What Does the Bible Say About Prayer?

Prayer will always have an element of mystery to it. We can’t completely figure out how it works or how we interact with God’s will through prayer. But we do know that God tells us to pray, and that He reveals a picture of what prayer should look like in the Bible. This is a resource to get you started in exploring what the Bible says about prayer.

God responds to the prayers of the righteous:

  • Proverbs 15:29 – The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
  • Other Bible verses: 2 Chronicles 7:14, Psalm 66:19, Proverbs 15:8, Proverbs 28:9, 1 Peter 3:12, James 15:16

Prayer is personal and worshipful:

  • Luke 5:16 – But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
  • Other Bible verses: Acts 16:25, 1 Corinthians 14:13-15, Mark 12:40 , Matthew 6:5-7, Acts 16:25, Matthew 6:9-13

God receives glory from our prayers:

  • 2 Thessalonians 1:12 – We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Pray with expectation for God to respond:

  • Mark 11:24 – Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
  • Other Bible verses: Matthew 21:22

Pray specific requests:

Pray for healing:

  • James 5:15-16 – Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.

Pray for enemies:

  • Matthew 5:44 – But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
  • Other Bible verses: Luke 6:28

Pray for people to know God:

  • Colossians 4:3 – And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.
  • Other Bible verses: Acts 8:15

Pray for forgiveness:

  • Matthew 6:12  – And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
  • Other Bible verses: Acts 8:22, Mark 11:25

Pray when you fast:

  • Acts 13:3 – So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
  • Other Bible verses: Acts 14:23

Pray with persistence:

  • Luke 18:1 – Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
  • Other Bible verses: Ephesians 6:18,  Colossians 1:9, 1 Timothy 5:5


Pray in all circumstances:

  • Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
  • Other Bible verses: Colossians 4:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Ephesians 6:18, Romans 12:12, 1 Timothy 2:8, 1 Peter 4:7, Romans 12:12

Pray for your personal Godliness:

  • Philippians 1:9 – And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight
  • Other Bible Verses: Ephesians 3:14-19, Luke 21:36,  Luke 22:46,  Matthew 6:13, Mark 14:38

Pray for God to sustain you:

  • Matthew 6:11 – Give us today our daily bread.

Pray with other people:

  • James 5:13-16 – Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Next Steps

It is one thing to know about prayer, and another thing entirely to apply what we’ve learned and to actually pray. Pick one of these topics on prayer and practice it as we fast and pray together as a church on Tuesday, March 15.


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