What Does the Bible Say About Prayer?
Prayer plays a central role in your relationship with God, and the Bible says a lot about prayer. On the one hand, it provides examples of prayer–particularly among the Psalms. On the other hand, the Bible offers guidance on how to pray, and gives insight into both the nature and the purpose of prayer. In this post, we’ll answer the question, “What does the Bible say about prayer?”
1. The Lord’s Prayer: A Model for Prayer
In the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 6:9-13), Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray. Basically, he gives them a model to follow. We call this the Lord’s Prayer. The Lord’s Prayer is a very helpful tool to use when learning to pray. In essence, it serves as an outline of the basic elements of prayer.
For example, Jesus emphasizes the importance of addressing God as our Heavenly Father. He also stresses the priority of honoring God’s name. Moreover, the Lord’s Prayer reiterates our need to both align our desires with God’s and to seek his provision for our daily needs. Certainly, this prayer serves as a model for how Christians should approach God in prayer.
2. The Approachability of God
Secondly, the Bible assures believers of God’s approachability. For instance, Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” This passage teaches plainly that believers can talk directly to God in prayer. As a result, you can experience his peace and comfort in life.
3. Praying God’s Will
Next, the Bible encourages us to pray appropriate prayers. Likewise, the Bible also warns us against praying misguided or selfish prayers. For example, James 4:3 cautions us, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” This verse emphasizes the importance of considering the factors that motivate our prayers. Do our prayers come from a place of fear or faith?
4. Praying with Sincerity and Trust
With this in mind, we must understand that effective prayer involves aligning our requests with God’s plans and purposes. For instance, James 5:16 states, “The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.” This verse reveals that prayers aligned to God’s will yield results. Therefore, we should make every effort to pray according to God’s will. Likewise, if we pray God’s will, then we should expect to see God answer that prayer.
In conclusion, the Bible provides rich guidance on prayer. Prayer is not just a religious ritual. Rather, it is a means of connecting with God, seeking His will, and finding peace in our journey of faith.