What are your favorite scriptures on prayer?
How often do you read them?
How often do you share them with others?
Did you have to use your Bible to find them for this blog?
Do you think prayer is effective?
Does it work for everybody?
Is it for individuals only?
Does it work for groups?
Why should one pray?
Why are prayers not answered?
Pick a topic on prayer from above list and tell us what you see from your view! Hopefully, each entry will be print friendly so it would be usable for groups at your work, schools, family and church.
If you believe in prayer please pray for this blog!
34 thoughts on “What About Prayer”
Sara, the scripture that comes to mind is something like this..(without looking it up) “The affectual fervent prayer of a righteous man, acomplishes much.”
I guess this scripture answers the question: “Do you think prayer is effective?” Yes, I do. The scripture above supports it, but it seems to me that it must be a prayer, from someone, who is truly seeking God? Can you elaborate, Sara? Maybe I can find this scripture and read the footnotes?
James 5:16, what does your Needle footnotes say?
James 5: 16 says “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” The footnote says: ” Christ has made it possible for us to go directly to God for forgiveness. But confessing our sins to each other still has an important place in the life of the church. (1) If we have sinned against an individual, we must ask him or her to forgive us. (2) If our sin has affected the church, we must confess it publicly. (3) If we need loving support as we struggle with a sin, we should confess that sin to those who are able to provide that support. (4) If we doubt God’s forgiveness, after confessing a sin to him, we may wish to confess that sin to a fellow believer for assurance of God’s pardon, in Christ’s Kingdom, every believer is a priest to other believers.” Footnotes for verses 16-18 says: ” The Christian’s most powerful resource is communion with God through prayer. The results are often greater than we thought were possible. Some people see prayer as a last resort to be tried when all else fails. This approach is backward. Prayer should come first. Because God’s power is infinitely greater than ours, it only makes sense to rely on it–especially because God encourages us to do so.”
Here is the topic I picked and my view on it.
Why should one pray?
Why are prayers not answered?
Some reasons why we should pray: (I thought of the scriptures but had to look up the references)
1.We should pray because God commands us to. Through Paul He says in I Thess. 5:17 to, “pray without ceasing.” And, in I Tim. 2:1 NKJ, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority.”
2. If Jesus needed to pray to receive answers, how much more we need to. The four gospels are full of places that tell us how often Jesus Himself prayed. He instructed us to pray through His example of the Lord’s Prayer found in Matt. 6:9-13.
3. The prayers of the saints are incense to God. Rev 5:8
Here are some reasons that our prayers may not to be answered.
1. Because we give up on them too soon. I Thess. 5:17
2. Because we ask with wrong motives. “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” James 4:3 NIV
3. Because we are not living Godly lives. “Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, Here I am. If you take away from your midst yokes of oppression [wherever you find them], the finger pointed in scorn [toward the oppressed or the godly], and every form of false, harsh, unjust, and wicked speaking, and if you pour out that with which you sustain your own life for the hungry and satisfy the need of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in darkness, and your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday.” Isaiah 58:9-10 AMP
My favorite Scriptures on Prayer are” Therefore put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to resist and stand your ground in the evil day and having done all to stand…stand, therefore having tightened your belt of truth and putting on the breastplate of righteousness, and the shoes of the gospel of peace wherever you walk, lifting up the shield of faith which can quench all the fiery darts of the enemy (temptation and calamity) and take the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, AND PRAY AT ALL TIMES ON EVERY OCCASION IN EVERY SEASON IN ALL MANNER OF PRAYER AND KEEP WATCH AND ALERT, INTERCEDING IN BEHALF OF THE SAINTS, THE BODY OF CHRIST AND FOR FREEDOM OF UTTERANCE. (Eph. 6:11-19)
I pray this almost daily in my own words but used some of the Bible wording for clarity and more exactness for those who read this.
I know I have shared the armor scriptures with others, not only in my church but with my work partner(s) at school.
I believe God answers prayer because He says if any 2 agree in prayer as touching anything they should ask it shall be done for you by My Father in heaven…Mat.18:19
So Jesus promises that if at least 2 people pray and agree in heart and spirit and harmony as one, God the Father will grant their request.
Great encouraging scriptures! But, I am still on Needles and her scripture, what does ‘a righteous person’ mean so I will know how to have ‘great power and produces wonderful results.”
