Here are some scriptures on prayer from the Bible that show us a wide variety of prayer subjects.
Inviting others to pray. Immediacy. Special places of prayer.
Zechariah 8: 20-23
This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will come, and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, ’Let us go at once to entreat the Lord and seek the Lord Almighty. I myself am going.’ And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord Almighty and to entreat him. This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In those days ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, “Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.’
Praying for others
I Samuel 12:23
As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.
Cross references: Romans 1:9-10, Col 1:9, 2 Timothy 1:3
Answered prayer to draw others to the Lord
I Kings 8:22-53 Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple
Vs. 54 When Solomon had finished all these prayers and supplications to the Lord, he rose from before the altar of the Lord where he had been kneeling with his hands spread out toward heaven.
Vs.59 And may these words of mine, which I have prayed before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of this people Israel according to each day’s need, 60 so that all peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is god and that there is no other.
Prayers for nations
2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered n this place.
So he said he would destroy them – had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him to keep his wrath from destroying them.
The visible signs of prayer
When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with the 2 tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.
Asking, believing and receiving
Matt. 21: 18-22 The withered fig tree.
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘God, throw yourself into the sea’ and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Matthew 7:7- 11
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; he who seeks finds; and to him how knocks, the door will be open.
Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
The nature of God to hear prayer.
Praise awaits you, O God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled. O you who hear prayer, to you all men will come.
How God answers prayer
You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas,
Goes on to telling vs. 9 to show how God cares for the land, waters, it, enriches it, provides grain Vs. 11 “You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.”
Perpetual prayer and fasting
There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of…37 and then she was a widow until she was 84. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying; 38 Coming up tot hem at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
Fasting and prayer; laying on hands in prayer, prayer of empowerment and consecration for work
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord in whom they had put their trust.
Perpetual prayer, asking God to supply our needs, hope
I Timothy 5:5
The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and ask God for help.
Prayer to open our eyes to the spiritual world; prayers to blind the eyes of the enemies.
2 Kings 6:16-18
“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 As the enemy came toward them, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike these people with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness as Elisha had asked.
Prayer answer being delivered from fear; presence answer and not necessarily an action answer.
Psalm 34:4, 5 I sought the Lord and He answered me. He delivered me from all of my fears. 5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
Prayers for deliverance
Psalm 32:6 Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him. 7 you are my hiding p lace; you will protect me and surround me with songs of deliverance.
Reasons for delays in answers, unseen spiritual warfare
Daniel 10:12,13 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me because I was detained there with the king of Persia.
Isaiah 54:17 No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
Supplication, which is a word used in the King James Version to mean asking God for help.
Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.
1 Timothy 2:1
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.
I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.
1 Timothy 5:5
Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.
And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.
Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.
For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.
Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake.
At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.
A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the LORD their God.
They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.
Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
2 Chronicles 6:39
Then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee.
Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.
Will he make many supplications unto thee? will he speak soft words unto thee?
I said unto the LORD, Thou art my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD.
And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.
2 Chronicles 6:21
Hearken therefore unto the supplications of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, which they shall make toward this place: hear thou from thy dwelling place, even from heaven; and when thou hearest, forgive.
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 saints.
Perseverence in Prayer
Luke 18:1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
Prayer for personal strength to withstand temptation
Matt. 26:41 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.
Prayer for completing good work and growing in faith
Phillipians 1:3,4 I thank my God ever time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Numbers 10:35 Whenever the ark set out, Moses said, “Rise up, O Lord! May your enemies be scattered; may your foes flee before you.”
Numbers 10:36 Whenever it came to rest, he said, “Return, O Lord, to the countless thousands of Israel.”
Praying for freedom and salvation
In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free. Ps. 118 : 5
I will give thanks because you answered me; you have become my salvation. Ps. 118:21
O Lord, save us; O Lord, grant us success. Ps. 118:25
For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:12
Not yet as I will, but as you will. Matt. 26:39
Angels sent in answer to prayer
“Put your sword back in place,” Jesus said, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” Matt. 26:52,53
(note: If you research Roman legions this would mean that Jesus was saying that if he asked, God would send between 50,400 angels to 62,400 angels plus auxiliaries. Very impressive numbers, especially when we see in Revelation how powerful a single angel can be to wipe out huge numbers of human beings.)
Luke 12:31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
(My notes: The verses before this center on our physical needs – clothes, food, drink. Jesus is telling us that these are not the things on which life should be run. I have been thinking about this verse in terms of prayer. Most of us when we begin to pray are indeed seeking some sort of physical provision or solution to our earthly problems. However prayer can serve a much higher function than simply a place of petition. It becomes a place where we seek God’s face, we enjoy His presence, we gain his perspective and we learn to love his kingdom and play an active role in it. The wonderful part of this verse is that it promises that in seeking God’s kingdom, we are also somehow receiving without having to formally ask the normal daily needs that used to be the center of our prayers.)
Prayers for strength and completing the work
They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.” But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.”
Psalm 86: 1-17
(My note – this whole Psalm is a prayer. Asks that God would answer, guard my life, have mercy, bring joy, hear my prayers in day of trouble, praises God for who He is, asks for guidance and teaching, asks for “an undivided heart” thanks God for His love, tells about attacks from the arrogant, asks for strength, saving, a sign of His goodness.)
Praying for the lost
Luke 15:3-7 The shepherd seeking the lost sheep. 5 “And when he finds it,he joyfully pts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his neighbors and friends together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ “
(My note: An excellent picture prayer for praying for the lost.)
Praying for children
Matt. 18:10 “For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”
Ps. 116:1,2 I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.