Prayer as Biblical Conversation

“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God” (Phil. 1:9-11).

“We know not what we should pray for, as we ought, neither what, nor how to pray. But here [in the Bible] is the Spirit’s own inspired utterance, and, if the praying be molded on the model of His teaching, how can we go astray? Here is our God-given liturgy and litany—a divine prayer book. We have here God’s promises, precepts, warnings, and counsels. Not to speak of all the Spirit-inspired literal prayers contained therein; and, as we reflect upon these, our prayers take their cast in this matrix. We turn precept and promise, warning, and counsel into supplication, with the assurance that we cannot be asking anything that is not according to His will, for are we not turning His own word into prayer?” A.T. Pierson in George Mueller of Bristol

As we use God’s Word in our prayer conversation with Him, we will gain assurance (1 John 5:14,15), and cultivate prayer as personal, spiritual conversation.

“I will praise You, For You have answered me,
And have become my salvation…

I have declared my ways, and You answered me;
Teach me Your statutes.” Psalm 118;21; 119:26


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The Ministry of Intercessory Prayer

by H. C. G. Moule

“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:14-19 NKJV).

Intercessory prayer goes out to the Lord, and asks Him in His own way to act in the lives of others. Paul prayed that the Spirit might so work in the Ephesian Christians, the Christ would dwell in their hearts through faith, and that they would be filled with all the fullness of God.

At the same time, intercessory prayer brings blessing on the person praying. Henry Martyn found that in times of spiritual dryness and depression, praying for others brought him renewal.

Intercessory prayer is a deeply practical acknowledgment that to God, all hearts are open; that He holds the key of all wills and lives; that He can make everything work together for His glory and our good in Jesus Christ.

Such prayer witnesses to the Christian’s union with Christ; and, living oneness with the heavenly Intercessor is a strong encouragement to our intercession. It also witnesses to our union with our brothers and sisters in Christ and with everyone else as potentially such.

Some great permanent subjects for intercession are

  • the world,
  • the church,
  • the country,
  • the home,
  • the school …

If we are asked by individual friends to remember them in prayer, let’s turn this into definite prayer to God. Intercessory prayer must also enter into the work which we do for others in and for the Lord.

Let’s be like Epaphras, “always wrestling in prayer” that the Colossian Christians might “stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured” (Col. 4:12). Or like Paul in prison, praying for his converts, individually, in intense and tender detail (Philemon v. 4).

The Prayer Adventure, edited by Jean Watson

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A Prayer for Peace


The famous prayer for peace is attributed to St. Francis of Assisi (c. 1182 – 1226).

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love…”

In Prayers That Live (p. 9), Frank.Colquhoun contrasts the sorrows of this world with the believer’s testimonial intercession:

“It is a world where there is hatred: bitterness, strife, bloodshed; a world, where people suffer injury through injustice and oppression; a world, where discord reigns within families, communities, churches, nations; a world where doubt of God’s love and mercy and very existence leads to despair, the despair of those for whom life has no meaning, no purpose, no future; so there is darkness of the mind and spirit, and, with it, sadness of heart.

“In such a situation, we pray that the Lord may make us instruments of His peace. We are asking Him to use us in a ministry of compassion and healing, reconciliation and renewal, of encouragement, and consolation. We can exercise such a ministry only by being His instruments, and bringing into the life of mankind the positive qualities detailed in the prayer [of St Francis]. And the first and greatest of these is love.”

May we intercede for peace while abiding Christ. Then our prayers and our lives will be mutual petitions for peace.



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A Prayer for Today’s Work

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him…Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 3:17; 4:2).

A prayer by F. B. Meyer:

“In my daily calling, make me diligent in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. May I do my work, not for the wages I make it, nor to secure a promotion–but so as to please You, O Lord.  May it be the one object of my daily striving to do all to the glory of God–not with eye service, as pleasing men; but in singleness of heart, fearing the Lord; doing the will of God, as it is indicated in the circumstances of my life, and looking for my reward from your hand, O Divine Master!”

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The Example of Jesus Christ’s Praying Life

“Jesus’ own life was an example of praying persistently.

At times, Jesus was up before dawn for extended prayer with the Father. “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).

On another occasion, He prayed the entire night through. “Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12).

In addition to His rich private prayer life, Jesus prayed regularly in public as well. “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes…Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them… Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me”(Matthew 11:25Luke 9:16; and John 11:41-42).

If Jesus, the Son of God prayed habitually, how clearly we are to do the same.

by Bob Hoekstra
Day by Day by Grace

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Prayer as Dialogue

A quote from Andrew Murray

“Before prayer, it is God‘s word that prepares me for it, by revealing what the Father has bid me ask.

In prayer, it is God‘s word that strengthens me by giving my faith its warrant and its plea.

And after prayer it is God‘s word that brings me the answer when I have prayed, for in it the Spirit gives me to hear the Father’s voice [His Word and His “whisper”].