It seems like I am saying that I am praying about this that and the other but never sure about an answer. Well, I guess no is my answer when I don’t get a yes. Does that mean I am not a righteous person?
On the meaning of righteous…my Bible index defines righteous as ‘that which is upright.’ I looked further to an online thesaurus and found these synonyms:
“angelic, blameless, charitable, commendable, conscientious, creditable, deserving, devoted, devout, dutiful, equitable, ethical, exemplary, fair, faithful, godlike, guiltless, holy, honorable, impartial, innocent, irreproachable, just, laudable, law-abiding, matchless, meritorious, moral, noble, peerless, philanthropic, philanthropical, praiseworthy, punctilious, pure, reverent, right-minded, saintly, scrupulous, sinless, spiritual, sterling, trustworthy, upright, virtuous, worthy”.
Sara asked, “Does that mean I am not a righteous person?”
A look at the above list may help us answer that.
And it looks to me that Jesus adds to this definition of righteous in Matthew 5:20 by telling us that ,”… that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” From my understanding, Jesus goes on to teach us in Matthew 5 that even if one appears to do upright things, God is looking deeper, at the motives of the heart behind the deeds.
Jesus ends the chapter with this verse, “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matt 5:48)
I think if we are never sure about an answer to prayer that something is amiss with us…possibly we either asked incorrectly, don’t hear, don’t want to hear, or perhaps wouldn’t act on anything God told us to do if we heard, so He doesn’t bother telling us. So somewhere we must be living an antonym(s) for one or more of those synonyms above.
Q. “Do you think prayer is effective?” Yes. i do, very much so. As I study, James 5: 16, I see that to be healed in certain situations and be effective with prayer one needs to confess, repent of their trespasses to one another. James says, ‘that you may be healed. I think that means if you have ones you need to confess your wrong against them we should do it. It may assist in our healing.
When we pray and ask for healing we may at times have to take steps according to God’s Word. In this particular setting the question is asked in verse fourteen, ‘Is anyone among you sick?” A. Call for the elders of the church to pray the pray of faith. Then, if need be confess, ask for forgiveness or whatever the need may be.
I do not think this scripture is saying that all sickness needs this kind of action. We see from other scriptures how other things work. Therefore, I would say that prayer works but answers come in so many forms, ways and requirements. God is vast like the sea. And, another important point in this scripture James gives us;’ is pray for one another.’ All believers can and should pray for one another. And, we should without a doubt, ‘never cease praying.’ Keep searching until we find, keep knocking until He answers.
Sara asks the question above, ” does that mean I’m not a righteous person?” Isaiah tells us that all our own self- righteousness is as filthy rags. Paul tells us in Romans that there is none righteous and truthful and upright and conscientious, “no not one!” But then Paul says that the righteousness of God, in Christ Jesus has been revealed to us as we have received Christ…then all are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuituously by His grace and mercy through the redemption provided for us through Jesus Christ, if we have made Him the Lord and Savior of our lives.
PRAISE GOD!! It’s Christ’s righteousness that Paul tells us to put on… the breastplate of righteousness, that is the moral, upright, ethical, holiness of Christ, not our own.
So, Sara you are righteous and all those synononyms that Debi researched above. That is the GOOD NEWS OF THE GOSPEL We are righteous in God’s eyes through the blood of the Lamb, His Son Who died in our place on the cross so that we might receive HIM unto ourselves and be justified in God’s eyes for eternity.
I think you hit the nail on the head when you wrote, Sara, that God does answer our prayers…maybe not in the way we want or think and sometimes not through the person, auspices or circumstances we want or think.
That’s the power of a creative, prophetic God. He knows and we don’t.
I agree with your points on righteousness. We have it because by faith, positionally, we have the righteousness of Christ. I think we have to appropriate it, however, and that’s where putting on the breastplate of righteousness you wrote about comes into play. It’s an action verb. It’s like owning something…you can own it but not use it.
“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Romans 13:14
Eph 4:22-23 “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. “
I agree. Put it on with focus and purpose as to why we are wearing it, WHO has made it available to us and TAKING OFF our old fleshly provisions, (those that we make for our flesh and make excuses for our SELF every day, every day, every day) and purposefully put on HIS breastplate of moral uprightness, integrity, rightstanding and holiness every day, every day, every day.
