What Does the Bible Say About Prayer

So in the past week, I’ve been going over various ways and ideas on how to pray. Today I want to share with you what the Bible says about prayer.

Hop over to my Facebook page to see the series on Prayer with all of this information plus the short videos.

First I want you to know that God has drawn near and He desires for us to draw near to Him. Richard Foster beautifully states,

He is inviting you–me–to come home, to come home to where we belong, to come home to that for which we were created. His arms are stretched out wide to receive us… For too long we have been in a far country: a country of noise and hurry and crowds… And he welcomes us home…

Richard Foster

There are lots of passages that talk about prayer in the Bible and also many examples of prayers in fact there is a whole book of prayers which we call the Psalms.

Prayer is simply having a conversation with God. I’m currently reading through Chronicles and throughout the book, you constantly see, “they called upon the name of the Lord…” for help, wisdom, guidance, strength, and to praise Him.

Prayer is one of the ways we declare to God that we know He cares for us and we trust in His almighty, wise, and good ways. In the garden of Gethsemane we hear Jesus utter these words of surrender:

Your will be done.

Matthew 26:42

Prayer is a way to quiet our hearts and minds and listen to what He has to say to us. It reminds me of the verse in Psalms 46:10, Be still and know that I am God.

In prayer we allow our Heavenly father to sing over us as stated in Zephaniah 3:17.

The Lord your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.

Is there a specific bodily position, time, or place to pray?

Throughout the Bible we see His people come before Him in various ways. From the beginning in the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve are walking and talking to Him. In the Old Testament, God required a specific way, person, and ritual to enter into His presence. We see David and the people of God sing some of their prayers in 1 Kings and 1 Chronicles. In other places we find them bowing down, kneeling, sitting, hands lifted up…

There are also various passages that have people praying at all times of the day in various places whether it’s in the midst of a battle, early in the morning, in a dark prison cell, in the wilderness, on the road, at home, in the temple, tabernacle, on the cross, in the midst of temptation…

So I think it’s safe to say there are many forms of approaching Him, at any time of the day anywhere we find ourselves.

Is prayer a private matter?

There is the passage in Matthew 6:5-8 that asks us to close the door but there are also numerous passages where you see corporate prayer happening in both the old and new testament. I was just reading how King Jehosophat calls on his people to come together to fast and pray and throughout the book of Acts we read how they gathered to pray and praise together as a group.

We also see Jesus praying in public and in private when he pulls away from the crowd to pray (Luke 5:16). Then in Luke 9:28 Jesus prays with others.

We are left with various ways to pray to Him either with the body of Christ or in private.

What things do we pray for and how do we pray?

God has made us all unique individuals that for anyone to say there is only one way to pray is like saying there is only one way to love.

But we do see various scriptures that tell us some things about what to pray for and how. In Luke 11: 1-4 he is approached by a disciple who asks Jesus to teach him to pray. What Jesus responds with is what’s been called the Lord’s prayer.

Jesus starts off the Lord’s prayer by calling Him Father, honoring God’s name, His will be done, request for provisions, forgiveness, and to be delivered from evil.

Later we see in Luke 22:32 and John 17:9 that Jesus prays for Simon and prays for the world reminding us of the need to intercede on behalf of others.

We are told to pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:16
Pray for our enemies. Mathew 5:44
Pray for the sick. James 5:14
Pray for deliverance from temptation. Matthew 26:41
Pray for a renewed mind. Romans 12:2
Pray for Wisdom. James 1:5
Draw near with confidence. Hebrews 14:6
Pray about everything. Let your request be made known to God. Phil 4:6-7

God Speaks through Prayer

Often we enter into monologues when we pray but God speaks to us through prayer so it’s important to quiet ourselves. But keep in mind that God will never contradict himself so you can always fact-check what you’re hearing, with the Bible. For example, if you hear God saying it’s okay you have an extramarital affair. Well if you fact-check that with the Bible you’ll know that’s not from God. The Bible clearly tells us in Hebrews 13:4 to honor one another in our marriage.

Prayer requires us to have a truthful understanding of God through His word not just experiences or random quotes or Instagram posts. God speaks to us through the Bible so spend some time in His word that way you know if what you’re hearing aligns with His truth.

Finally, I must add that not all of our prayers will be answered in the way that we would like. Sometimes He responds with “Not now! Nope or a resounding “Yes!”. Jesus prayed in the garden to be released from what was about to happen to Him but then we hear him say, “not my will, but yours.”

Prayer is our strength.
Prayer comfort us.
Prayer reminds us of His love and care.
Prayer guides us.
Prayer is our connection to Him.
Prayer is our way to care for and encourage others.
Prayer is one of our greatest weapons.
Prayer is how He speaks to us through His word.

Praying Through the Bible: Romans

I’m so excited about this Praying through the Bible series! A few years ago I put together “Praying Psalms for Your Family” with prayer cards and printable. The latest project I’m releasing is “Praying Romans for Your Family” FREE printable. Maybe there will be prayer cards to go with it but not sure at this point.

Romans is the perfect book to pray through!

