selfless service. (Ru 2:11,12)

1 Samuel

Hannah prays for a child (Samuel) to dedicate to God. (1Sa 1:9-28)

Samuel prays for all Israel. (1Sa 7:5-12)

Note on verse 12: Ebenezer [Heb. Eben haezer (eh'-ben haw-e'-zer)] - "stone of the help" (Strong's Dictionary)

Samuel states that not praying for God's people is a sin (of omission). (1Sa 12:20-23)

2 Samuel

David prays that the name of the Lord be magnified for ever and that his descendents (ultimately the church) be blessed for ever. (2Sa 7:26,29)

David confesses his sin of counting the people and asks that the consequences fall upon himself, rather than on the people. (2Sa 24:17)

1 Kings

Solomon prays aloud to God during the dedication service for the temple. (1Ki 8:22-54)

Elijah prays against rain. (1Ki 17:1)

Elijah prays to restore life to the poor widow's son. (1Ki 17:21-23)

Elijah prays for rain. (1Ki 18:41-45)

2 Kings

Elisha prays to restore life to the son of his gracious Shunammite hostess. (2Ki 4:32-36)

Elisah prays that his servant may see the chariots of fire. (2Ki 6:17)

Elisah prays for the Syrian army to be struck with blindness. (2Ki 6:18)

Elisah prays for the sight of the Syrian army to be restored. (2Ki 6:20)

Hezekiah prays for protection from an Assyrian invasion. (2Ki 19:14-19,35)

Hezekiah prays to be spared from a terminal illness and is granted fifteen more years of life. (2Ki 20:2-6)

1 Chronicles

Prayer of Jabez (1Ch 4:10)

David prays in agreement of God's plan to establish His people, the church, forever. (1Ch 17:23-27 compare 1Ch 17:11-14)

David prays that the people be spared from the consequences of his (David's) sin as their leader. (1Ch 21:17)

2 Chronicles

Solomon represents Israel as he publicly prays during the dedication of the new temple. (2Ch 6:12-42 and 2Ch 7:1,12-16)

Hezekiah prays for the people who had not cleansed themselves outwardly, but who prepared their heart to seek God. (2Ch 30:18-20)

Hezekiah and Isaiah pray against the siege and public blasphemy of Assyria and God sends an angel to defeat the Assyrians. (2Ch 32:20-22)

Manasseh prays in humility from his place of captivity in Babylon and God delivers him back to Jerusalem. (2Ch 33:9-16)

Ezra

Ezra prays because of the sin of marriages between Israelites and pagans. (Ezr 9:5-15 and Ezr 10:1-3)

Nehemiah

Nehemiah prays because the walls of Jerusalem are broken down. (Ne 1:3-11)

Nehemiah prays before he speaks with king Artaxerxes about being allowed to go rebuild Jerusalem. (Ne 2:4-8)

Nehemiah prays for protection from wicked men who attempt to stop the rebuilding effort. (Ne 4:7-9)

Esther

Esther and the Jewish people fast for three days in preparation for her plan to save the people from death. During this grave period, prayers would certainly accompany the fasting. (Est 4:16)

Job

As instructed by God, Job interceeds for his friends, because they spoke wrongly about God. (Job 42:7-10)

Psalms

David prays to God each morning. (Ps 5:3)

David prays to God each night. (Ps 42:8)

David prays three times each day. (Ps 55:17)

Prayer is likened to incense ascending to God. (Ps 141:2)

Proverbs

God delights in the prayers of His people. (Pr 15:8)

God hears the prayers of His people. (Pr 15:29)

God considers the prayers of those who have turned away from His ten commandments as abominations. (Pr 28:9)

Ecclesiates

God's people should be careful not to put forth hasty or rambling prayers. (Ecc 5:2,3, compare Mt 6:7)

Song of Solomon

Those who truely love God, will spend time with Him in prayer and get to know Him personally. (compare SS 2:4, SS 8:7)

Isaiah

Hezekiah prays for protection from an Assyrian invasion. The angel of the Lord kills 185,000 in the Assyrian camp. (Isa 37:15-20,33-38)

