What does the Bible say about prayer?

One would be hard pressed, even in today’s times, to find many people who are not familiar with the “Lord’s Prayer” as found in Matthew 6:9-13. However, the Bible has more to say about prayer than just these few verses. The Bible teaches what prayer is, why we pray, how we pray, and what happens both personally and Spiritually when we pray. With all of this in mind, What does the Bible say about prayer?

As just mentioned, Matthew 6:9-13 lists the “Lord’s Prayer” as it is known by most people. However, when you look at the rest of chapter six in Matthew, you will find that the whole chapter is a further explaination of the prayer itself. To start, let’s look at the body of the prayer is found in Matthew 6:9-13 as follows:

(Matthew 6:9-13 KJV)  “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.”

If you notice in verse nine, Jesus tells us to pray “after this manner.” According to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, the word manner means: “Form, method, way of performing or executing, custom, habitual practice, sort, kind. or way.” In other words, Jesus is telling us to pray in this way. He is not telling us that when we pray we have to repeat the same words in order for it to be considered a proper prayer. Unfortunately, some people teach that this is what He was saying, but in doing so they are violating the very words he also spoke in Matthew 6 about repetitious praying as we will see later.

When it comes to praying, we are told in Philippians 4:6, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (emphasis added)” This verse teaches us that there is are things to keep in mind and should consider when praying. Starting with the phrase “Be careful for nothing” we are told not to be anxious or worry about anything.

The next thing to consider is that we are told three things about what we should do: prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving. To remember these things, think of the hissing sound “pst” (pssssst) you make with your lips when you are trying to get someone’s attention in a quiet place like a library. Imagine you are approaching God and you say, “Pst, God, I would like to talk to you.” This will help you to remember that we should pray with supplication and thanksgiving.

First, when we are anxious or fearful, we should pray. As we will learn, this does not mean you must learn 16th Century Old English or assume a pose with head bowed and eyes closed. It simply means we should talk with God like we do with a friend.

Jesus emphasized this when he told the disciples in John 15:14-17 that He was not just their Lord, but He was their friend. We certainly would not talk to our friends in 16th Century Old English; they would think we have lost our mind. Instead, talk to the Lord from the heart. Tell Him what is on your mind.

Second, we are told to pray with supplication. According to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, supplication means: “Entreaty, humble and earnest prayer in worship, or petition.” When thinking about supplication, think of the word supple. If someone has supple skin, their skin is soft and easily moldable or pliable. It gives when pressed from the outside. Likewise, when praying with supplication, we are praying with the mindset and words that show our willingness to humble ourselves before God and allow our thoughts and actions to be molded by Him.

Third we should communicate thanksgiving in our prayer. We should tell God that we are thankful for all the things he has done for us and the experiences He gives us good and bad. This is told to us a few verses earlier in Philippians 4:4 KJV  “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” We rejoice in the Lord always knowing that He has our best intentions in heart and is allowing us the opportunity to grow to be more like Jesus with the experiences we encounter in life (Romans 5:3-5; Romans 8:28-31; 1 Corinthians 10:13; James 1:2-5).

When counseling people from God’s Word, we refer to Philippians 4:4-9 as “firestorm prayer.”

(Philippians 4:4-9 KJV)  “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. (5) Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. (6) Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (8) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (9) Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”

Firestorm prayer is the type of prayer you use in the middle of a firestorm of life that you are experiencing. It teaches us that when our minds are consumed with fear, anxiety, confusion, depression, or anger, we can demonstrate our mental stability in the situation because the Lord is at hand or with us. We know this is true because the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit that is in us gives us the ability to do so. (See Does the Bible say anything about mental health? for an in-depth study of this.)

We get ability to overcome the issues of life from the Holy Spirit that God puts in us when we trust Christ as our Saviour (Ephesians 1:13-14; Ephesians 4:30). It is the Holy Spirit that gives us eternal life (Romans 1:16; Romans 8:10-11) and the ability to do all the things that God has called us to do and to live a victorious life (Philippians 4:13). It is the power of the Holy Spirit that enables us to make Jesus the Lord of our life (1 Corinthians 12:3).

