I don’t think anything scares people more than being asked to pray. Prayer causes some people to panic. Yet others ask what’s the big deal about prayer? It doesn’t work. God never answers me anyway. Why bother?
However, prayer is one of the most intimate ways we can connect to God. It isn’t any different than sharing our lives with our best friend over a cup of coffee. Prayer is just a heart to heart conversation with the One who loves you most.
There is no right or wrong way to pray. In fact, the Bible contains a variety of styles, from simple and direct to prayers that are songs.
One fascinating feature of prayer is that it is unique between every person and God. No one prays quite the same. Each of us may find ourselves praying in a different way depending on the situation, the need, or what we have to say to God.
It is man’s traditions and expectations and motives regarding prayer that can hinder us. However, there isn’t anything more powerful than having a heart to heart conversation with our Lord and Savior. Moreover, what a privilege it is for us to just speak the name of Jesus. All heaven stops when one of the Saviors children call upon Him.
A brief look at the scriptures in the bible regarding prayer.
The best place to look for prayer encouragement is in the Scriptures. In this short study, we shall allow the scriptures to answer the following seven questions which are the who, what, when, where, and how of prayer in scripture to enhance our prayers with the Lord.
- Who should pray?
- Who should we pray for?
- What should we be praying for?
- When should a person pray?
- Where should we pray?
- Why should we pray?
- How should we pray?
Now it would appear that the answers are obvious. And you would be right. However, as I have been searching the scriptures regarding prayer, it has helped me to drill down a little deeper than the obvious. I have found that our God is deeply interested in our lives and available anytime. He does not fluff off a prayer prayed from our heart. I am encouraged when I look at how others sought the Lord.
I also include references to a few of the actual prayers prayed in the scriptures. They are great guides for our own prayers. Better yet, personalizing the scriptures and turning them into your own personal prayer is POWERFUL!
I am in the process of creating a small booklet from the next few posts on my study through the scriptures regarding prayer. It’s my hope you will consider downloading the small booklet once it is completed.
I hope you are encouraged as much as I was by the time you are finished. Let’s begin our study with scriptures on who should pray and who we need to be praying for.
Who Should Pray?
We see clearly in the following scriptures that:
- everyone is to pray
- people turn from their evil ways
- violence is to be stopped
- people are to be devoted to prayer
People and animals alike must wear garments of mourning, and everyone must pray earnestly to God. They must turn from their evil ways and stop all their violence. – Jonah 3:8
All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. – Acts 2:42
The Big deal Concerning Who We are to be Praying For
Who we pray for is a big deal to God. Below are a few scriptures outlining who we are to be praying for specifically.
- Fellow believers – “If you see a fellow believer sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. “- 1 John 5:16
- All people – “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf and give thanks for them.” – 1 Timothy 2:1
- Kings and those in authority – “Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.” – 1 Timothy 2:2
- Leaders in the Church – “Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us [Paul’s ministry team]. Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you”. – 2 Thessalonians 3:1
- “Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join in my struggle by praying to God for me.” – Romans 15:30
- “Dear brothers and sisters pray for us. “- 1 Thessalonians 5:25
- 5 Ways to Pray for Your Pastor and leaders
- Those who hurt you and persecute you – “Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.” – Luke 6:28
- “But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! “- Matthew 5:44
Just to Recap
Starting out with the basics of who needs to pray was not a mystery. Everyone need to be talking with God. That is how you build a relationship with someone. You need to communicate. It tends to be a lost art in our day.
We also see we need to pray for everyone. However, the bible also mentions specific groups of people. I’m sure you could find more if you searched the scriptures for yourself.
In my next post, I will be looking at scriptures that speak regarding specific things we need to be praying for in our prayer times.
I have included a link to a table I assembled for your encouragement of people in the Old Testament that prayed to God along with the results of prayers prayed. You can see it HERE.