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Learning How to Pray from the Bible

There are few subjects closer to the Christian’s heart than that of prayer. In times of distress it is his lifeline. In times of joy it enables him to share that joy with his heavenly Father. In times of confusion it opens the way to clarity. In times of sin it is the means to forgiveness. And, in all things, it is the approach to God to thank him for all of life’s daily leadings, the sorrowful as well as the joyous.

Nine articles in this issue, plus The Question Box, examine various aspects of this topic. Obviously the amount of material on prayer in the Bible, both by example and by exhortation, is far more vast than can be covered in one issue of a magazine. Because of this the articles cover the broad scope of the subject and are not meant to be exhaustive.

Two articles deal with the subject in general. Both Study and Prayer and the Echoes from the Past feature, Prayer and Privilege by the late Bro. Irwin Doran, point to both the privilege and the responsibility of prayer. The relationship between study and prayer is particularly highlighted in the first of these articles. A large collection of Bible texts on the subject are arranged in topical order in a study done in 1916 by the late Daniel Toole.

Prayer was a habit for all of God’s holy ones. Daniel prayed three times daily (Dan. 6:10). Many of David’s psalms are prayers. These ancients lived close to God and they and kept their lines of communication open. Two treatises in this issue deal with specific Old Testament prayers. The Prayer of Jabez is one of the shortest recorded in the Bible, and it is offered by a virtually unknown character; yet it contains insights that are still relevant today into God’s character and on the subject of prayer. The better known prophet, Jonah, offered his petition in the most unlikely of places, within a great fish. By God’s intervention he was transported back to Jewish shores, after being thrown overboard in the Mediterranean. He was then to go and preach repentance to the heathen of Nineveh.

No life of prayer was more exemplary or constant than that of Jesus of Nazareth. The article Portraits of Jesus Praying gives a thumbnail sketch of many of these private communications, inspiring us to want to develop the same kind of intimacy with the Father so repetitively illustrated in the life of Christ.

While striving to remain separate from the political processes of the world around us, the Christian is exhorted in the Bible to pray for those in authority. The content of these prayers is treated in the article Praying for Governments.

The last two articles in this series deal with specific types of prayer, both intercessory. Prayer Partners is a verse by verse study in James 5 and considers the matter of intercessory prayer for our brethren in depression and weakness; Pray for the Intercession of the Spirit examines prayers for personal intercession by our Advocate.

Read more on the subject of Praying here:

How long should we pray for a particular request?

What should we pray for?

5 comments to Learning How to Pray from the Bible

  • Lincoln

    John 20:22 New International Version (NIV)
    22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

    Thank you very much sister Jacqueline. Yes, one day we will meet. In the meantime we exchange thoughts.

    God bless you.

    Acts 2: 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and “for all who are far off”—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Lincoln and to carry the thought on for today: Matthew 28:19New International Version (NIV)

      19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

      As a witness we thought this meant try to convert the world before armageddon. (short version) Now we know it means instead of just going to the Jews and possibly the Samaritans, broaden out and now take it to the nations and baptize them also! This was a new commission added not a save them from armageddon and convert the world. Conversion comes during the 1,000 years.
      Not world conversion but now Gentiles, however few, they can also have this grand opportunity and those who don’t accept aren’t on trial for life. They are just losing out on the call to heaven. (Book What Pastor Russell said, pg. 35 and 335 speaks on this point) How did Rutherford get so mixed up?
      So Acts 2:38 that you mentioned makes sense to me now.

  • Lincoln

    Dear Friends, brothers and sisters. My prayer is from my heart. How I wish we could join each other in life and spirit.


    I don’t know how, but to me we are more separate than God wants us to be. Therefore, my prayers goes to you to comfort you and heal you in the name of Jesus Christ.

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Lincoln, one day we will meet and actually converse face to face. God got this. I love reading his words to his apostles in John 11-17 where he ends in a powerful prayer to His Father and Ours. One thing he said was the Helper would be sent after he left.

      John 20:22New International Version (NIV)

      22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

  • evens khoza

    Lord God was,is and is still to come always our GOD.

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