What Does The Bible Say About Prayer

God’s Will and Purpose for Prayer

The Bible reveals that God desires us to bring our requests, petitions and desires to Him in humble prayer. In fact, there are over 500 references to prayer in the Bible. Jesus taught us to pray and even demonstrated what praying looks like from various examples of His own prayers.
For instance, Jesus prayed specifically for His disciples in John 17:20-21 – “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
Not only did Jesus pray for the Disciples, He taught His followers how to pray. Jesus used the words “Our Father” for His model prayer found in the Book of Matthew 6:9-13. In this concise prayer, Jesus teaches us to approach God in reverence, holiness, and humility by focusing on His glory, His presence, and His will.
The Bible is full of advice on how to pray and its purpose. Psalm 19:14 says that God is pleased with an honest heart, filled with sincerity and truth. It’s important to remember that we are coming to God in prayer to receive the grace He offers and to find out what He wants us to do.
James 5:16 says that we should pray fervently and consistently – “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” This encourages us to be diligent in our prayer life, making sure that our prayer requests honor God and His will.

Benefits of Prayer

The Bible offers numerous blessings for those who make prayer a consistent part of their spiritual lives. Generally, prayer draws us closer to God and enables us to approach Him with petitions for our requests.
The Bible also reveals that prayer can help use to overcome temptation, deepen our faith and love for God, and unite us together with other believers. It can also help us to repent of our sins and to cultivate peace and wisdom.
Along with the promises of greater communion with God, prayer also brings us to a deeper understanding of God’s love and character. When we come to Him in prayer, our perception of God changes, which is to say that we end up having a greater intimacy with Him as well as added peace in our heart and mind.

Criteria of Effective Prayer

Since prayer is such an important part of our faith, it’s important to understand the criteria of effective prayer. First and foremost, prayer must come from a sincere heart. Psalm 66:18 says, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.”
We must also pray with faith and believe that God is willing to answer our prayer. Jesus taught us about this kind of faith in Matthew 13:58, “And He did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.”
Finally, we should pray according to God’s will and not our own. Although we will never be able to know what God’s will is all the time, 1 John 5:14-15 gives us something to go off of – “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him.”

Corporate and Private Prayer

The Bible is full of references to both corporate and private prayer. Corporate prayer is when two or more people come together in agreement, praying for the same thing. Luke 18:1 encourages us to “always pray and not give up” and Matthew 18:19-20 emphasizes the power of prayer when two or more believers come together in agreement.
Private prayer for individuals is also an important part of the Bible. There are several examples of individuals praying in secret found throughout the Bible, such as Daniel (Daniel 6:10) and Nehemiah (Nehemiah 1:4-6).
Private prayer is a time when individuals can go before God with petitions, requests, and praises. It allows the believer to come into the presence of God, void of distractions and focus intently on Him.

The Purpose of Prayer

As we look at the Bible, we can see that the purpose of prayer is to commune with God in prayer, to seek His will and encourage each other in prayer. Prayer is not about trying to ‘convince’ God to do something we want Him to do. It is about surrendering our will and desires to His will and allowing Him to shape our lives according to His divine plan.
When we come before Him in prayer, we should be open to letting God use us for His desires and purposes. Prayer allows us to to approach God earnestly and in humility. We should take the time to confess our sins, seek direction, and pour our hearts out to Him.

The Power of Prayer

Throughout the Bible, God reveals His power to those who call on Him in faith. Prayer is not an indicator of whether or not our requests will be granted. Rather, it is a reminder that God is actively present in our lives and wants us to depend on Him.
Scripture tells us that God is glorified when His people bring their petitions and requests to Him in prayer. He desires that we look to Him for help, no matter the size or severity of the situation.
As believers, we should regularly bring our petitions and requests to God in prayer. He desires that we come to Him in prayer, because it is through our sincere, faith-filled prayers that we will be able to live in obedience to His will and glorify Him with our lives.

What does the Bible teach about Intercessory Prayer?

Intercessory prayer is when an individual brings the requests of another person before God. This kind of prayer is a powerful way for us to minister to our friends and family as well as for us to witness to non-believers.
One of the best examples of intercessory prayer can be found in Ephesians 6:18-19 which says, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
We see here that God’s Word instructs us to pray on behalf of others and to intercede for their needs. In this way, we can come together in agreement to seek God’s will and to ask Him to move in the lives of those we love.

Interacting with God Through Prayer

Prayer is an essential part of our relationship with God.. It is an intake of His power and a channel of His grace in our lives. When we come into agreement with Him in prayer, His powerful hand is released upon the situations in our daily lives.
Author Lloyd Ogilvie said, “When you come to prayer, discover not just something to talk about but Someone who is listening. Discover that the instant you pray, Someone answers.”
In 1 Peter 5:7 we learn that “casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” When we come into agreement with God in prayer, He listens and responds to us according to His will.
We can take confidence in the fact that God desires to interact with us and that He is glorified when we approach Him in prayer. We can come to Him without fear, knowing that He desires to pour out grace upon our lives.

Listening to the Voice of God

The Bible teaches us that prayer involves two-way communication–we speak to God, but it is also important to learn how to listen. Psalm 5:3 says, “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.”
In this verse, David is expressing his expectation that God will come through with an answer. To receive an answer from God, we must be willing and patient to listen, trusting that He will respond.
Our prayer should involve more than simply asking God for something. It should include listening and waiting to hear His voice. This way, we can discover what He desires for our lives and seek direction according to His will.

The Weapon of Prayer

The Bible teaches us that prayer is just as much a weapon as it is a conversation. When we are faced with trials and difficulties, we can use prayer as a form of protection.
Paul instructs us in Ephesians 6:18 to, “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
Just as soldiers use weapons to protect themselves, prayer is our weapon against the enemy. Through prayer, we can cast down the works of the devil, taking a stand against the lies and deceptions of the world.
We can also use prayer as a weapon against our own pain, sin, and failures. Romans 8:26-27 tells us that the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness by “interceding for us with groanings to deep for words.”


As believers, prayer should be a major part of our faith walk. The Bible encourages us to come to the Lord in prayer, humbly expressing our requests and needs with a sincere heart and faith-filled words.
As we pray, we should remember that we have been given the authority to stand against the devil and to fight against our own weaknesses. Prayer is our weapon of protection when faced with life’s trials and temptations.
What’s more, prayer is also a means for us to come closer to God, to be in agreement with His will for our lives, and to draw on His power for the
situations we face. We should continue to come to Him in prayer, expecting Him to answer in His perfect timing and according to His perfect will.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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