Originally posted on the Bibles for America Blog.
Prayer is an essential component for believers in Christ. We begin our Christian life by praying to receive the Lord Jesus as our Savior. We also grow in our Christian life by prayer. Praying to the Lord we love and who loves us is a top blessing for us believers.
Certainly prayer in the Bible is a great matter. But could we be limiting our prayer life by our own concepts about what prayer is and what to pray for? In today’s post we’ll look at just five verses related to prayer to help broaden our view and enrich our experience of prayer.
1. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”—1 John 1:9
Being forgiven and cleansed by confessing our sins is something we can and should experience throughout our Christian life. And it’s by prayer that we confess our sins to God.
Whenever the Lord convicts our conscience about something we’ve done, said, or even thought, we can simply admit our trespass to Him.
“Oh Lord, You’re right. I confess I’ve sinned. Lord, forgive me for what I just did. Please forgive me and cleanse me with Your precious blood.”
The sooner we confess our sins in prayer, the sooner we can be forgiven and cleansed by the blood of Jesus, and enjoy sweet fellowship with the Lord once more. We can pray to confess directly to the Lord wherever we may be and at any time.
2. “Let us therefore come forward with boldness to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace for timely help.”—Hebrews 4:16
We’d all like to receive more of God’s mercy and grace, especially when we’re in difficult situations. But how can we? The Word tells us to come forward to the throne of grace.
Where is this throne? Christ on the throne is surely in the heavens, but note 1 on this verse in the New Testament Recovery Version points out that today Christ is also in our spirit. We come forward to the throne of grace in our spirit through prayer. When we turn from everything else to our spirit by praying to the Lord within, we experience God’s mercy and grace, even grace for our particular situation.
We can come forward to this throne boldly, not in our own merit, but through Christ our Redeemer. Throughout the day, we can pray prayers like this:
“Lord Jesus, I turn from everything else to You. Thank You, You are in my spirit. I come to You, to Your throne of grace right now. In the midst of my situation, I come forward to receive Your mercy and to find Your grace.”
3. “I exhort therefore, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings be made on behalf of all men.”—1 Timothy 2:1
Note 2 on the word intercessions in the New Testament Recovery Version explains that “the Greek word denotes an approaching of God in a personal and confiding manner, i.e., an intervening, an interfering, before God in others’ affairs for their benefit.”
When our friends, relatives, or coworkers are having difficulties, we can come to God in prayer on their behalf. We may not be able to solve their problems, but we can intercede for them.
Verses 3 and 4 of the same chapter say that praying for people is something good and acceptable in the sight of our Savior God, since He desires all men to be saved and to come to the full knowledge of the truth. We can especially pray for people we know who haven’t yet been saved. For example,
“Lord Jesus, I ask You to save my cousin. Lord, I pray that he would believe in You. Work in his life and in his heart to cause him to be open to You.”
4. “In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”—Philippians 4:6
The more we think about our troubles, great or small, the more anxious we become. But we can transcend how we feel by praying, even with thanksgiving. In the midst of our troubling circumstances, through prayer we can contact the Lord Jesus who fills us with the peace of God and delivers us from anxiety.
“Oh Lord, thank You, I can bring everything to You. And thank You for being my real peace. I don’t need to be anxious because I know You care for me. Thank You, Lord.”
5. “Receive the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which Spirit is the word of God, by means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit.”—Ephesians 6:17-18
According to these verses, the Spirit is the Word of God, and we are to receive the Word by praying in our spirit. Exercising our spirit by praying with God’s Word is a wonderful way to pray. If we don’t know what to pray, we can simply read a verse and pray to the Lord by using the words of that verse. For example, let’s use the phrase “I am the bread of life” from John 6:48:
“Oh Lord, You are the bread of life. Lord, You are bread to fill all my hunger. Thank You, Lord, for being the bread of life. Thank You for giving me eternal life.”
Prayer is our spiritual breathing
Prayer is as essential to our Christian life as breathing is to our physical life. It’s our spiritual breathing. Like breathing, praying is something we can practice anytime and anywhere to experience forgiveness, receive mercy and find grace, intercede for others, be saved from anxiety, and take in God’s Word. Thank the Lord that we can experience so much by prayer!
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