Bill Brinkworth

Prayer is important for a Christian to communicate with God, yet so few take advantage of the opportunity to talk with God. Too many just list the names of those they are burdened for or recite their needs like a shopping list and call it prayer. Some ask of God improperly. Some only pray when there is an emergency. Others just ask of God like He is some kind of Santa Claus, and not the Creator of the universe.

“Pray” in the Bible is not always referring to asking with earnest zeal to God. Often it is used when a person is requiring something from another person as:
“Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:” Gen. 18:4 Also in: Gen. 19:2, 19:8, Gen. 24:14, Gen. 25:30, Ruth 2:7.

Much of the time in the Scriptures, however, it is referring to a solemn plea to the Almighty. Although a full examination of what the Bible says about prayer is not possible in this little publication, here is some of what the Bible reveals about prayer:

Jesus prayed.
“And when he [Jesus] had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.” Mat. 14:23 Also: Luke 6:12, Luke 22:45.

God wants you to ask Him for your needs.
“And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Luke 11:9  Also: Mat. 7:7, John 11:22.

He knows what your needs are before you ask, but God wants you to humble yourself and ask Him.
“Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” Mat. 6:8

God loves to hear the prayers of the righteous!
“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.” Prov. 15:8
“The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.” Prov. 15:29

God does answer prayers!
“Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years.” Isa 38:5
“But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.” Luke 1:13  Also: II Chron. 7:12, Psalm 6:9.

One’s spiritual Father in Heaven will meet one’s needs better than any person on earth!
“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” Luke 11:13

We need to ask by faith; knowing that God will answer our prayers.
“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” James 1:6
“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Mat. 21:22

Pray sincerely, frequently, and often with fasting (not eating which show Gods one’s sincerity in His supplying their needs.
“And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:” Dan 9:3
“Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” Mat. 17:21 Also: Mark 9:29, James 5:16.

Prayers will be answered by those that are obedient to God’s commandments.
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7

God gives us a model of what a prayer should contain. We are not to pray it; it is a prayer guideline of what our supplications should contain:
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” Mat. 6:9-13

God will be attentive when more than one are earnestly going to Him in prayer about the same matter.
“Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” Mat. 18:19  Also: Acts. 1:14.

Those redeemed by the blood of Christ (those saved) should ask in Jesus’ name.
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” John 14:13
“If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” John 14:14  Also: John 15:16, John 16:23-24

The Holy Spirit helps us in our prayers.
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Rom. 8:26 

We can talk to our heavenly Father, anytime. We should talk to Him all the time!
“Pray without ceasing.” I Thes. 5:17
“Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” Psalm 55:17 Also: Psalm 88:13, Luke 18:1, Acts. 6:4, Acts 12:5, Rom. 12:12.

We can talk to our heavenly Father anywhere, but it should be private.
“I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” I Tim. 2:8
“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Mat. 6:6

A saved person can ask of God for:
Anything: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6
Comfort: “Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.” Psalm 119:76 
Health: “Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.” James 5:13  Also: Psalm 102:1, James 5:14-16.
Helpers in the ministry: “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” Mat. 9:38 Also: Luke 10:2.
Help in not being tempted by sin: “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mat. 26:41 Also: Luke 22:40.
Help with finances: “He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.” Psalm 102:17
Help with one’s enemies: “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Mat. 5:44  Also: Mat. 21:22, Luke 6:28.
His country’s sake: “Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.” Neh. 1:6
“Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” Rom. 10:1
Mercy: “Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.” Psalm 66:20
Peace: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.” Psalm 122:6
The needs of others: “Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:” II Thes 1:11 
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” Eph. 6:18 Also: II Thes. 3:1, James 5:16.
Wisdom. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” James 1:5 

Many do not have what they need of God because they:
Do not ask Him. “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.” James 4:2
Ask improperly; often selfishly. “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” James 4:3
Are separated from God’s help because of their sin. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” Psalm 66:18 
“Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through.” Lam. 3:44 Also: I Kings 8:35, Jer. 11:14, Psalm 80:4, Isa. 45:20 Lam. 3:8.
Ask the wrong “god”. “Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save.” Isa. 45:20
Are praying for a situation in which God will not intervene.
“Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.” Jer. 7:16
Are hypocritical: “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.” Mat. 6:5
Are not sincerely seeking God: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.” Mat. 23:14
Without meaning they repeat the same prayer over and over. “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” Mat. 6:7

Prayer is needed to get back in fellowship with God.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” II Chron. 7:14
“Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.” Acts 8:22  Also: II Chron. 6:26, 38, I King 8:33.

It is sin not to pray, especially for others.
“Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:” I Sam. 12:23

“If Christians spent as much time praying as they do grumbling, they would soon have nothing to grumble about.”

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