Biblical Prayer: The disciples talk about prayer.

Romans 8:26-27, Call on the Spirit for help.
Matthew 9:36-38; Ephesians 6:18-20; Colossians 4:2-4, Pray for the spread of the Gospel.
James 1:5-8, Pray for wisdom.
1 John 5:14-17, Pray for the sins of others.
1 Peter 3:9-12, Pray for your persecutors.

More About Biblical Prayer

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Romans 8:26-27, Call on the Spirit for help. (10/6/08)

Sometimes I just don't understand a situation well enough to know what to pray for.  I tend to fall back on, "I don't know what's going on, and I don't know what my friend needs, but you do, Lord, so could you just take care of him?"  Other times, someone says, "Will you pray for me?" without saying why.  (Not to me personally, because I deservedly don't have much of a rep as a good pray-er.)  Paul says it's okay.  Specific prayer is good, but heartfelt prayer that calls upon the Holy Spirit for the details is also effective.

Today’s Prayer: Blessed Holy Spirit, here's a situation that I don't understand and can't do anything about, but I am really concerned.  ...   I ask for your blessing and intercession for the people who are involved.  Amen.

Matthew 9:36-38; Ephesians 6:18-20; Colossians 4:2-4, Pray for the spread of the Gospel. (10/7/08)

Are you called to be a missionary?  I'm not.  On the other hand, if it hadn't been for missionaries, I would still be following my ancestors' practices, which I think included tree-worshipping.  Thank God for those earliest of missionaries who went out into the dark wilds of western Europe so that I could be born into a Christian family!  All Christians are called to pray for the spread of the Gospel and for the missionaries who are actively engaged in taking God's Word of Life to people who have never heard it.  

Today’s Prayer: Dear God, we pray for missionaries, both official and unofficial.  We pray especially for the missionaries sponsored by our own churches; for our mission teams that raise funds for local food ministries; for our our ministries that serve our disadvantaged fellow-Christians here and abroad; for our youth; and for each one of the missionaries that we and our fellow-readers support personally.  Bless their work.  Make them fruitful for you.  Remind us always to pray for them and to support them physically, too.  Amen.

James 1:5-8, Pray for wisdom. (10/8/08)

Do you remember the agnostic who prayed, "O God, if there is a God, please save my soul, if I have a soul"?  James, brother of the Lord, tells us that this type of prayer will not get results.  Pray in faith and confidence.  Thirty years ago, I read (in The Upper Room, maybe?), "If you pray for rain, carry an umbrella!"  If you don't know for sure whether your request is worthy of complete confidence, pray for wisdom.

Today’s Prayer: Dear God, I know you will give me wisdom, and I want it!  Amen.

1 John 5:14-17, Pray for the sins of others. (10/9/08)

We know that praying for God's blessing on other people is certainly within His will.  What I don't understand how my prayers for a fellow-Christian who is sinning or has sinned can have any effect at all on God's attitude toward that person.  I know that God will not cross that person's will, and I know God can't love him or her any more than He already does, so I really don't have a clue how my prayers can help.  Nevertheless, John says such prayers are effective.  So pray specifically for fellow-Christians that you know are sinning.  Silently, please.

Today’s Prayer: God, please bless and forgive my brother or sister in Christ, _____.  Bring _____ to new life in you.  Amen.

1 Peter 3:9-12, Pray for your persecutors. (10/10/08)

Sigh.  It's bad enough that God wants me to pray for others instead of my own pressing and legitimate wants and needs.  Then I come to find out I have to pray for the sins of others, when I've got plenty of my own to worry about.  Now I find out that I have to pray for my enemies!  Try not to make enemies; it really cuts into your prayer time. 

Today’s Prayer: Dear God, You know I don't have any use for ______.  We don't get along, because ______ has done me a bad turn.  Probably I’ve done _____ a bad turn, as well. I sincerely ask your special blessing on ______, whom I know you love just as much as you love me.  Forgive me for my part in this, and change me. Amen.


More About Biblical Prayer

The Purpose of Prayer
Conversations with God – Abraham
Conversations with God – Moses
Conversations with God – David and Solomon
Adoration: Sing to the Lord a New Song
Liturgical Prayer
When God Speaks
God promises to answer all prayers…
… Except the prayers of the Wicked. But if the Wicked repent, God hears them, too.
Sometimes the answer is “No.”
The disciples talk about prayer.
How Not to Pray
How to Pray: Effectively
How to Pray – Privately
How to Pray – Corporately

Copyright 2008, 2011 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved.

Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the Bible-study participants.  Thanks to the Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers for their support and enthusiasm.  All errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.

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