Moses [Num. Samuel [1 Sam. Solomon [1 Kings ]. Ezra [Ezra ].
Nehemiah [Neh. Daniel [Dan. Jesus - Luke ,32 for Peter ; John for all believers. Note that most examples were prayers, not just for God's people in general, but for specific individuals or congregations.
Do we show this personal concern for others in our prayers? Furthermore notice that Paul openly told people he was praying for them. If we would do this, it would motivate us to be more diligent to pray for others, but it would also give Christians a greater sense of love and appreciation for one another. We should pray for the things we truly need, however some people forget to thank God for what they have received.
Their prayers consist almost entirely of asking for more. God is a generous God, willing to give what we need.
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But He also expects appreciation for what He gives. Philippians ,7 - Instead of worrying, let your requests be made known to God.
Matthew - God is like a loving father who gives what his children need. If we ask, we will receive.
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James ,3 - Sometimes we do not receive because we do not ask. On the other hand, God will not answer selfish requests for things we do not need. Bible prayers generally include thanksgiving right alongside requests. God invites us to ask for what we need, but He is displeased by those who are so ungrateful as to offer no thanks when the request is granted Luke No one prayer or combination of prayers could mention all the possible subjects there are to pray about.
But an examination of Bible prayers can teach us the kind of specific things that are commonly included in Bible prayers. We may pray about these things for ourselves or for others. We may request them and should give thanks when we receive them. But note that one who has not been baptized should not pray for forgiveness but be baptized - Acts ; ; Mark Note that this comes today through the Scriptures, not by direct revelation.
This is not a complete list, but it suggests many things we could properly pray for. Remember that these are things both to make request for and to give thanks for. Also note how Bible prayers often concerned spiritual needs and blessings. Some people seem to view prayer like sending a "Christmas list" to Santa for all the physical things they want.
Biblical prayers may concern physical needs, but mainly they reflect man's greatest needs which are spiritual. What are the proper circumstances for prayer? Should we pray only in church meetings or as daily routing or spontaneously as circumstances dictate? Should we pray in public or in private? What posture must we use?
These verses do not mean we should pray 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for then we could not do the other good works God has commanded. Even Jesus and his apostles did not pray all the time Luke The passages do mean that prayer should be a regular, frequent part of our daily lives, and that we should never quit or cease the practice of prayer. Further, we should live so that we are always ready to pray at any moment. We should never participate in practices such that we would be ashamed to pray to God in the midst of that activity.
To give us a fuller understanding, consider these examples showing specifically when and where people prayed:. Note: We should pray in private but also in public worship assemblies. We should not pray to make a show before others, but we should not be ashamed to pray around others at times when we otherwise would pray cf.
Acts We should pray habitually throughout the day but also at special times when needs arise. Some people believe we should kneel or sit for prayer, but not stand.
Worship: The Key to Drawing Near to God
Must we speak out loud for God to hear us? Must we fold our hands, bow our heads, and close our eyes as we often teach children to do? Consider these Bible examples:.
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Other postures, due to special circumstances, include: on the cross Luke ,34 ; in the belly of a fish Jonah ; in stocks in prison Acts , The variety in these examples shows that the position is a matter of choice or expediency and does not, of itself, determine whether or not God hears us. We can pray anytime or place, yet certain positions may at times better suit our circumstances or reverence.
Hands lifted up - 1 Kings ; Ezra ; 1 Tim. But note: Did Hannah lift her hands 1 Sam. Does God really answer prayer, or are the benefits of prayer just psychological? Because we have prayed, does God so intervene in the course of history that events occur differently than they would have? James - The fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
He prayed again and it rained v17, Matthew - If we ask, seek, and knock, we receive what we requested. God is like an earthly father who gives good gifts to His children who ask. There are conditions we must meet in order for God to answer our prayers. If we meet those conditions and if He can answer our prayers in harmony with His will, He has promised to do what is good for us. Many Bible examples show God's response to prayers of His people. God does not do miracles today 1 Cor. We will focus on cases of this nature. She prayed, and as a result she conceived and bore Samuel.
Hezekiah prayed about it, God promised to add 15 years to his life, and Hezekiah recovered. Some people think that, if God does not do miracles, then He must not be acting at all. Others see only psychological benefits in prayer or perhaps just the fact that we have obeyed God's command to pray. Even though we pray Scripturally, they claim God does not actually intervene in the course of earthly events to bring about what we asked for.
But the examples just listed show that God does act in response to prayer, acting in harmony with natural law, without miracle. Note Matthew - When we ask God to do something, it will be done by the Father in heaven. God does act. This is true of "anything" we ask.
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