Prayer is not monologue but dialogue; God’s voice in response to mine is its most essential part. Listening to God‘s voice is the secret of the assurance that He will listen to mine.”

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The Benefits of Prayer

“Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.” (Lamentations 3:41)

The act of prayer teaches us our unworthiness, which is a very salutary lesson for such proud beings as we are. If God gave us favors without constraining us to pray for them we should never know how poor we are, but a true prayer is an inventory of wants, a catalogue of necessities, a revelation of hidden poverty. While it is an application to divine wealth, it is a confession of human emptiness.

The most healthy state of a Christian is to be always empty in self and constantly depending upon the Lord for supplies; to be always poor in self and rich in Jesus; weak as water personally, but mighty through God to do great exploits; and hence the use of prayer, because, while it adores God, it lays the creature where it should be, in the very dust.

Prayer is in itself, apart from the answer which it brings, a great benefit to the Christian. As the runner gains strength for the race by daily exercise, so for the great race of life we acquire energy by the hallowed labour of prayer. Prayer plumes the wings of God’s young eaglets, that they may learn to mount above the clouds. Prayer girds the loins of God’s warriors, and sends them forth to combat with their sinews braced and their muscles firm. An earnest pleader cometh out of his closet, even as the sun arises from the chambers of the east, rejoicing like a strong man to run his race [Psalm 19:5]. Prayer is that uplifting hand of Moses which routs the Amalekites more than the sword of Joshua [Exodus 17:10]; it is the arrow shot from the chamber of the prophet foreboding defeat to the Syrians [2 Kings 13:17]. Prayer girds human weakness with divine strength, turns human folly into heavenly wisdom, and gives to troubled mortals the peace of God. We know not what prayer cannot do!

We thank You, great God, for the mercy-seat, a choice proof of Your marvelous lovingkindness. Help us to use it aright throughout the day!

Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, (October 11 Morning).

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Prayer and Yielding

“And the king’s servants said to the king [David], ‘We are your servants, ready to do whatever my lord the king commands.’” 2 Samuel 15:15

Spirit-led prayer requires us to fully yield to God’s good, acceptable and perfect will.

“Begin at once; before you venture away from this quiet moment [of prayer], ask your King to take you wholly into His service, and place all the hours of the day quite simply at His disposal, and ask Him to make and keep you ready to do just exactly what He appoints. Never mind about tomorrow; one day at a time is enough. Try it today, and see if it is not a day of strange, almost curious peace so sweet that you will be only too thankful, when tomorrow comes, to ask Him to take it also, –– till it will become a blessed habit to hold yourself simply and “wholly at Your commandment for any manner of service“… “Ready“ implies something of preparation, –- not being taken by surprise. Let us ask Him to prepare us for all that He is preparing for us.”
– F. R. Havergal

This is consistent with the Lord’s model prayer:

“Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:9,10

May we echo the eager commitment King David’s servants had as we pray in the name of the King of kings.

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Prayer as Cooperation

“Thus says the Lord God: ‘I will also let the house of Israel inquire of Me to do this for them: I will increase their men like a flock'” (Ezek. 36:37).

“…Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:2b,3).

F. B. Meyer wrote :

“Prayer is part of the system of cooperation between God and man which pervades nature and life. No crop waves over the autumn field, no loaf stands on our breakfast table, no metal performs its useful service, no jewel sparkles on the brow of beauty, no coal burns in hearth or furnace, which does not witness to this dual workmanship of God and man. So in the spiritual world there must be cooperation, though on the part of man it is often limited to prayers, which may seem faint and feeble, but which touch the secret springs of Deity; as the last pic of the miner may break open a fountain of oil or a cavern set with dazzling jewels.”

Charles A Cook admonished,

“Seeing so much depends on prayer let us never neglect this cooperation with God which God has ordained for us. Let us remember that if our part is left out the law [principle] will not operate and the blessing will not come.” (from Practical Prayer Portions for Daily Reading (Moody Press).

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Prayer for the Persecuted

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church
November 7, 2021

In just the last year, there have been:

Over 340 million Christians living in places where they experience high levels of persecution and discrimination
4,761 Christians killed for their faith
4,488 churches and other Christian buildings attacked
4,277 believers detained without trial, arrested, sentenced or imprisoned

These numbers are heart-breaking. And yet, they do not tell the whole story. James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” That joy is what we see when we hear and work with Christians all over the world who suffer because they serve Jesus. God cares for His people, and He will never leave or forsake them.

The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church originated in the 20th century to raise awareness of the increasing violence, torture, death, “worship restrictions, public humiliation, and social isolation” that some Christians face in atheist states, such as in North Korea, as well as in South Asia and the Middle East; the observance was spearheaded by the World Evangelical Alliance

This November, millions of Christians worldwide will unite for one cause: to join the global Body of Christ for the 2021 International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted (IDOP). The number one thing persecuted Christians ask for is prayer, and we want to equip you to be able to meet their request.


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