Hezekiah prays to be spared from a terminal illness and is granted fifteen more years of life. As a sign God moves the Sun back ten degrees. (Isa 38:1-8)

God's house shall be called a house of prayer for all people. (Isa 56:7)

Jeremiah

Holy surroundings do not bend God's ears to the prayers of pretenders. (Jer 7:8-10)

God forbade intercessary prayer for a people who had exhausted even His patience. (Jer 11:10-14, Jer 14:10-12)

After God's corrective measures make their effect and the people repent and seek God with all their heart, He will hear and restore. (Jer 29:10-14)

Jeremiah prays about God's justice in bringing about His corrective measures--sending His rebellious people into captivity. (Jer 32: 17-24)

Note: God immediately answers and shows the good outcomes that will result (both short-term and eternal). (Jer 32:26-43)

The people ask Jeremiah to pray to God to show them what they should do and they promise to obey, but, when God gives the answer, it is not what they want to hear and they accuse Jeremiah of being a false prophet. (Jer 42: 1-22 - Jer 43:1-2)

Lamentations

God will not hear (answer) prayers for deliverance, because Babylonian captivity has become a necessary corrective action. (La 3:7,8,44-46)

The book ends with a prayer for God to help turn the people back toward Him. (La 5:21)

Ezekiel

In the midst of great judgments (wrath) against Israel, Ezekiel asks God if even His remnant will be destroyed. God responds with His ultimate plan for the triumph of His people. (Eze 11:8-10,12-21 compare Eze 14:21-23)

Note: In Eze 14:23 God explains that the judgments are a necessary, corrective act.

Daniel

Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah pray to receive the interpretation of king Nebuchadnezzar's dream. (Da 2:16-23)

Nebuchadnezzar, as an animal of the field, lifts his eyes toward heaven, is converted, and praises the true God. (Da 4:33,34,37)

Daniel prays 3 times a day, even when punishable by death. (Da 6:7,10,11)

Daniel intercedes for Israel with prayer, fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. (Da 9:3-19)

Hosea

No one calls upon God. (Hos 7:7)

God beckons the people to seek Him. (Hos 10:12)

The people have forgotten God. (Hos 13:6)

God beckons the people to repent and ask for forgiveness. (Hos 14:2)

Joel

Cry unto the Lord. (Joel 1:14)

Turn unto the LORD your God. (Joel 2:12,13)

Whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered. (Joel 2:32)

Amos

Seek the Lord and live. (Am 5:4)

Obadiah

Prayer is absent from the proud and self-sufficient. (Ob 1:3,4 compare Rev 3:17,18)

Jonah

A Gentile must awaken the disobedient prophet and ask him why he is not calling upon God for deliverance from the great storm. (Jnh 1:6)

The Gentiles cry unto the LORD to spare them and hold them innocent of what they thought would be Jonah's death. (Jnh 1:14)

Jonah prays unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly. (Jnh 2:1-9)

The citizens of Ninevah repent and cry mightily unto God. (Jnh 3:6-10)

Jonah is angry that God forgave Ninevah and, in a rage, asks God to kill him. (Jnh 4:1-3)

Micah

My God will hear me. (Mic 7:7)

Nahum

Prayer is absent from the slumbering. (Na 3:18 compare Ro 11:8)

Habbakuk

Habbakuk mistakenly assumes God does not hear his cries for deliverance. (Hab 1:2)

God answers that the just shall live by his faith. (Hab 2:1-4 compare Ro 1:16,17 and Heb 10:38)

Habbakuk prays for a revival of God's restorative work. (Hab 3:1,2)

Zephaniah

Prayer is absent from those who do not seek the LORD. (Zep 1:4-6)

Haggai

The people feel no urgency for a house of prayer. (Hag 1:2 compare Isa 56:7)

God stirs up a spirit for His house of prayer. (Hag 1:3-8,14)

Zechariah

If we do not listen to God, He will not listen to us. (Zec 7:9-13)

Worldwide masses shall be drawn to the remnant church to pray before the Lord. (Zec 8:12,20-23)

