A Look at Prayer

A Look at Prayer September 19, 2023

Woman in Prayer
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Have you considered your prayer life recently? Has it become perfunctory and with half-hearted effort at expectant times of the day? What about the subject of your prayers? Are you really pouring your heart out to God and expressing gratitude for what He is doing both seen and unseen?

Prayer is an important part of our relationship with God.  It is our means of communication with Him. It is an active expression of faith that God exists and that He can make a difference in our lives. Prayer is also the act of seeking God to do what we cannot do for ourselves.

There are many famous prayers in the bible but there is one prayer, given by Jesus Christ, that covers all areas of our lives. We should be sure to cover these areas throughout the day in prayer.  We should also watch for God’s hand in these areas to increase our faith.  Other prayers in God’s word give an example of the type of prayers that God has answered in the past and is ready to answer for us.

Prayers of David

One man given to prayer and praise was the Israelite King David of whom Jesus is a descendant. As the leader of the Jewish people, David had a sacred responsibility to lead. He also knew that He was to keep God before him day and night.  Psalms 51  captures the prayer of a leader who is contrite for his sins and full of knowledge regarding God’s capability for mercy.  His request to God to “create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit” can be meditated on when thinking of our own circumstances.

For those in leadership and heads of families, David’s example to rely on God for strength, wisdom, and protection can be emulated by setting aside time with God alone and pouring out our feelings  in prayer about the levels of responsibility, influence, and decisions that need to be made; Asking Him for wisdom and guidance.

Protection from those who would sabotage our success is also an appropriate subject matter for prayer. It should be put to use by Christians regularly to ward against those with evil plans toward us and against the one who instigates them, Satan.

Prayer of Jabez

A prayer that gained influence and attention in recent years is the prayer of Jabez. Highlighted in a book of the same name by Bruce Wilkinson, the prayer of Jabez came to the forefront of Christian circles everywhere because of its prominent request for blessings on one’s territory.  The popular phrase “enlarge my territory,” may have seemed unique to modern Christians, but is certainly not outside of the realm for which we can ask God.

It is found in the bible at 1 Chronicles 4:10.  It is surprisingly not that long of a prayer and can be easily missed.  At the heart of Jabez prayer is the confidence and faith he had in God to answer his request. Have you considered how much confidence you have in God to enlarge your territory and guide your success? Another part of Jabez prayer is to be kept from the impact of evil.  Are you seeing a pattern that many servants of God have asked this? Might it be something you begin to include regularly in the prayers you say for yourself and your family?

Hannah: An Example of A Woman’s Prayer

For women, the desire for marriage, children, and emotional peace may be a matter of concern not quite experienced the same by the male gender.  Marital status and the ability to bear children are still areas where women suffer deep emotional pain when they are impeded. Being nothing new to God, He included the example of Hannah’s situation and prayer  to let us know that even at our lowest point emotionally, we can pour out our pain and  leave it on the spiritual alter expectantly waiting on God’s answer.

Looking at Hannah’s prayer we see that she stated her concern, gave God a specific request, and offered something to Him in terms of an expression of gratitude for hearing her. If you are praying for a marriage partner, might you commit to God your relationship, when your prayer is answered, and minister to others together? Like Hannah, if you are praying for children might your prayer to God include the promise to raise them with a knowledge of His ways?

The Model Prayer

Not least of prayers is the model prayer given by Jesus Christ. Its found at Matthew 6:9-13. Jesus was giving instructions on how to pray acceptably to God and provided a framework of the major areas of prayer that we should be sure to remember for God’s glory, our own well-being, and the well-being of our neighbor.

Consider that Jesus began by first remembering in the model prayer the vindication of God’s name and His purpose for the earth. We do well to remember how great our God is and that our purpose is to share about his Kingdom and the divine will to have things on earth as they are in heaven.

Jesus then makes it a priority to pray for our daily provisions. In the bible, it tells us that we should take each day as it comes.  So daily we pray for the strength and ability to provide for ourselves and our family. Such strength and positive circumstances, we recognize, come from God and when we invite Him to provide for us, we recognize that from God’s viewpoint, this is his desire to.

We ask for the forgiveness of our own sins just as we ask for the ability and willingness to forgive others when they sin against us. Finally, we see that Jesus asks us to appeal to God for protection from evil.  Rather than relying on our own means to detect evil, we ask that we do not enter along its path.

Tips for a Deeper Prayer Life

A rich prayer life is likely to ease anxiety and increase peace. Keeping account of the way that God answers our prayers increases confidence and faith.  The following are tips we can use when we pray along with remembering the areas we should cover regularly for divine protection, provision, and forgiveness.

Pray persistently (Luke 18:1-8).

Don’t used prepared prayers (Matthew 6:7).

Use your own words to express your deep and hidden concerns (Phillipians 4:6).


About Margaret Y. Buapim
Margaret Y. Buapim is a freelance writer and novelist. Her Christian fiction novel, Ring Envy, is available wherever books are sold. You can read more about the author here.

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