Looking back on my thirty-two years of life, I can say that for the most part I´ve been prayerful.
Although my spiritual journey wasn´t always straight and there were several seasons when I drifted, I never doubted the importance of prayer.
I was raised in a prayerful home, by prayerful parents, who taught me to pray before I start my day, before I go to sleep, before I enjoy a meal, when I face adversaries and challenges, when I feel weak or when I´m in pain, or when I simply want to be closer to God.
Prayer has been an integral part of my life. But truth be told, there were times when in spite of me knowing about the importance of prayer, I still felt lazy to pray. When I was always too tired from work, I started skipping my bedtime prayers. At first I would feel guilty, but then eventually I`d get used to skipping prayers.
Then smartphones were born and before I knew it, I had completely eliminated my Morning Prayer routine and would reach for my phone to see updates in Facebook first thing in the morning.
But skipping prayers resulted to me feeling more anxious, bitter, resentful of many things, impatient and competitive. Finally I decided to go back to my prayerful roots, and the first step I took was reviewing the Bible scriptures on prayer to remind myself of the importance of prayer.
If you too can use a reminder, or if you want to understand more about prayers, then join me in meditating on these 19 Bible scriptures on prayer.
God´s Promises Regarding Prayer
1. For you answer our prayers. All of us must come to you. ~ Psalm 65:2
King David the Psalmist was a prayerful man. In his prayers, he addressed God as someone WHO answers prayers.
2. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. ~ Hebrews 11:6
The Bible teaches us that if we seek God in earnest prayers, and we believe that He is God and that He exists, He will reward us.
3. If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! ~ Matthew 7:11
I saw many parents, including my own parents; do everything to give the best to their children.
I personally still can´t understand how far could a parent go for the sake of his/her children because I´m not yet a parent, but if parents who are sinful are capable of giving and doing good things for and to their children, how much more our Father in Heaven who is in every way blameless?
4. He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? ~ Romans 8:32
If you ever found yourself doubting if God cares for your welfare at all, or if He will ever give you the biggest desires of your heart, pause and think … He had already given you the biggest gift He could ever give—His own Son—so why wouldn´t He give you the rest?
The First Step in Prayer
5. “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; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. ~ Matthew 7:7-8
A female Senator in the Philippines, Miriam Defensor Santiago, has once said that as a highly intelligent person, she does not believe that there is anything our prayer can do to change the will of God. But that maybe our prayer will change our attitude towards His will. Do you agree with her?
According to my Bible commentary, “Prayer is not the overcoming of God´s reluctance; it is the taking hold of God´s willingness. Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. Prayer does not change God, but it does change us and our relation to Him. It places us in the channel of blessings, and in that frame of mind in which God can consistently and safely grant our requests.”
6. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. ~ James 1:17
From whom do all good and perfect gifts come?
Conditions to Answered Prayer
7. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. ~ James 1:6-7
The Bible clearly tells us that unless we believe, we will NOT have answered prayers.
8. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. ~ Psalm 66:18
Our sins will block our prayers and will stop heaven from unlocking its storehouses for us. If we want our prayers to be answered, we should genuinely seek forgiveness for our sins and we should stop cherishing darling sins in our hearts. If we cherish evil things, the Lord will not hear us.
9. If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable. ~ Proverbs 28:9
(Read also 1 Peter 1:7) Contention and discord quench the spirit of prayer.
Have you noticed how elusive are God´s blessings in the homes full of fights, unkind words, impatience and contentions? The angels of God flee from homes where kindness, love and peace are not found.
10. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. ~ Matthew 5:44
I was once persecuted by an immediate boss when I was still working at my home country. It wasn´t fun at all. She made me miserable. But I was miserable mostly because I hated her and her evil ways. She was corrupt and she drove anyone and everyone down to the ground who would stand for their right and oppose her way.
Although I prayed a lot for God to deliver me from my boss´ persecution, I also wanted God to harm her. It´s so much easier to hate a person who strives to kill your livelihood than to love her.
God removed me from that place and brought me abroad. Working abroad made me realize that even my enemy´s persecution was a good thing; it challenged me to venture abroad which awarded me with plenty of opportunities. I´ve since forgiven her and prayed for her.
Nine years later and justice was served. She was removed from her post and was reduced to a low-profile position as a result to an uprising of her subordinates who could take no more. Immediately her health declined. And shortly after that, her husband passed away, making her a widow with two children to raise.
From being an unforgiving mighty boss, she´s fallen down hard but not without turning into a humbled, prayerful person.
11. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. ~ Mark 11:25
We´re quick in saying, “God, I´m sorry.” But we´re too slow in telling those who have sinned agains us, “I´ve forgiven you.”
Time, Place and Content of Prayer
12. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. ~ Matthew 6:6
What did God say concerning secret prayer? God warns us against praying for display (See Matthew 6:5). If we want to have a private conversation with God, we should do it in the privacy of closed door.
13. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone. ~ Matthew 14:23
Every time Jesus would retire for secret devotion, he´d go to isolated mountainside.
14. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. ~ Philippians 4:6
The Bible is clear, we should get rid of anxiety by prayer and petition, but we should also couple it with thanksgiving.
15. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. ~ Ephesians 6:18
How often should we pray? In all occasion.
16. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. ~ Psalm 55:17
How often did David say he would pray?
17. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. ~ Acts 10:2
This is how the Bible describes Cornelius, a Roman centurion, and his family. He was the first gentile to be converted to Christianity. But long before he became a Christian, and despite him being a politically affluent Roman, he was already a God-fearing man who always prayed and was full of good works and deeds of alms.
18. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. ~ John 14:13
Jesus Christ himself taught us to pray to the Father in His name. In Jesus Name, Amen.
19. “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” ~ Luke 18:4-5
This parable teaches us that “we must always pray, and not faint.” Verse 1.
If the woman obtained her request from such a man through her persistent asking, surely God, who is just, will answer our earnest, persistent prayers, although the answer may be long delayed.