President’s Blog

Topics in Theology




President’s Blog #4 – Biblical Prayer

Some years ago as part of a weekend Spiritual experience called Walk to Emmaus, my volunteer assignment was to be ‘prayer warrior.’  My primary duty during the 72 hour weekend was to sit in the prayer room at the foot of our Emmaus cross praying that the events of the weekend would be to God’s glory and a service to our Weekend pilgrims.  With breaks for food and sleep, my time was to be spent in prayer and hosting the prayer of others as the Weekend unfolded.


Early in the Weekend it occurred to me at the foot of the cross that I didn’t know much about prayer – preludes to prayer, acts of prayer and what God himself has to say about prayer.  Since I had God’s instruction book at hand, I reached for my commentary bible and located the topical index on prayer. Then I wrote down the list of Scriptures for prayer, prayers and praying.  As time allowed during the weekend I looked up each Scripture and wrote each in turn into my prayer journal. By the end of the weekend my prayer journal was full.


Over the years I have revisited my prayer journal on occasion to relive the weekend experience – each time thinking I ought to capture God’s prayer instructions somehow.  This blog is a simple one, yet profound in meaning and potential impact on the reader’s life. Found below are selected Scripture from my prayer journal that seem of particular impact.  You should read God’s instructions regarding prayer with an expectation of blessing.


My prayer blog begins with prayer presented as incense in Psalm 141:2 and finishes with the incense prayers of the saints collected in golden bowls and presented by the twenty four elders to the Lamb in Revelations 5:8.  Such a timeless mystery of symbolism becoming reality in the heavenly places. Could it be that our prayers are likewise filling golden bowls before the lamb?


Let my prayer be set before you as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.  Psalm 141:2


And the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.  Revelations 5:8


Preludes to Prayer:


Be Righteous and Have a Righteous Motive

Be Sincere and Have Faith


Acts of Prayer


Lifting Up of Hands

Crying Aloud

Privately, Daily, Without Ceasing

Praise, Petition, Fasting

With Supplication

Concentrate, Stay Awake

Make a Priority – Not too Busy

Be Steadfast – Do not Give Up

In Love – Even for an Enemy


Let my prayer be set before you as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.  Psalm 141:2


Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice.  Psalm 55:17


Prayer also will be made for Him continually, and daily He shall be praised.                        Psalm 72:15


He shall regard the prayer of the destitute, and shall not despise their prayer.  This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord.                                                Psalm 102:17,18


The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is His delight.  The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but He loves him who follows righteousness. Proverbs 15:8,9


When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean.  Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil… Isaiah 1:15,16


“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good,                                and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”  Matthew 5:44,45


“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.  And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do.  For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” Matthew 6:6-8


Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“In this manner, therefore, 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 this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.  For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen.”  Matthew 6:9-13


Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not… ”  So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.  However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”  Matthew 17:19-21


“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.”    Matthew 23:14


He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”  Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What? Could you not watch with Me one hour?  Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  Matthew 26:39-41

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.  And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles. Luke 6:12,13


“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.  And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” John 14:12,13


“I (Jesus) do not pray for these (the Apostles) alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”

John 17:20,21


Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables.  “Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” Acts 6:2-4


Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Romans 12:10-13


Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day… above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful… Ephesians 6:13-18

You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures…Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God…Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you…Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:3-8


Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

James 5:14,15


And the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.  Revelations 5:8