Good analogy Lilies. I must take ownership of the breastplate of righteousness, wear it and according to all of you and James 5, I will have my prayers answered or at least ‘accomplish much.”
Is this right?
Yes you will accomplish much in which you pray. I read a little story about heaven that said we each had a closet of answered prayers with our name on it. When the person looked in they saw lots of things on the shelf and they asked why? They were told that those were the prayers they never asked. This story I think is from Joel Osteen. Sometimes on Sundays or other days I wonder to myself, “Why didn’t you think to ask those prayers?” I ask a lot but why not THOSE prayers.
I know in prayer and I count on it:
“He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.” Psalm 91:4
I know to:
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12
I know that He is faithful and just to answer our prayers.
But why do I not even think to pray some things? Will I open the closet with my name and find many things on the shelf?
God, Holy Spirit led me to pray as I should. I may not leave out one prayer that should be prayed.
Here is a quote I like:
Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees. ~Victor Hugo
Thanks Rena, I love the quote from Hugo. I was always taught to let others know that my thoughts and prayers are with them. That meant I was giving a good effort to cheer others on in whatever situation I was sending my thoughts and prayers. I also was taught of course by my Mother, 🙂 that was the reason to keep my thoughts pure so pure good and health faith would find its way to those I had in my thoughts and prayers.
In this line of thinking it might make us realize the reason we don’t get some prayers answered is because we put no thought into our prayers and therefore the soul is not on its knees and that would be no reverence to God or respect to those to whom we pray for.
“And don’t keep on babbling like pagans who think they will be heard by their much speaking..” ___Jesus… Mat. 6:7
But we are to go into our prayer closet, ( a bedroom room, a chair, a bench, a front porch, a garden) and pray to our Heavenly Father and He will hear. Then how should we pray asks Jesus, rhetorically…
You know…”Our Father Who is in Heaven, holy is Your Name. May Your Kingdom come quickly, Your will be done, Immediately on earth as it is immediately done in Heaven. And give bread daily, as You have always provided for those whom You love, and don’t let temptation lead us astray but deliver us, daily, from the evil one. Forgive us our mishaps, infractions of Your Word, our debts & offenses our sins to our neighbors, friends, our family and fellow Christians as we must forgive them…for YOURS is the KINGDOM of Heaven in Glory and power and majesty forever and eternity AMEN>
Here is a wonderful quotes to think on the topic of prayer:
There is a general kind of praying which fails for lack of precision. It is as if a regiment of soldiers should all fire off their guns anywhere. Possibly somebody would be killed, but the majority of the enemy would be missed. –Charles Haddon Spurgeon
When a Christian shuns fellowship with other Christians, the devil smiles. When he stops studying the Bible, the devil laughs. When he stops praying, the devil shouts for joy. –Corrie Ten Boom
In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart. — John Bunyan
Good quotes, Rena. Germaine Copeland writes about prayer, “Once you begin delving into God’s Word you must commit to ‘ODERING YOUR CONVERSATION ARIGHT!’ i.e. being a doer of the Word. Faith always has a good report. You cannot pray effectively…and then talk negatively about the matter. This is being double minded. And a double minded person receives NOTHING from GOD.” (Ps. 50): (Matt 12); (James 1)
The above quotes are great to think on, telling me that effective prayer is an art where many factors must come into alignment in order to reach God’s mark on the matter.
When we can pray effectively can get answers according to I John 5:14, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, 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 the petitions that we have asked of Him. “
Hey, Debi, that verse reminds me of the prayer lesson Sara gave us in our worship service this morning. She was expounding on a verse of the worship song, “O LORD YOU”RE BEAUTIFUL”. This is what I learned and got to see: that when “HIS FACE is all we see”(as the song goes) …that is, when (HE) is always before us and we strive to behold Him, then, we know that His eyes are on us and we abound in His grace.
Your Scripture says similar…when we pray according to His will…that is, His Word…then He hears us and we have what we ask for. When our eyes are on His face then HIS eyes are on us and we have His grace, blessing and unmerited favor. What else could we possibly want? He’s ALL we need.
O LORD YOU”RE BEAUTIFUL
Your face is all I see
And when Your eyes are on this child
Your grace abounds to me.
(THANK YOU, LORD!)
One of Sara’s questions about prayer above was, ‘Is it for individuals only?
Does it work for groups?’
