Prayer is one of the most important ways we communicate with God. The significance of prayer can be seen throughout the Bible through many examples. We, as Christians fully believe in prayer and have faith that our prayers are heard by God and answered - according to his will.
Jesus prays many times in the New Testament and His examples are always important to us as our Saviour
The gospel of John contains Jesus’ longest recorded prayer in John chapter 17. The whole chapter is dedicated to a prayer of Jesus addressed to God and occurs immediately before His betrayal and crucifixion. Here, Jesus asks God to bless his disciples and asks that they might be perfected in truth, unity, and love.
It’s interesting to note that even though Jesus’ suffering is at hand and many events are on his mind regarding this, he is thinking and focused on others. I believe this is a great example of love and how our thoughts should be focused on others and their well-being in our prayers.
The power of prayer is shared in the gospel of Luke as well as other gospels
Jesus tells us in Luke 11:9-10: So, I say to you, ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives, and he who seeks, finds, and to him who knocks, it will be opened.
The apostle Paul often prays for disciples he writes to in his epistles. In addition, he gives us instructions and help on how to pray and what to pray for.
In Philippians 4:6-7: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
In Thessalonians 5:16-18: Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Finally, the apostle John tells us in 1 John 5:14-15 … This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
We see the importance of prayer in many examples throughout the Bible. I’ve only mentioned a few here that come to mind. There are many examples for us in the OT as well as the NT. A search tells us there are over 600 different prayers in the Bible.
Among them are prayers from: Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and Job. In addition, King David and King Solomon. Also, prophets such as Elijah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Isaiah, and Jeremiah. These are all from the Old Testament.
In the New testament, prayers from the apostles such as Peter, James, John, and the apostle Paul come to mind, as well as prayers from our saviour, Jesus Christ.
In summary, thoughts we can take away from these examples include:
- Pray without ceasing … In essence, place God first in our lives, and direct our mind and thoughts continually towards God as the creator and ask for His guidance in all things.
- Give thanks and praise to God for all blessings. It is He who gave us life and all we have is due to God’s love for us. God requests and anticipates our prayers and thanks to Him through Jesus.
- Confess our sins in our prayers. The apostle John tells us in First John 1: 9-10, If we confess our sins, He is faithful to cleanse us. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
- Pray for others and focus on the well being of our brothers and sisters. This goes to love which is so important to God. Over and over the Bible teaches us to be humble, and consider the well being of others in our lives as Christians.
- Pray that God’s will be done in all things. Jesus gives us the example of this in Luke 22:42. Jesus’ prayer to God is that, If You are willing, take this cup from me, yet not my will, but Thine be done.
As we continue to do God’s will and grow in faith and knowledge of His word … let’s remember to pray as the Bible instructs us and use the power of prayer in our lives as Christians. This is God’s will and is laid out so clearly for us in His word. Following His teachings regarding prayer will help us to grow in our faith, hope, and love, and in our ability to communicate with Him, and walk with God and please and obey Him in our lives.