What the Bible Says about Prayer

The Bible says a lot about prayer. You don’t have to know all these things to start praying, but they can help us better pray in line with God’s will and desire. Below are condensed, summary statements on prayer in the Bible. This list is a taken from a Group Study Guide on Spiritual Disciplines. This might help us know ways to pray, what to pray about, how to approach God, or why some things might not be answered. Hopefully the list frees us up as we see how different praying can look and how God is at work in and through our praying.

  • Prayer takes on many forms, including: Confession (1 John 1:9); Lament (Lam. 3); Supplication (Phil. 4:6); Thanksgiving (Ps. 95:2-3); Adoration (1 Chr. 29:11-12); Intercession (1 Tim. 2:1).
  • Prayer involved multiple postures in the Bible, including: Sitting (2 Sam. 7:18); Kneeling (Acts 7:60); Standing (Mark 11:25); Hands Lifted (1 Tim. 2:8); and Face Down or On the Ground (Mark 14:35).
  • Prayer takes place alone (Luke 6:12), in the local church (Acts 2:42-47), among believers (James 5:16), and as a family (Deut 6:7; 1 Chr. 29:19).
  • God hears our prayers. We have God’s ear as his children (Ps. 17:6).
  • God delights in our prayers (Prov. 15:8; Rev. 5:8; Ps 147:11).
  • God knows how to give us good gifts and delights to do so (Matt 6:32; 7:11).
  • We are to pray according to God’s will, seen in the Word (1 John 5:14; Matt 26:39)
  • We pray in the name of Jesus—through his merits, authority, and mediation (John 14:13; 15:16)
  • We are to pray at all times and without giving up (1 Thess. 5:17; Luke 18:1).
  • We are to watch in anticipation of God’s working (Col. 4:2).
  • We are to pray when troubled, burdened, or needing something (Phil. 4:6; 1 Peter 5:7; James 5:13).
  • We are to pray in faith and belief (Mark 11:24).
  • We are to pray when tempted (Matt. 26:41).
  • The Spirit and Jesus help us and intercede with us as we pray (Rom. 8:26; Heb. 4:14).
  • Unrepentant sin can affect our prayers (Ps. 66:18; Prov. 15:29; 28:9; 1 Peter 3:7).
  • God invites us to ask for things we desire and trust him to know if we need it (Matt. 7:6; James 4:3).
  • God does not promise to answer yes to every prayer (2 Cor. 12: 12:7-10; Matt. 26:39)
  • Selfish prayers aren’t promised prayers (James 4:3; I John 5:14).
  • Prayers are normally directed to the Father in the Son’s name through the Spirit (Matt. 6:9; John 15:16).
  • Jesus models heartfelt, emotional, and submissive prayer to his Father (Matt. 6:9; 26:39; John 17).

Published by


You can follow me on Twitter or Instagram @IndyCrowe for the short & sweet stuff.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s