Do You Pray Like People in the Bible?
Have you ever wondered what your prayer life looks like compared with the prayer life of people found in the Bible? This question surprised me over the past several years. I grew up in church, but haven’t often stopped to consider the types of prayers the leaders prayed in the Bible.
BY MATT BROWN
Prayer as a Habit
Prayer is mentioned throughout the New Testament hundreds of times, and the Scripture tells us that prayer is supposed to be an integral part of our life as a follower of Jesus.
- “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4:2)
- “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
- “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:18)
- “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.” (James 5:13)
- “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15)
The Bible also shows us prayer as an important habit in the life of Jesus:
- “And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.” (Matthew 14:23)
- “It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.” (Luke 6:12)
- “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.” (Mark 1:35)
- “So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” (Luke 5:16)
If Jesus prayed this much, how much more do we need to pray!
We can all use more prayer
Prayer isn’t just for the most spiritual Christians. Prayer is something all of us can learn to do more of, and the more we learn the better off we will be. Henrietta Mears once said, “Christianity isn’t adding a burden to your life, it is adding power.” And the power that belongs to God comes to us through reading the Bible, seeking Him in prayer, the fellowship of the local Church, and submitting our hearts to God’s will.
Let’s learn to pray more like the Bible teaches
We see how important prayer is in the Bible, but how should we pray? I have been surprised to think of some of my prayers, in context of how the early leaders of the church prayed in the Bible. The more we learn to pray the Bible, and to pray like the Bible teaches us to pray, the better off we will be.
Consider some of these prayers in the New Testament:
- Paul thanked God for people often. (See Romans 1:8-10)
- Paul prayed for our knowledge of God to grow. (See Ephesians 1:17)
- Paul prayed for our joy, peace and hope. (See Romans 15:13)
- Paul prayed we would live in peace and unity with other believers. (See Romans 15:5-6)
- Paul prayed for us to experience God’s power in our lives. (See Ephesians 3:16)
- Paul prayed that our love for others would grow. (See Philippians 1:9)
These are just a sampling of the powerful apostolic prayers in the New Testament. I don’t know about you, but they are so different than the way I would naturally pray!
Now that we can see more of the prayers of the people in the Bible, it would be highly beneficial to begin to model more of our prayers after these powerful prayers!
Matt Brown is an evangelist, author of Truth Plus Love, host of Think Eternity with Matt Brown, and founder of Think Eternity — a ministry dedicated to amplifying the gospel every day through podcasts, devotionals, videos, live events and more. Matt and his wife Michelle have three children.