When we learn to depend on God’s Holy Spirit, we find the strength to overcome the issues in life because the Holy Spirit that lives in us is stronger than anything else there is (1 John 4:4). Likewise, the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin (John 16:7-9) and bears witness of the testimony of Jesus Christ (1 John 5:7-9; 1 Corinthians 1:18). He, the Holy Spirit, also gives us the ability to understand the deep things of God and the teachings of the Bible (John 16:13-14; 1 Corinthians 2:10-16).

Finally, when it comes to power, it is the power of the Holy Spirit that gives us hope (Romans 15:13) and empowers us to share the Gospel with others (1 Corinthians 2:1-5). It is His power that strengthens us and takes away our fears (Psalms 27:1).

With all of these things in mind, we can return to the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 as follows:

(Matthew 6:9-13 KJV)  “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.”

Again, referring to Matthew 6:9 and understanding the manner or prayer, we start by acknowledging God first:  “Our Father which art in heaven…” The Bible tells us God is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last (Revelation 1:8, 11; Revelation 21:6; Revelation 22:13). God was in the beginning (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-2; Hebrews 1:10; ) and will continue to be in the end (Ecclesiastes 3:1; Daniel 6:26). Alpha and Omega refer to the first and last letters in the Greek alphabet. Simply stated, we acknowledge God first and at the end of the prayer, when we say, “Amen.”

The next portion of the prayer also found in Matthew 6:9 is “hallowed be they name.” Hallowed means holy. We are acknowledging that God’s name is holy (Psalms 33:21; Psalms 103:1; Acts 4:30; Revelation 15:4) as is God Holy (Leviticus 20:7; 1 Peter 1:15-16). By referring to God as Holy, we are acknowledging His purity in righteousness, goodness, and authority over and above all things.

Matthew 6:1-4, Matthew 6:5-8, and Matthew 6:16-18 gives us three areas of consideration to keep in mind as we “hallow” God’s name. The first is in the area of the giving of our time, talents, and tokens (alms) to the the work  of the Lord as found in Matthew 6:1-4.

(Matthew 6:1-4 KJV)  “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. (2) Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. (3) But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: (4) That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.”

We are taught in this passage that our giving should not be done so that it draws attention to ourselves. It should be done in secret so that even each of our two hands do not know what the other hand is doing. Too often, many people who profess to be Christians find ways of letting people know about their big donations or the work they are doing for charity. They might even insist that the money used to buy or build something has a plaque with their name on it or what ever the money is used for is named after them. They do this not because they they are motivated out of love for God and their neighbor, but out of pride, hoping that others see their generosity and think well of them. Hiding our “alms” so that only God sees them is showing God that we want to give Him the glory, not ourselves.

In Matthew 6:5-8, we are told to apply this principle when it comes to prayer.

(Matthew 6:5-8 KJV)  “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. (6) 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. (7) But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. (8) Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.”

Again, we are taught in this passage that our prayers should not be done so that it draws attention to ourselves. It should be done in secret so that only God knows when were are doing it. Likewise, many people who profess to be Christians find ways turning their prayers into shows to impress others. As mentioned before, they will use Old English when they don’t normally speak it or pray some robust prayer that they wrote out or copied from somewhere else instead of speaking from the heart. Often they will pray something that has the same words over and over again in the same prayer as if there is some sort of special power or acceptability with God when doing so.

Likewise, they do this not because they they are motivated out of a desire to communicate with God from the heart, but out of pride, hoping that others hear their prayers and think well of them. Praying in secret shows God that our communication with him is what is important. This is not to say that a group or congregation cannot pray together, but that it come from the heart of whomever is praying during the prayer as well as each person who is praying along. If it sounds like a speech, or is presented in the form of one, it probably is.

 Continuing on in Matthew 6:16-18, we see this principle applied in the area of fasting.