I’ve been studying the book of Romans for close to a year now. I started last winter in preparation for the curriculum I wrote with a group of women. Our church is going through the book of Romans so I’m studying it in Sunday School, it’s also our sermon series and we are going through it in our women’s ministry. So I’m basically dreaming Romans at this point. Just kidding.

In light of all of that, you’d think I’m a walking commentary on Romans but I’m not. Romans is a shock full of so many amazing truths that I could spend years in it and still learn something new.

Well, in the book of Romans Paul outlines some theological truths right from the beginning. He points out our depravity, justification, propitiation, sanctification, and Salvation through faith.

So it’s easy to walk away with a list of big words and lots of theological knowledge but let’s take it a step further to see how the gospel changes our life in our every day.
The gospel changes how I do housework.
The gospel changes how I parent and treat my spouse.
The gospel changes what I do after I sin.
The gospel changes how I fight against temptation.
The gospel changes how I handle my business deals.
The gospel changes how I treat my neighbor and my enemy.
The gospel changes how I view immigrants, refugees, people of color, or anyone different from me.
The gospel changes how I pray.
The gospel changes how I see myself and the shame I carry.
The gospel changes how I submit to the authorities over me.

The gospel changes everything.

Paul makes it clear –live out the gospel.

As you embrace the truth that you are forgiven, accepted, loved, and empowered by God you will live differently.

So let’s meditate on Romans while we pray scripture for ourselves, others, and our family!

Background information on Romans

Romans is written: By Paul most likely around AD57 while on his 3rd missionary journey (Acts 2:2-3) probably while in Corinth. Paul is a fascinating character. I highly recommend you do a study of his life.

Audience: He’s writing to believers, the Roman church which actually meets in several house churches. So don’t imagine one big church building congregating to hear his letter. He wrote to the Roman church not having visited them before.

Background: At the time Nero is the emperor. Rome was like the Paris or New York of our time. If anything was happening it was happening in Rome first. Some commentators would say it was considered the base of civilization itself. Politics and paganism were rising in the capital city. The Jews were exiled from Rome a few years prior under the reign of Nero’s father so they are just returning and adjusting back to their life in Rome. In their absence, the church was filled by the Gentiles. So as the Jews reenter into the church scene there is tension on how things should be done, eaten, circumcised, or uncircumcised, and salvation vs works.

Praying Romans

So I think Romans is the perfect book to pray through because throughout each page we are reminded to live out the gospel in our everyday life.

You may be asking at this point, “What is the gospel?” Well, in Greek the word means good news. Pretty simple, right but it entails so much so I’ll just stick to the basics.

Let’s look at Romans 1:16 “I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…”

If we look at this verse it tells us that the gospel is power.
But not just any power. It’s the power of God.
For what? For salvation.
For who? To everyone who believes.

We can’t appreciate the good news of salvation until we’ve embraced the bad news–our sinfulness.

When we see the power of God, His love for us, and the pit of darkness we were saved from through the work of Jesus on the cross our lives are changed.

Then we are able to embrace the gospel in our everyday life.

So in the simplest of terms, the gospel is –God pursued you at your darkest sinful state with His everlasting love and gave you the gift of His righteousness through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ making you His child. This is what gives you the boldness to call on Him as your, “Abba, Father!”

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Romans 8:15

So children of God are you ready to go before the throne of grace on behalf of your family and for yourselves? Let’s do this!

5 Ways to Pray Scripture in 5 Days

Stay tuned because next week, I will spend 5 days showing you 5 ways to pray Scripture on my Facebook live video. If you get my emails at the end I’ll send a link to all of them so you have it in one place.

There are so many ways to pray scripture. It can be as simple as reading a passage in scripture that was originally a prayer. The Psalms are full of those. Or praying back a verse to remind you of who God is or who you are in Him.

Tips on Praying Scripture:

-Take a picture of the printable once you print it off so you can have it as a reference when you’re not at home looking at the printable.
-Always start by reading through the verse of the day. If you have time I highly recommend you read the passage each verse is found. What I enjoy doing is listening to the verse several times on my Bible app while I’m walking, biking, or cleaning my house. Then I pray it back to God.
-Schedule it. Find a time you can do it consistently. So if you know dinner time is super busy at your house then that’s probably not the time to schedule praying scripture. But maybe it’s while you lay in bed in the morning or when you brush your teeth or possibly on your way home from driving the kids to school.
-Make it stick by pairing it with another routine. Think through the things you do every single day and figure out when you care pair this new habit of praying scripture. For me, it’s when I do breakfast dishes that my children left in the sink or when I heat up my morning water for tea.
-Keep it simple. Don’t get overwhelmed with all the ways to pray scripture. God simply wants you to draw near to Him so just start talking to Him. Don’t worry He will guide you as you pray His Word back to Him.

Take a look at the various ways I have outlined “prayer practices” in other articles like the Delight & Declare practice or I share here 8 Things to Remember When you Pray Scripture.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:16

You can download your copy of this FREE Printable by click the “Download” button below. Print it off and place it somewhere you can see it daily.

Stay tuned as I work on getting the “Praying Through the Names of Jesus” prayer cards to go with my reader’s favorite Christmas tradition “Names of Jesus Ornament Advent“.

You can also insert your email below to get this free printable plus all of my other free resources I share with my readers.