Apparently I’m a bit of a slow learner. I turned a 31-day Bible study on prayer into a 2 months-and-1-week marathon. We’ll just say that I took my time going through these verses!
On Friday, I wrapped up that Bible study on prayer. I’d been using this list of verses, writing each day’s verse in my notebook. If I had any thoughts on the verse, I put that down as well. I then read several commentaries on the verse, and wrote down any ideas that I found interesting.
To celebrate the end of that study, I wanted to share five of my favorite Bible verses on prayer and tell how each one encourages me.
Be careful for nothing: but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7
This is my all-time favorite passage about prayer! It tells me that God trades my prayer for His peace. MacLaren says, “If a man does not pray about everything, he will be worried about most things.” Another of my favorite truths is woven into this verse. As Christians, we should live in a constant state of thanksgiving. Gratitude can frame our lives in a way that is pleasing to God and a testimony to others. That right there is a whole ‘nother post!
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. ~Romans 8:26
The word “helpeth” means “assists another in carrying a burden.” The Holy Spirit knows we are weak, so He comes alongside us to help carry our burden. What a blessing that is! I often realize that I don’t know exactly how I should pray about a situation. I’m unsure about what to ask for, and recognize that I need wisdom to guide my request. The Holy Spirit, however, knows what I should be asking for. He pleads and advocates with the Father for me.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. ~Hebrews 4:16
I can approach God confidently and tell Him all that is in my heart and on my mind. It’s interesting that we’re told to come boldly before God to ask for two specific things – mercy and grace. Anytime I need inward, spiritual blessings, I know I can ask for them without doubt or fear. Don’t you think that God is sometimes just waiting for us to come and ask Him for mercy in our trial or grace in our sorrow? He wants to give as we ask!
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. ~ James 5:16
Charles Spurgeon said, “Prayer moves the hand of Him who moves the world.” Productive, passionate, sincere prayer is wrought by the energy of the Holy Spirit, and is very powerful with God for getting what we desire. I notice that this statement about availing prayer is related here to our praying for others. In the following verses, it’s related to Elijah and his prayer about rain. We can touch God’s heart when we pour ourselves out in prayer for others and in asking for His will to be done.
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. ~Matthew 21:22
The emphasis of this passage is faith. This ties in to James 1, where we’re told to “ask in faith, nothing wavering.” Faith is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. We need His help to secure the faith we need as we pray. Will we always get the answer we seek? No. Ellicott says, “Every true prayer involves the submission of what it asks to the divine judgment.” As we pray, we can trust that God will answer every request that is for our good and for His glory.
I’m excited about starting a new Bible study this week! I’m deciding between a couple of different topics, so I’ll be sure to let you know which one I choose in Friday’s newsletter.
What’s your favorite verse about prayer?