(Matthew 6:16-18 KJV)  “Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. (17) But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; (18) That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”

Using this same principle, fasting should be done in secret so that only the person and God knows about it. Obviously, close family members might notice the person is fasting, but like the person fasting, they should not let others know. Many professing Christians make a big deal out of this too. Often it is after-the-fact mentions of it with statements such as, “I was praying and fasting yesterday and the Lord really laid upon my heart…”

While there is nothing wrong with sharing what God lays upon our heart, we do not have to broadcast that we were fasting when it happened. It is almost like some want other people to know that they were fasting and because of it, God shared some special revelation with them that others are not made aware of because they do not have the special relationship with the Lord as the person telling them about it.

The next area of the prayer to consider is in Matthew 6:10,  “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” This passage tell us to pray that God’s will is done in all things. This is where supplication reveals itself in clearer form. Do we allow God’s will to be a priority in all areas of our life and our view of the word? Do we have  Biblical worldview when it comes to all areas of our thinking and actions?

Matthew 6: 19-21 refers to this thinking when comes to our attitude about where we place our priorities.

(Matthew 6:19-21 KJV)  “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: (20) But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: (21) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

This verse tells us that we should think about the eternal worth and benefit of everything. When we spend our life building our kingdom on earth as opposed to God’s kingdom we are saying in our hearts to God that our kingdom is more important that His. We are saying that our will is more important than His.

If we really think about it, everything we build to increase our kingdom is going to burn one day (Deuteronomy 32:21-23; Zephaniah 3:8; Nahum 1:5; 2 peter 3:7; 2 Peter 3:10-12). Likewise, until that day, everything we do to build our kingdom is subject to insect infestation that destroys, decay, and theft. Many people who claim to be believers say they love God, but are quick to say they do not have the time to go to church or to read their Bible. They make excuses for why they cannot help others or give to support the work of the ministry.

God wants us to focus on things that matter in eternity. Things that make a difference in people’s lives that will draw them closer to God, to love Him, and His people. When we look at where we invest the majority of our time, money, and efforts we see where our priorities are. We see the idols that are occupying thrones in our hearts that rightfully belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Corinthians 7:22-24; Ephesians 1:14; 2 Peter 2:1). We need to judge our own hearts to see if our priorities measure up to our calling as believers (1 Corinthians 11:26-28; 2 Corinthians 13:5; 1 Peter 4:16-17).

The next area that we should consider when praying is found in Matthew 6:11, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:25-34 tells us how we are to do this:

(Matthew 6:25-34 KJV)  “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? (26) Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? (27) Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? (28) And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: (29) And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (30) Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? (31) Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (32) (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. (33) But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (34) Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

These verses tell us that we should not worry about provision; what we are going to eat or wear. Instead, we are told that if God provides these things for the animals and plants, we are worth more in God’s eyes and He will provide these things to us.

When praying about these things, God knows what we need, however, we must ask ourselves, “Do we know?” The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:11-13 that he had learned that no matter what his situation, he learned to be content with what he had.

(Philippians 4:11-13 KJV)  “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (12) I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (13) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Paul learned that no matter what happened, God was going to provide for him and that he could continue doing all things through Christ. Too often we think that if we do not have all the latest conveniences, have the money to eat out and for entertainment, we are deprived. In developed nations many of us take for granted that we have a home with separate bedrooms, an abundance of food in the refrigerator, a car parked outside, and a source of income.

Often, as professed believers, when we do not have these things, we get depressed and complain that we are poor. However, the vast majority of believers elsewhere in the world do not have any of these things, yet they rejoice in the Lord always being filled with the Spirit in their attitudes and behaviors (Philippians 4:4; Ephesians 5:18-20). We need to learn a lesson from our less fortunate brethren and learn that peace and contentment does not come with stuff. It comes with a close relationship with God Who will provide us with our every need, not our every want.

