The words associated with “prayer(s)”, “pray”, and “praying” occur nearly 500 times in the bible, (Old and New Testaments). The scriptures teach us that prayer is very powerful and important to God for His people, the ones that love and fear Him and keep His commandments. Prayer is the way we communicate to the Almighty God our heavenly Father. It’s our direct path to Him through our Savior Jesus as stated in Ephesians 2:18, “For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.” God gladly answers the prayers according to His will of those that love Him and obey His instructions as we read in 1 John 3:22, “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” How can we be the sheep of the Lord and have a relationship with Jesus without communicating to Him? Jesus tells us in John 10:27-30, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.”
We should always fear the Lord in an act of love and obedience towards God in Christ by resisting all forms of evil where He will hear us, keep us, and protect us. His angel will supernaturally encamp around us and protect us as stated in Psalms 34:7-22, “The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing. Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Who is the man who desires life, and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous shall be condemned. The LORD redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.”
If we repent and seek God with all our heart, soul, and mind, He will hear our prayers as we read in Jeremiah 29:11-13, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Seek, hunger, and thirst after God in Christ as your most valued and treasured possession, and He will hear your prayers as revealed in Job 22:21-28, “Now acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace; Thereby good will come to you. Receive, please, instruction from His mouth, and lay up His words in your heart. If you return to the Almighty, you will be built up; You will remove iniquity far from your tents. Then you will lay your gold in the dust, and the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks. Yes, the Almighty will be your gold and your precious silver; For then you will have your delight in the Almighty, and lift up your face to God. You will make your prayer to Him, He will hear you, and you will pay your vows. You will also declare a thing, and it will be established for you; So light will shine on your ways.”
God hears and delivers those that fear, repent, and humble themselves in His sight as explained in Job 33:26-28, “He will pray to God, and He shall be favorable to him, so that he looks at His face with joy; For God restores to man His righteousness [that is, his right standing with God—with its joys]. ‘The man sings out to other men, ‘I have sinned and perverted that which was right, and it was not proper for me! God has redeemed my life from going to the pit [of destruction], and my life shall see the light.’ ” God tells us we should humble ourselves and seek Him by turning away from all evil. If we do this, He will hear us and be alert to our prayers as stated in 2 Chronicles 7:14-15, “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.” If we draw near to God, He will draw near to us where the enemy has no choice but the flee us as disclosed in James 4:7-8, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts…”
God delights in the prayers of the righteous as stated in Proverbs 15:8, “…the prayer of the upright is His delight.” The bible tells us in James 5:16, “…The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Many times, we underestimate the awesome divine power of prayer for those who love God in Christ and do His will. God answered Elijah’s prayer of controlling the weather by causing it not to rain on the land for 3.5 years where God would be glorified. Later, God answered Elijah’s prayer again for it to rain again on the land as we read in James 5:17-18, “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.”
Paul and Silas, during their ministry of spreading the gospel of Christ, were cast into prison but were supernaturally saved by praying and singing to God. God had caused a great earthquake to open up the prison gates that freed them as we read in Acts 16:25-26, “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.” Peter was able to supernaturally bring a dead woman named Tabitha back to life by the power of God’s hand and through the obedient act of kneeling down and praying as revealed in Acts 9:36-42, “At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, ‘Tabitha, arise.’ And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord.”
Another divine and supernatural prayer experience was when King Herod had killed James, the brother of John, with the sword because it pleased the Jews to reject the preaching of Christ’s gospel. Peter was also cast into prison by Herod to suffer the same deadly fate. However, the church had been in constant prayer for Peter where he was supernaturally rescued by the Lord’s angel as explained in Acts 12:5-11, “So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, ‘Get up quickly.’ And the chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, ‘Dress yourself and put on your sandals.’ And he did so. And he said to him, ‘Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.’ And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him. When Peter came to himself, he said, ‘Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.’ ”
We are to pray continuously without ceasing in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18) since this is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus as revealed in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” We are to continue praying earnestly with all thanksgiving as disclosed in Colossians 4:2, “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.” It is stated this way in Psalms 50:14-15, “Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High. Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” The bible instructs us to pray everywhere without anger and quarrelling as explained in 1 Timothy 2:8, “I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling.”
