As Christians, we recognize we should pray. Native listening come sermons and also from reading Bible, we have the sense that we need to be taking time out to talk to God. Us look around us and we check out a couple of people praying. Pastors are constantly praying – however that is your job, right? and we view the super-spiritual varieties praying, those world who seem lot farther down the road than us are.

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But we might not be a pastor. We may not be one of those super-spiritual types. Need to we it is in praying too? have to prayer be a continual habit? Is prayer something the is compelled of Christians? Is talking to God something that all believer – not simply the turbo people – are commanded to do?

The scriptures gives united state a few intersecting lines come look at in regards to this question.

The bible Models Prayer for Us

Old testament Examples

It appears reasonable that if prayer is something crucial to our spirituality health and also joy, climate Biblical characters would be civilization of prayer. If talk to God is important, we will see it demonstrated by those characters so acquainted to us. Let begin in the beginning of the Bible and also take a look.

In Genesis 20, Abraham has lied to King Abimelech about his wife by saying she was she sister. Abimelech take away her together a wife. The whole issue gets sorted the end after some angst, and the story ends through Abraham praying for Abimelech, “Then Abraham prayed come God, and also God cure Abimelech, and likewise healed his wife and also female servants so they bore children. Because that the Lord had closed every the wombs the the home of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.” (Genesis20:17-18, ESV) quickly thereafter, Abraham’s kid Isaac prayed, “And Isaac prayed come the lord for his wife, since she to be barren. And the lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived.” (Genesis 25:21, ESV)

The an excellent Moses, that the Red Sea fame, to be no stranger to prayer. Pharaoh, surrounding by the torment of flies, pleads with Moses to take them away. “So Moses went out from Pharaoh and also prayed come the LORD.” (Exodus 8:30, ESV) when the country of Israel angry God yet again, Moses interceded, “Then the human being cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the Lord, and the fire died down.” (Numbers 11:2, ESV) then take a look in ~ Psalm 90. We are told in the opening notes that Moses composed this Psalm.


Hannah to be a woman deeply distressed by she inability to have actually children. Not just a an individual tragedy, yet in that culture, a windy humiliation. Her solution was a heartfelt putting out come God of her feelings and also desires, “She to be deeply distressed and prayed come the LORD and also wept bitterly.” (1 Samuel 1:10, ESV)

King David, the man defined as a male after God’s own heart, was absolutely a man of prayer. As the writer of a great many of the Psalms, it is clean he knew exactly how to pray.

The prophets were mouthpieces God supplied to connect to his people. Together such, castle were well versed in speak on behalf of God. Yet, they likewise spoke come him together well. Surrounded by an army holding okay intent, “Then Elisha prayed and said, ‘O

LORD, please open his (the opposing general’s) eyes that he may see.’ therefore the LORD opened up the eye of the young man, and he saw, and also behold, the mountain was complete of horses and chariots of fire all approximately Elisha.” (2 queens 6:17, ESV, parenthesis mine)

The prophet Nehemiah was in the presence of King Artaxerxes – his ceo – and also he was sad. We all have had actually moments of sadness, but bringing such melancholy before this king to be strictly verboten. The king noticed, and confronted Nehemiah v it. Nehemiah confesses he is bothered by the condition of Jerusalem, the home of his people. Nehemiah relates what happens next when he states “. . . The king stated to me, ‘What room you requesting?’ So i prayed come the God that heaven.” (Nehemiah 2:4, ESV) Nehemiah asks God for assist in a minute of crisis and confrontation.