As we continue in prayer, we are told in Matthew 6:12,  “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Although some Bible versions use the word trespasses, the use of the words debts and debtors encompasses a much wider area of consideration. Typically we think of this verse with the word trespasses in mind referring to sin. However, when using the word debt it includes financial dealings (Matthew 18:23-35; Romans 15:26-27 ) and God’s grace toward us (Proverbs 22:26-27; Luke 7:40-43; Romans 4:4-5; Romans 8:12).

Whether it is money or sin, God expects us to forgive people as we have been forgiven by Him. However, Paul writes something about forgiveness as Christians when it comes to money in 1 Corinthians 6:1-8 as follows:

(1 Corinthians 6:1-8 KJV)  “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? (2) Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? (3) Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? (4) If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. (5) I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? (6) But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. (7) Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? (8) Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.”

Paul rebuked the Christians at the church in Corinth because they are suing each other in heathen courts instead of taking these issues to the church where Matthew 18:15-20 can be used to come to a decision. He asks in 1 Corinthians 7-8 why they do not allow themselves to be “defrauded” in the matter. Using this term he is referring to something of value being taken from them by someone else. In other words, Paul is pointing out that they are more concerned about collecting their debts than forgiveness.

This still happens today, Christians suing each other over stuff that will burn in the end. We live in a society that promotes suing someone if there is a possibility of making money in the process. Forgiveness gives way to vengeance and desire to make someone “pay” for their mistake. When we do hold this attitude, we are demonstrating that we are unforgiving and not allowing God to handle the situation (See Romans 12). Instead, we are called to forgive one another as Christ has forgiven us in all things (Luke 6:36-37; Ephesians 4:32; 2 Corinthians 2:10; 1 John 1:9). This includes not just offenses of deeds, but also in things of value.

Likewise, our attitude of forgiveness should be used to draw people to Christ, not push them away. If we really think about it, all of us owe our lives to God, the least we can do is give of ourselves in service to others for Him (Romans 12:1-2). Matthew 6:14-15 brings this concept to our prayers for forgiveness and for the strength to forgive others as a living sacrifice to God: “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: (15) But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Next, the prayer tells us in Matthew 6:13 to pray that God will lead our steps in paths of righteousness: “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.”

Many people mistakenly believe that God can lead us INTO temptation so we need to pray that He won’t. While God may allow us to be in areas where we may be exposed to temptations because we live in this world (John 8:23; 1 John 2:15-16; 1 Corinthians 5:9-10) He never will tempt us with evil. we learn of this in James 1:12-16:

(James 1:12-16 KJV)  “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. (13) Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: (14) But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. (15) Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (16) Do not err, my beloved brethren.”

We see from this passage that God cannot be tempted with evil, neither does he tempt anyone. Instead, we are tempted by our own lusts, which conceive sin. Sin then brings forth death. For the nonbeliever, death in Hell. For the believer, death of our testimony, our walk with God, our relationships with others, etc..

When considering Matthew 6:13 in our prayers, it is not to ask God not to tempt us, it is to ask God to help us overcome our own sinful lusts and desires, which lead us into evil or sin. This is echoed in Psalms 199:11 and Psalms 119:110 as follows:

(Psalms 119:11 KJV)  “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

(Psalms 119:105 KJV)  “NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

We hide God’s Word in our heart so that our hearts to not produce evil thoughts and behaviors (Psalms 119:133; Matthew 12:34-35). We use God’s Word as a guide for our life like a lantern on a dark trail. In doing so, we reap the blessings of God and living for Him becomes a delight (Psalms 37:27). Praying that God would lead us not into temptation is simply asking God to keep us away from going down the path of temptation leading to sin to evil.

Matthew 6: 22-24 brings this to mind when it refers to where our focus is in life. Either we focus on things that bring the light of God into our lives or the things that bring the darkness of evil into our lives.

(Matthew 6:22-24 KJV)  “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. (23) But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! (24) No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

The Bible says that God is light and in him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). When our eyes are focused on things of the Lord our life (body) is full of light (God). When our eyes are focused on things of self, lust of the eyes, flesh, and pride, our life (body) is full of darkness (lust, temptation, and evil). We cannot serve both, we must choose the light of God and in doing so we will live lives reflecting God’s light as we serve Him.