Jesus teaches us to not lose heart and to always be persistent in prayer as illustrated in the parable of the persistent widow as spoken in Luke 18:1-8, “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: ‘There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ Then the Lord said, ‘Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
Jesus gives us the Lord’s Prayer as an example and model on how we should pray. We are to pray in secret to our Father in heaven who will divinely and openly reward us for He knows what we need before we even ask Him as we read in Matthew 6:6-13, “…when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
Jesus showed us the importance of being obedient to God by fearing Him and always being engaged in steadfast prayer to God the Father by always going to a mountain or to the wilderness alone to pray all night to God the Father – Matthew 14:23, Mark 1:35, Luke 6:12. Jesus is our High Priest given to us by God, by His awesome grace and mercy, according to the order of Melchizedek as explained in Hebrews 5:5-10, “So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.’ As He also says in another place: ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek’; who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, called by God as High Priest ‘according to the order of Melchizedek.’ ”
Jesus teaches us that if we believe our prayers will be answered according to His will and glorification, they will be answered as we read in John 14:13-14 , “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” Jesus explains in Matthew 21:22, “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” We are to pray with faith while removing all doubts. Praying in strong faith will bear much fruit – John 15:7-8. Praying with confidence according to His will strengthens our faith of believing that our prayers will be answered as stated in 1 John 5:14-15, “And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him.” If we pray without faith, we are like a sea wave tossed about by the wind as we read in James 1:5-6, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” If we are nervous or anxious, this can hinder our prayers by allowing doubt to creep in – Philippians 4:6-7.
Jesus heals a boy who was an epileptic, both deaf and dumb, and possessed by an unclean spirit. He teaches His disciples about the power of prayer and fasting in strengthening their faith because they lacked faith and had unbelief where they were unsuccessful in driving out this particular unclean spirit. Jesus explains that this kind of evil spirit can only be driven out by strong faith through prayer and fasting as stated in Mark 9:17-29, “Then one of the crowd answered and said, ‘Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.’ He answered him and said, ‘O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.’ Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. So He asked his father, ‘How long has this been happening to him?’ And he said, ‘From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!’ When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, ‘Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!’ Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, ‘He is dead.’ But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’ So He said to them, ‘This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.’ ”
Jesus also instructs us with the importance and divine supernatural power of praying together with two or more saints gathered together in the Spirit and in the name of Jesus as revealed in Matthew 18:19-20, “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I among them.” The bible tells the elders of the church to lay hands on and pray for the sick to be healed and for the saints to confess their sins one to another with prayer for healing as explained in James 5:13-16, “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”
Jesus teaches us that our Father in heaven will give us much better gifts in the Spirit if we ask Him compared to our earthly father as stated in Luke 11:11-13, “What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Our prayers are to be in the Spirit and should also include supplication for other saints –Ephesians 6:18, Romans 12:12-13.
God’s word tells us that the Spirit intercedes for us during our weakness according to His will where we are so burdened to the point that we do not know what to pray for. The Spirit utters groanings in the supernatural on our behalf that cannot be put into words as stated in Romans 8:26-27, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Even when we think our prayers are not getting answered, God moves in mysterious ways. His ways are above ours and He knows what is best for us – Isaiah 55:8-11. Sometimes our answered prayers are delayed by evil forces as with the prophet Daniel, as it took 21 days as we read in Daniel 10:12-14, “Then he said to me, ‘Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia, and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come.”
God does NOT answer prayers that are NOT part of His will. If your prayers are for your own prideful, arrogant, and selfish pleasures, then they will go on unanswered as we read in James 4:3, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” If we walk in darkness and do not follow God’s word and His commandments, then our prayers are an abomination to God – Proverbs 28:9. Jesus teaches of how NOT to pray as in Matthew 6:5, “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.” Also, we must forgive others and have love for one another in order for our prayers to not be hindered. God will not forgive us unless we forgive others our trespasses as we read in Mark 11:24-25, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
We know that nothing is impossible for God and that all things work together for the good that love Him according to His will – Luke 1:37, Romans 8:28. Let us have peace in knowing that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us – Philippians 4:13. Greater is Christ who is in you than he who is in the world – 1 John 4:4.We have true salvation in Christ and a direct communication path to God as we read in 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.”
Do you need Prayer?
Do you know where you will spend eternity after you die on earth? Will Jesus be your Lord and Savior or your eternal judge – John 3:15-21, Romans 2:16, 2 Timothy 4:1? Jesus says He is the narrow gate to heaven where it is difficult to find and only a few will enter by it where many will enter the easy, wide and broad gate that leads to Hell and destruction – Matthew 7:13-14. Will you experience the second eternal death (spiritual death) – Revelation 2:11, Revelation 20:6, Revelation 21:8? Do you know for sure that you are written in the eternal Lamb’s Book of Life – Revelation 3:5, Revelation 20:12-15? The place called Hell is NOT a myth and is very real and an extremely awful place – Watch this Video!