Acts 1:14 is one scripture that tells us it works for groups.
“They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. “
Prayer works. It’s our lifeline to God. A lifeline is a bracelet, necklace or watch with a button that can be pressed when help is need. When pressed someone calls to see if everything is okay, if no answer they will call a list of numbers previously given to go check on person. They will send an ambulance if no one answers. Prayer protects, strengthens, comforts, heals, renews, promises and praises. Jesus was constantly praying. When I think of one verse about prayer, I think of 1 Thessalonians 5:17, as Debi mentioned above. “Never stop praying”NTL Steven Curtis Chapman wrote a song “Let Us Pray”. One part of song : “Let us pray Let us pray, everywhere in every way Every moment of the day, it is the right time. Let us pray without end and when we finish start again. Like breathing out and breathing in, let us pray.” Steven’s song compares praying to breathing. Think about the importance of breathing. When one ceases to breath their body dies. When one ceases to pray their spirit dies. Prayer is essential for life.
Chickenfarmer, your lifeline is a great illustration. And pressing that button reminds me also of ringing God’s doorbell (or knocking if you don’t have one):
“”Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matt 7:7 NKJ
CF’s comments brought to mind the commercial that was on TV a while back where the senior citizen has taken a fall and she cires out, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” But if she has the advertised button bracelet she can call for help.
Thank God we have Jesus Christ, for when we accidently “fall” into sin, give in to a temptation we can call for help; we can pray to our Father and cry out, “I’ve fallen and please help me get back up, Dear Lord. Help me to get back into right standing with You. And He hears our prayers and is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness when we confess and pray and call upon the Lord in true repentance.
Wow! Talk about emergency buttons! Good one CF!!
It’s very difficult to have a close relationship with someone, if you never talk to them. Prayer is how we communicated with God. Without prayer the communication would stop. So how could we be close to God if we don’t talk to Him? He wants a relationship with us and He wants us to talk to Him through PRAYER.
Thank goodness we have prayer to talk to the Father anytime we want. It did not come without a cost. Thank you JESUS! Thank you God the Father.
Thanks to all that talk right here. CF says, “difficult to have a close relationship with someone..without talk….” That is why I love blogging. It is talk talk talk! To you, to me, to others and above us God!!!!! Talk Him up—-Blog blog blog-yes, blog Jesus up….Tell the world.
Even the Pope says…Blog-Blog-Blog. I agree with The Pope, when one blogs on a Christian website like unto ours it takes prayer, faith, love and discipling to stay daily. Staying daily here will not let me forget you, yours and others. Talk, blog, talk and blog.
What are your favorite scriptures on prayer? Psalm 37:4, Psalm 91:15 gives desires to pray
How often do you read them? Often
How often do you share them with others? Often
Did you have to use your Bible to find them for this blog? Yes, always…To put the chapter and verse with the words I have to look up! (:
Why are prayers not answered?
Maybe we only asked once when we need to ask repeatedly until we get the answer…persistence. This account always encourages me to persist.
“And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.” Luke 11:5-8
Right, or the parable of the unjust judge. The widow woman persistently petitioned him to avenge her of her adversary and he ignored her, She was not flagged in her dlilgent determination to receive justice. Finally, the judge gave in, saying, (paraphrase) that he would grant her request ‘lest she weary me to no end and bug and annoy me for eternity…. How much more us, with a gracious, giving Heavenly Father the JUST Judge will He give us our just deserts when we petition the Throne Room of God.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9, NIV)
When I pray and communicate, as Chickenfarmer says, talk with God, I am thinking of how often He seems to talk way over my head. Jesus and The Holy Spirit are masterful teachers and counsellors and have patience beyond even Job to teach slow learners. I guess slow learner would mean as least I am trying to learn. Not sure why so slow. Do you know? One thing may be eternal lessons to be learned. As I pondered the words of Isaiah above, I thought, learner let the teacher teach you. Show you, help you, and even love you. His ways are better all the way around for you and those for whom you pray. Yes, I believe prayer is a learning tool for even the one that prays.
Yes, and we also get help to pray by the Holy Spirit Himself.
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” Romans 8:26, 27
I find I sing my prayers to God often. Sometimes I sing Psalms and scriptures that express what I would like to say to Him or that seems to give guidance to a prayer need.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. ” Col 3:16