Our prayer then closes with another acknowledgment of God’s kingdom with specific reference to His power and His glory. As mentioned earlier, God is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Likewise our prayer from beginning to end should recognize God’s power and glory.

The next thing to consider beyond when and how to pray is what happens to us when we pray and what happens Spiritually when we pray. As we learned in Philippians 4:6-9, there are considerations to keep in mind when praying. However, when we pray, God does something in response.

(Philippians 4:6-9 KJV)  “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (8) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (9) Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”

Notice that when we pray in this manner, God gives us peace beyond all understanding (Philippians 4:7) and keeps our “hearts and MINDS” through Christ Jesus. This means He guards our heart and thoughts. We see this idea continued through the remaining verses, which tell us that when we pray, keeping our thoughts on God’s promises, He will take away the things that trouble our minds.

As previously mentioned, in the article, Does the Bible say anything about mental health?, God promises that he will protect our minds from things that make our minds unsound. He tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” A sound mind is a mind that is sane, able to deal with life issues, and free from fear. When we keep our thoughts on the Lord He gives us perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).

When we focus our thoughts on the things in Philippians 4:8-9, we are told the same, that we will have peace. These things are things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, things of good report; things of virtue, things of praise (Philippians 4:8). They key to this is that when we focus our thoughts and prayers on these things, it replaces the thoughts that give us trouble. The best way to arm ourselves with things that we can think about are to memorize verses that mention these things. Some examples are as follows:

True: Psalms 19:19; Psalms 119:160; Jeremiah 10:10; Matthew 22:16; John 4;23; John 17:17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:15; 1 John 3:18

Honest: Romans 12:17; 2 Corinthians 8:21; 1 Peter 2:11-12; 1 Timothy 2:1-2

Just: Psalms 89:14; Proverbs 3:33; Proverbs 4:18; Proverbs 10:6; Proverbs 20:7; Romans 1:17; Romans 7:12; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 1:9

Pure: Psalms 12:6; Psalms 119:140; Proverbs 15:26; Proverbs 21:8; Proverbs 30:5; Matthew 5:8; 1 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 2:22; Hebrews 10:22; James 1:27; 1 John 3:2-3

Lovely or beautiful: Isaiah 52:7; Romans 10:13-15

Good Report: Proverbs 15:30; Hebrews 11:1-2; Hebrews 11:39;

Virtue: Proverbs 12:4; Proverbs 31:10; 2 Peter 1:2-5

Praise: Psalms 7:17; Psalms 9:13-14; Psalms 28:7; Psalms 33:1-2; Psalms 44:8; Psalms 48:10; Psalms 56:4; Psalms 112:1

Finally, what happens Spiritually when we pray? Looking at Romans 8:26-27, we see the answer.

(Romans 8:26-27 KJV)  “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. (27) And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

In verse 26 we see that when we do not know what to pray for or cry out to God for His help and wisdom He makes intercession for us. However, we must ask with faith and no hesitation or God will not help us. We see this explained in James 1:5-7 as follows:

(James 1:5-8 KJV)  “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. (6) 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. (7) For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. (8) A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

With this in mind, when we pray with faith that God will help us and give us wisdom, the Holy Spirit is communicating with the God Father and the Son about our issue with “groanings, which can not be uttered.” In other words, it is a language that God uses to communicate, which we cannot speak. While this is going on, He that searches the hearts (Hebrews 4:12), Jesus, searches our hearts and lifts our needs up to the Father according to the will of God.

Knowing that this process is occurring should give us peace that in our darkest hours, when we cry out to God for His help and we do not know what to do, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are already communicating with each other to provide what is needed according to God’s will. When we are confused, God has a plan. When we are lonely, God has a plan. When we are fearful and anxious, God has a plan. All He asks of us is to have faith in Him handling the issue.

In conclusion, What does the Bible say about prayer? Quite a bit, considering all that we have learned. However, despite all that we covered, there is much more in the Word of God.

 

 

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