Daniel remained in the habit of praying. His friend knew it. His opponents knew it. He was so cursed to his habit, and also to his God, that his enemies persuaded the king to ban prayer to anything except himself for thirty days. “When Daniel knew the the record had been signed, he checked out his home where he had windows in his upper chamber open up toward Jerusalem. He got down top top his knees and also prayed and also gave thanks before his God, as he had actually done previously.” (Daniel 6:10, ESV)

New testimony Examples

Our Lord and savior Jesus Christ was self a man of prayer. Luke speak us, “. . . He would withdraw to desolate places and pray.” (Luke 5:16, ESV) numerous times we space told of Jesus walking up mountain to pray. The night prior to he goes to the cross, that prays in Gethsemane. Jesus talked frequently with his Father.


Like his mentor, Peter had actually picked increase the habit that going turn off by himself to pray. “The following day, together they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went increase on the housetop around the sixth hour come pray.” (Acts 10:9)

Paul was another person that conversed commonly with the Lord. In numerous of his letter he speaks of his prayers for his readers. He speak the roman inn believers, “For God is my witness, whom ns serve v my soul in the gospel the his son, the without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers . . .” (Romans 1:9-10a, ESV) come the Ephesian church that writes, “. . . I do not cease to provide thanks because that you, remembering you in mine prayers . . .” (Ephesians 1:16, ESV) In a poignant letter to his protégé Timothy, Paul speak him, “I thank God whom i serve, as did mine ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember friend constantly in mine prayers night and day.” (2 Timothy 1:3, ESV)

We can speak of countless other instances of believers praying come the heavenly Father. This perform is through no method exhaustive. The holy bible records in that is pages plenty of other characters who converse v God.

Looking at the example of all of these men and also women, covering thousands of years and throughout the story the the Bible, the is ending up being clear that the example God’s people collection for united state is that God’s human being pray. If your bracelet claims WWJD – What would Jesus Do? – it is clear the at the very least one the the points he would perform is pray. If you had a bracelet that read WWMPBD – What would certainly Most world in the scriptures Do? – the answer remains the same.

God’s people pray.

Example is not enough

The pages of bible contain a good many instances of people who pray. We have examined several of them. But, few of us can advise caution. An example cannot constantly be a command. After all, for numerous of these characters, the Bible likewise records their significant failures. Failure which encompass adultery and also murder. Nobody looks in ~ the visibility of these actions in the Bible and also construes a command.

This gets united state down come brass tacks. Go the bible actually command believers come converse v God?

The Bible’s regulates to Pray

As it turns out, the scriptures does command believer to pray.

Paul closes his first letter to the Thessalonian church through a list of points they should remember to do. On the list is a brief sentence top top prayer, “. . . Pray without ceasing . . .” (1 Thessalonians 5:17, ESV) This command is quite clear. Pray. We need to pray. Sometimes prayer is not enough. Prayer during just time of dilemm is insufficient. We have to pray without ceasing. We must be continuous and fervent in ours prayer. The God that the universe wants you speak to that – regularly.

Jesus additionally issues a directive to pray. He prefaces one of his parables through saying, “And he told them a parable come the result that castle ought always to pray and not lose heart.” (Luke 18:1, ESV) The parable the goes on come share helps people understand that they must pray, and pray a lot. That proceeds come tell the parable of the persistent widow.

The parable is the story the a widow who is gift oppressed and appeals come a judge because that justice. This judge does not fear God or people. That is not motivated by a love for God, and also he walk not treatment what other will think around him

for ignoring the widow. So, he ignores her at first. However the widow keeps comes to him seeking justice. That resists for a while, yet ultimately offers in – only to get her to walk away. Jesus means we need to be prefer the widow. We need to pray. And also we have to pray frequently. We need to pray so much that God might identify v the judge.

For good measure, Paul adds a couple of more regulates to pray. Come the Colossians he says, “Continue steadfastly in prayer, gift watchful in it v thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4:2, ESV) clearly an imperative: pray. Pray faithfully. Be sure to it is in grateful and also give thanks as well.

