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References to Prayer in Scripture

References to Prayer in Scripture

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Published by Mike Spencer
This book outlines the many references to prayer found in the Bible in an attempt to understand this discipline and its importance for the Christian.
This book outlines the many references to prayer found in the Bible in an attempt to understand this discipline and its importance for the Christian.

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Published by: Mike Spencer on Oct 16, 2009
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12/29/2012

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Prayer: Bridging the Distance
References to Prayer Recorded in Scripture (with notes)
*Scripture quotations taken from the NASB
The recorded accounts of God’s communication with His children are numerous.The Bible is His record of the revelation of Himself to His people and of His people inturn learning to understand who He is. Throughout Scripture there are the accounts of men and women who have bowed their heads, their knees and their hearts in prayer to theonly God who could and would hear them. I have turned the pages from Genesis toRevelation discovering the passages that reference prayer. I have compiled them here as best I could in order to study them as they appear and to glean their treasures, that I might better understand how prayer is practiced and learn to pray to this same God today.Listen! The God of Heaven, the Creator of the Universe, the God of yesterday,today, and tomorrow asks us to come!
“Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat.Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” (Isaiah 55:1)“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the onewho is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.” (Revelation 22:17)
 In my study of these various references to prayer in Scripture I had to develop away to organize these references logically. The following list of categories and  subcategories is the result of that organization and study. In the following paper eachreference in Scripture will be prefaced with one or more of these headings.
Prayer is:
Calling upon the Name of the LordSeeking the Lord and Coming to HimBuilding a House of Prayer for the LordIn His Name and for His SakeCrying out to the Lord/ to the God who can Save
The Posture of Prayer 
Falling Face Down to the GroundBowed HeadLips MovingClothed in SackclothKneelingFacing a Specific DirectionHead Covered/ UncoveredLaying on the groundTearing One’s Clothing
The Content of Prayer 
1
 
Acknowledgment of sinfulnessReverence for the Holiness of God (recognition of same)ThanksgivingConfessionBlessing (Patriarchal, Priestly, One to Another, Upon Food)PraiseSighs, Groans, Weeping, and SorrowRejoicingRepentancePetition:For a Specific Task or MinistryFor Others, Other Believers, Leaders, EnemiesFor God’s Will to be DoneFor Knowledge, Wisdom and UnderstandingFor HealingFor Strength in Trouble or DifficultyFor Equipping of Self to Stand/ To Use Gifts for Others
The Quality of Prayer 
Faith-filledSincereHumble/ Fear of GodContentPersistentContinual/ DevotedPure MotiveSober 
The Action of Prayer 
Altar BuildingTree PlantingStretching out Bodily Over the Sick or DeceasedLaying on of HandsFastingSolitary
The Times of Prayer 
Before Eating a MealRegularly Throughout the DayBefore a Major Life EventIn the Midst of TroubleDuring SicknessIn Community2
 
From the Old Testament
Genesis 4:3-5First Offering The Quality of Prayer: Humility
This is the account of Cain’s and Abel’s offering to the Lord. Cain brought anoffering of the ground and Able brought an offering of the “firstlings” of his flock. Thisis the first recorded instance of man coming to the Lord with a sacrifice, presumably asatonement for his sin. This sets the tone for all future interaction with God; we are tocome to Him in humility and in full recognition of our position below Him.But we are also to come to Him in the
manner 
that pleases Him. We can assumethat Cain knew the ‘right’ thing to do regarding his offering because it certainly was not pleasing to the Lord. It is apparent that Cain’s offering was not made according to God’sdirections as Abel’s was, but came instead out of the pride of Cain’s heart. It might serveus well to understand that our prayer is similarly an offering to God and as such we mustmake sure that we offer it without pride or arrogance, and that we make a sincere attemptto offer it in keeping with the desires of the Lord for it.What does He desire in prayer? This is what I hope this study will discover.
Genesis 4:26Calling Upon the Name of the Lord 
“Then men began to call upon the name of the Lord.”This is the basis for a relationship with God and any subsequent prayer to Him.We must first call ourselves
by
the name of the Lord; that is, we must be His children.Then we must call
upon
the name of the Lord; that is, we must recognize that it is fromHim, from the Name above all names, that we receive our daily provision, our deliverance in time of need, and our salvation to eternal life.
Genesis 8:20The Action of Prayer: Altar Building The Content of Prayer: Thanksgiving 
 Noah builds an altar to the Lord and offers a sacrifice of “every clean animal andof every clean bird.” He is thanking God for saving them out of the flood and the aromaof his sacrifice “is soothing” to the Lord. God promises never to destroy every livingthing again.Prayer includes the thankfulness we feel toward the God who has saved us andthrough whom we have every need supplied. Prayer without thankfulness is prayer without humility.
Genesis 12:7-8Calling Upon the Name of the LorThe Action of Prayer: Altar Building 
Abram leaves his home at God’s command and proceeds through Canaan wherehe builds an altar to the “Lord who had appeared to him.” He then goes to the mountain“on the east of Bethel,” and builds another altar and calls “upon the name of the Lord.”The act of building an altar; or in a later passage, the planting of a tree, is tied tothe act of prayer, sacrifice, and worship. Does prayer include the physical act as well asthe mental and spiritual?3

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