Prayer Requests and Learning How to Pray

3 Beautiful Prayers in the Bible to Encourage You

  • Meg Bucher Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
  • 2019 5 Aug
  • COMMENTS
3 Beautiful Prayers in the Bible to Encourage You

Biblical prayers have a common denominator of hope. Hope causes us to look upwards and fall down on our knees, holding onto the One who sits above all. Deuteronomy 33:12 says the beloved of the Lord rest between His shoulders … they rest secure in Him. Prayer is hopeful rest and release of all that ails us into His capable arms. It is a courageous and faithful trusting in our Creator as Protector and Provider. There are 650 prayers in the Bible, and approximately 450 recorded answers to prayer, according to this article from The Gospel Coalition.

The Bible says God watches us through the night, even while we sleep. Have you ever been jolted awake at night for no apparent reason? Sometimes, just personally, I believe is to connect with us in prayer.

What does prayer look like in the Bible?

At times prayer in the Scripture is poetic and at other times it is conversational, delivered through a teaching or written in a letter. Still others are meditative writings and recollections of who God is and what He’s brought us through up to this point. There are at least nine different types of prayer in the Bible: prayers of faith, corporate prayer, petitions or requests (supplication), thanksgiving, worship, dedication, intercession, imprecation, and praying in the Spirit.

David, a man after God’s own heart, poured his heart out in prayer to the Father many times throughout Scripture. Whether hidden in a cave from his enemies or ashamed of his sin, David turned to God for help and for forgiveness. He praised God for who He was. His prayerful relationship with God covers many pages of the Psalms and stands as a reminder of how personal our God is. In the New Testament, we see Paul’s intimate relationship with the Father through his life’s testimony and the prayers he prayed for the churches he planted after his encounter with Christ. He mentions prayer 41 times.

Though they lived in very different times, hope can be heard in both David and Paul’s words. It bleeds through their letters and poems so personally and profoundly. These two men were forever changed by knowing their great God.

Jesus’ prayers during His earthly ministry are mentioned 25 times.Mark 1:35 tells of how he woke early in the morning to find a quiet place to pray to His Father. He taught us how to 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 today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:9-13).

He prayed in the garden, to the point of agony, for God to lift the burden of the cross from Him. But He closes the prayer faithfully with, “not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). When we pour our hearts out to God, by His example, we cover it with God’s will by praying in Jesus’ Name. Prayers are often ended with “Amen.” This article from Desiring God explains that it means “very well, God has heard my prayer; this I know as a certainty and a truth.”  

3 beautiful prayers in the Bible that can encourage your prayer life

1. The Lord’s Prayer

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:9-13).

There’s something very powerful in praying the words Jesus spoke. The Living Word of God gave us words to pray! The word “hallow” means to “regard as holy.” “The hallowing of His name is an act of the heart,” explains John Piper, “not just a regarding of the head like the demons do, and not just the lifting of the hands like the Pharisees did, but the cherishing of his name above all things like Christians do.”

Jesus taught us to address God’s rightful place as the Father, worship and praise God for who He is and all he has done. Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, we are forgiven of our sins when we confess and repent, and may petition God for His protection and help. When we don’t have the words to pray, we can turn to the Lord’s prayer, and ask the Holy Spirit to help us personalize it to our daily lives. Paraphrased in The Message translation it reads: “This is your Father in heaven you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. “

2. Mary’s Prayer

“And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me- holy is his name. His mercy extended to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors” (Luke 1:46-55).

Mary’s song is known as “The Magnificat.” Mary was humbled and overcome with joy by the way God saw her and chose her as the earthly mother of Jesus. Her prayer reflects her admiration for God. So much of our prayer life is consumed by requests and worries. Rightly so, as the world is broken and pressing in on our lives daily with new fears and anxieties. It’s easy to feel invisible, even in a world more connected by technology than ever.

Mary’s prayer reminds us of the importance in taking time to remember who God is, and that He sees us. All of us. The lowest of the low. He sees even the tiniest of problems that cause us even a hint of sadness. He is close and compassionate. Contrary to what society would have us believe, “He is not the least impressed by any of your pride, power, or opulence. He has mercy on those who fear him, who humble themselves and turn from the ego boosting accumulation of wealth to the lowliness of self-denial for the sake of others,” says John Piper in this article from Desiring God.

3. The Prayer of Jabez

“Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, ‘Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.’ And God granted his request” (1 Chronicles 4:10).

To pray like Jabez is to submit our lives to God as a blank canvas.Amidst a string of genealogy in the Old Testament we find Jabez’s prayer. His name literally means, pain! He prayed for God to deliver Him from his namesake. Oh, how we fight who we are sometimes. Materialistic gain is not the point and purpose of Jabez’s prayer, but rather an expansion of the heart. God promises us provision, not prosperity.

God created each person with a unique purpose and place amidst the people that surround our everyday lives. When we pray, it’s important to stay open to the type of territory God wills to expand and enlarge in our lives. First and foremost is the growth of godly knowledge and spiritual gifts in our hearts. He will lead us into our purpose as we obediently repent of our sins and pursue Jesus Christ. We were meant to honor Him in all we do and with all we have.

How you can use prayer examples in the Bible to strengthen your prayer life

There are many amazing prayers in the book of Psalms that give us words to pray when we don’t know what to say. Psalm 86 is one of many in which David pours his heart out to God. In it, he prays,“Hear me, LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you” (vv 1-4).

David, though his life and experiences on this earth are vastly different from our modern set of circumstances, puts emotions into words that we have in common. Read the rest of this Psalm, or any Scripture God lays on your heart, and follow these simple steps to add it to daily prayer.

1. Highlight and take notes

Highlight repetitive phrases and words, and anything that speaks to a current life circumstance. Not a paper and pen person? An app can highlight text and organize notes for you. Find a way to flag what stands out.

2. Explore Study Bible notes, Bible Dictionaries, and Commentaries

Study Bibles and apps are rich with resources that bring Biblical prayers to life. Follow trails of verses as if God is leading the way through a personal hike in the Scriptural woods. Worry less about remembering it all and focus more on what He reveals along the way.

3. Pray it

Personalize the Scripture into a daily prayer and start to include it daily. Write prayers down, print out verses and copy them into a journal. Switch the pronouns to make them more personal. A prayer King David prayed can become a personal prayer. Or, a simple note from Scripture that shows up as we scroll through our feed may light a spark and become part of the truth we repeat to ourselves. Prayer is personal. Biblical examples are just that, examples. The most important thing is to keep the conversation going.


Meg writes about everyday life within the love of Christ. She stepped out of her comfort zone, and her Marketing career, to obey God’s call to stay home and be “Mom” in 2011. From that step of obedience her blog, Sunny&80, was born, a way to retain the funny everyday moments of motherhood. (https://sunnyand80.org) Meg is also a freelance writer and author of “Friends with Everyone.”  She loves teaching God’s Word and leading weekly Bible study, being a mom, distance running and photography. Meg resides in Northern Ohio with her husband, two daughters, and Golden-Doodle … all avid Cleveland Browns fans. 

Photo credit: Thinkstock/Arrangements Photography





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