In the last days, when God abundantly outpours His Spirit, we are to ask Him to fill us. (Zec 10:1 compare Eph 5:18)

God will again hear His people. (Zec 10:6)

Through fiery trials, God's people will call on Him and He will hear. (Zec 13:9)

Malachi

God speaks through Malachi to call the wicked priests to repent and pray for God's grace. (Mal 1:6-9)

Matthew

Jesus tells us to pray for those who persecute us. (Mt 5:44)

Jesus tells us not to pray for show. (Mt 6:5)

Jesus tells us to pray humbly from our closet. (Mt 6:6)

Jesus tells us not to pray with vain repetitions. (Mt 6:7)

The Lord's Prayer. (Mt 6:9-13)

Jesus tells His disciples to pray for harvesters. (Mt 9:37,38)

Jesus prays alone on a mountain. (Mt 14:23)

Jesus instructs His disciples that some demons can be cast out only through prayer and fasting. (Mt 17:18-21)

Jesus declares that God's house is to be a house of prayer. (Mt 21:12,13)

Jesus emphsizes the power of prayer. (Mt 21:19-22)

Jesus prays prostrate on the ground in Gethsemane. (Mt 26:36-39,42-44)

Jesus warns His disciples to watch and pray. (Mt 26:40,41)

Mark

Jesus goes to pray in a solitary place a great while before sunrise. (Mk 1:35)

Jesus goes to a mountain to pray. (Mk 6:46)

Jesus instructs His disciples that some demons can be cast out only through prayer and fasting. (Mk 9:29)

Jesus declares that God's house is to be a house of prayer. (Mk 11:17)

Jesus emphsizes the power of prayer. (Mk 11:24)

Jesus tells us to first forgive others before we pray for our own forgiveness. (Mk 11:25)

Jesus tells us to watch and pray. (Mk 13:33)

Jesus prays prostrate on the ground in Gethsemane. (Mk 14:32-35,39)

Jesus warns His disciples to watch and pray. (Mk 14:38)

Luke

An angel tells aging Zacharias that his prayer for a child (John the Baptist) will be fulfilled. (Lk 1:5-16)

Anna, the prophetess who saw the Christ child at the temple, served God with fastings and prayers night and day. (Lk 2:36,37)

Jesus prays during His baptism. (Lk 3:21)

Jesus withdraws into the wilderness to pray. (Lk 5:15,16)

Jesus prays all night on a mountain. (Lk 6:12)

Jesus tells us to pray for those who despitefully use us. (Lk 6:28)

Jesus is transfigured as He prays. (Lk 9:28,29)

Jesus tells His disciples to pray for harvesters. (Lk 10:2)

The Lord's Prayer. (Lk 11:1-4)

Jesus tells a parable about continuing in prayer. (Lk 18:1-8)

Jesus declares that God's house is to be a house of prayer. (Lk 19:46)

Jesus warns us not to make long prayers for holy show. (Lk 20:46,47)

Jesus advises us to watch and pray always. (Lk 21:36)

Jesus prays to protect Peter from Satan. (Lk 22:31,32)

Jesus prays in deep agony in Gethsemane. (Lk 22:40-47)

Jesus asks the Father to forgive those who are crucifying Him. (Lk 23:34)

The thief on the cross prays to Jesus for salvation. (Lk 23:42)

John

Jesus prays that His followers would be one. (Jn 17:9,11,20,21)

Jesus prays that His followers will be kept from evil. (Jn 17:15)

Jesus prays that His followers would be sanctified by the word. (Jn 17:17)

Acts

Jesus' disciples and His family continue to pray together after His ascension. (Ac 1:9-14)

Jesus' disciples pray to Jesus to show them who is to replace Judas. (Ac 1:24-26)

The members of the early church continue in steadfast prayer. (Ac 2:41,42)

After the disciples pray, their place of assembly shakes, they are filled with the Holy Spirit, and they boldly proclaim God's word. (Ac 4:31)

The disciples focus their ministry on prayer and proclaiming God's word. (Ac 6:2-4)

As Stephen is being stoned to death, he prays to Jesus to forgive those who are killing him. (Ac 7:54-60)