To the church in Philippi that pens among the more familiar i on prayer, “. . . Carry out not be anxious around anything, but in every little thing by prayer and supplication v thanksgiving let your requests be made well-known to God.” (Philippians 4:6, ESV) A native of encourage to many. Great hope originates from being said to no worry and also ask God for your requests. Make no mistake though, the word in the original Greek because that “let your requests it is in made known” is in the imperative. This is an encouragement, but additionally a command.

At a an essential level then, prayer is a issue of obedience. Words of God commands us come pray. We have to strive to end up being people that prayer.

The Command is Paired through a Promise

For some people, analysis the over may have actually just been a “bad news first” moment. Currently stretched by life’s demands, we space now including something rather to the to-do list. We could feel prefer our burden just got a tiny heavier.

This is a typical response. Theologian man Calvin knows this is a usual response, and in his Institutes the the Christian Religion the points us to hope. That acknowledges the command come pray. The Calvin likewise points out that the command to pray is paired with promise.

Preaching his sermon ~ above the mount, Jesus speak his disciples, “Ask, and also it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will certainly be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and also the one who seeks finds, and to the one that knocks it will certainly be opened. Or which among you, if his child asks him because that bread, will provide him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will provide him a serpent? If girlfriend then, who space evil, know just how to give good gifts to her children, exactly how much an ext will your father that is in sky give an excellent things come those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:7-11, ESV)

What an exceptional promise. Especially for who who has actually just to be ordered come pray. Yes, we have to pray, however we are likewise promised the God will certainly answer ours prayers. Prayer is not intended come be some empty ritual that we do simply since we must. The is intended come be powerful experince. And also it is to plan to be effective. What we seek in God’s presence – we will certainly find! What we ask because that – we will get! ours time conversing through God will have definition far beyond rote ritual.

Jesus’ promise is a wide overarching promise to make our prayer effective. God’s indigenous reveals plenty of other, more specific guarantees in regards come prayer. In the Psalms, Asaph tells united state of oh my gosh promise come hear our prayers: “I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me.” (Psalm 77:1, ESV)

The apostle Paul reminds the church in Philippi, “And mine God will certainly supply every require of yours follow to his wide range in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) This verse appears on a lot of coffee mugs, but it is tho true. God guarantees to fulfill our needs.

The pages of oh my god word encompass other promise in regards come our prayer life. One is oh my god promise to overview us (Psalm 31:3). An additional is his promise to provide us wisdom once we ask (James 1:5). Among the most comforting come me is the promise to always forgive us once we confess our sins (1 man 1:9).

These promises change everything.

Promises and also Lottery Tickets

Imagine I had actually the strength to order human being around. Then imagine that ns ordered people to acquisition lottery tickets every day. Many peoples’ solution would be negative. Why? People’s an answer would be an unfavorable because they understand they room not going to win. The odds are too great. Any type of normal human would it is in angered by a command to waste far-ranging time, effort, and also money follow something that would not advantage them in any kind of way.

Many civilization think about prayer in the very same way.

But imagine that along with the strength to order human being to acquisition lottery tickets I also had the power to guarantee the you would win a large amount of money every time friend played. Purchasing our lottery tickets would jump directly to the optimal of our everyday to-do list. Why? – due to the fact that we now expect the time, effort and also money expended to it is in richly rewarded.

God’s promises in regards come prayer are similar to the guarantee for the lottery tickets. These promises typical that us will obtain what we room seeking. We will certainly not it is in wasting ours time or efforts – due to the fact that God guarantees to hear and answer.

Exchange our Lottery ticket for airplane Tickets


These guarantees are an excellent news to united state who don’t have actually a continual prayer life up and also running. This pairing that command and promise enables us change our whole conception of prayer. Gone is the idea the we should endure drudgery and also rote ritual. In its location we have the idea of optimistic expectation. Praying is not buying a lottery ticket. That is to buy a aircraft ticket. Us buy airplane tickets through the expectation of acquiring somewhere. We can now pray with the same expectation.

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So, let’s take on our duty to pray. Adopt it with hope. And start praying. Or begin again.