Now believing in Jesus, Saul prays. (Ac 9:3-11)

Peter prays and Dorcas is raised from the dead. (Ac 9:36-42)

Cornelius' regular prayers go up as a memorial before God. (Ac 10:1-4,30,31)

Peter's vision about salvation for the Gentiles is received while praying. (Ac 11:4-9)

While Peter is in prison, the church constantly prays for him. (Ac 12:1-5)

The church is astonished that their prayers for Peter are answered. (Ac 12:7-16)

At midnight, after being severely beaten and put in prison, Paul and Silas pray and God sends a great earthquake to free them. (Ac 16:22-31)

While praying in the temple in Jerusalem, Paul is taken into a trance and Jesus tells him to flee Jerusalem quickly and to go to the Gentiles. (Ac 22:17-21)

Paul prays and many are healed of diseases. (Ac 28:8,9)

Romans

Paul prays regularly for the Christians in Rome and for an opportunity to minister together with them in person. (Ro 1:9-12)

The Holy Spirit intercedes for us. (Ro 8:26,27)

Paul prays that Israel would abandon their false concept of self-righteousness and be saved by faith in Christ. (Ro 10:1-4)

Paul emphasizes the urgency of regular prayer. (Ro 12:12)

Note on Ro 12:12: Instant - "Pressing; urgent" (Webster's Dictionary 1828)

1 Corinthians

We are not to make prayers in unknown tongues because we are to understand all that we pray. (1Co 14:13-15)

2 Corinthians

Paul's prayers to remove a thorn in his flesh are answered in the negative. (2Co 12:7-9)

God had a better plan--His grace.

Galations

The Holy Spirit helps us call upon our Father. (Gal 4:6)

Ephesians

The armor of God includes prayer. (Eph 6:11-18)

Philippians

Paul prays that love may abound. (Php 1:9)

We are to be thankful in our prayers. (Php 4:6)

Colossians

Paul continually prays for fellow believers. (Col 1:1-3)

We are to continue in prayer and thanksgiving. (Col 4:2)

1 Thessalonians

We are to pray without ceasing. (1Th 5:17)

Gospel workers need our prayers. (1Th 5:25)

2 Thessalonians

Paul continually prays for fellow believers. (2Th 1:1,11)

Gospel workers need our prayers. (2Th 3:1)

1 Timothy

We are to pray for all people. (1Ti 2:1)

All people are to pray. (1Ti 2:8)

2 Timothy

Paul regards Timothy as his spiritual son and prays for him night and day. (2Ti 1:1-3)

Paul prays that God forgive his brethren in that no one stood with him when he and God's word were attacked before Nero by Alexander. (2Ti 4:6-8,14-18 compare Ps 22:20-22)

Titus

(No mention of prayer.)

Philemon

Paul trusts that the prayers of others will open the way for his ministry. (Phm 1:22)

Hebrews

Jesus continually intercedes for us. (Heb 7:25)

James

Prayer and anointing by the elders are prescribed for the sick. (Jas 5:14,15)

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (Jas 5:16)

1 Peter

Marital discord and disrespectful treatment of a spouse will hinder prayer. (1Pe 3:7)

God hears the prayers of the righteous. (1Pe 3:12)

As we approach the end of this world, we are to be especially mindful of prayer. (1Pe 4:7)

2 Peter

We are to grow in our knowledge of Jesus. This requires regular communion with Him. (2Pe 3:18)

1 John

Prayer cannot override defiant human will. (1Jn 5:16 compare Nu 15:29-31, Mt 12:32, and Mk 3:29)

Note on Nu 15:30: Presumptuously - "Willful; done with bold design, rash confidence or in violation of known duty; as a presumptuous sin." (Webster's Dictionary 1828)

2 John

(No mention of prayer.)

3 John

(No mention of prayer.)

Jude

We are to pray in the Spirit. (Jude 1:18-20)

Revelation

The prayers of the saints ascend before God. (Rev 5:8, Rev 8:3,4)

The church cries for her Saviour/Deliverer. (Rev 12:1,2,5)