How to Discover the Treasures of Prayer in the Bible

Debbie Walker

Communing with God through prayer helps us to listen and empowers us to act for Him

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The road to discovering the treasures of prayer has been paved by man’s quest for purpose and meaning since the beginning of time. Prayer is and has been the primary means of communing with the Divine. We have always looked up and outside ourselves for answers.

Early people often had little control over their environment and they requested help from God as they understood Him. They sacrificed animals to atone for sins committed. Early in Genesis, God slew an animal and made clothes to cover Adam's nakedness. Therefore, the blood of a lamb covered the sin of Adam.

After, God cast Adam out of the garden to prevent him from living forever in sin. Then God instructed Adam to do the same. Men continued to offer sacrifices and pray to God.

Prayer, talking to God, is how I strengthen my relationship with Him, helps me to listen to His voice, and moves me to action. Prayer has become my passion.

Therefore, when I decided to learn everything I could about prayer, I turned to the Bible.

Old Testament

Now that we have determined prayer is an exchange between God and man, let’s take a look at the men and women who communicated with God.

  • Before the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, the Bible infers Adam (man) had a personal relationship with his Creator, as illustrated in Genesis 2:7–3:19. After the fall, the first mention of recorded prayer is Genesis 4:26, when men began to call on the name of the Lord.
  • Beginning in Genesis 12, God spoke to Abraham, told him to leave his home, and to travel to the Promised Land. Abraham obeyed God and set into motion the strategy to build the Nation of Israel. Abraham prayed for an heir, blessed God with prayers of thanksgiving, and interceded for family members. He lived a life of prayer unto God for all to see.
  • The only prayer in the Bible dictated by God is the Blessing of the Kohanim or The Priestly Blessing in Numbers 6:24-26. In this prayer, God desires to bless the people of Isreal. Christians appropriate this blessing upon themselves and their children.
"May the LORD bless thee and keep thee. May the LORD shine his face toward thee, and be gracious unto thee. May the Lord lift his face toward thee, and give thee peace." (Number 6:24-26)
  • In the book of Judges, God raised up Deborah to lead a whole nation in military campaigns and ultimate deliverance from Israel’s enemies. She was a fearless warrior, prophetess, and judge who demonstrated to all people the power of God. She composed and sang one of the most revered prayers of victory in the written history of Israel.
  • David, the shepherd who became the greatest king of Israel, cultivated his relationship with God through prayers of love, praise, supplication, lamentations, and victory. In 1 Samuel chapters 23 and 30, David inquired of the Lord regarding military plans of action, and the Lord spoke directly to him. God so loved David, he called him “a man after my own heart”. (Acts 13:22)

New Testament

In the New Testament, Jesus gave numerous examples of how to pray, Paul wrote about prayer throughout the New Testament Epistles, and James, the brother of Jesus, gives us specific directives regarding prayer.

  • The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray in Luke 11:1, and he proceeded to teach them the Lord’s Prayer in Luke 11:2–4 and Matthew 6:9–13. He began the prayer by glorifying the Father, asking that His will be accomplished in the earth, daily needs, confession and forgiveness, and deliverance from evil. Jesus, also, instituted a new law in the New Testament in:
“…Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you.” (John 16:23, KJV)
  • Paul, who wrote 13 of the 27 books of the New Testament, was initially chosen by Jesus to spread the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Jews and the Gentiles (Acts 9:15). I counted the mention of prayer, and forms thereof, approximately forty times in his letters to the churches. For example, Paul penned the words in:
“…be constant in prayer.” (Romans 12:12, ESV)
  • The book of James begins and ends with instructions regarding how to pray for wisdom and offering the prayer of faith for the sick. James 1:15 tells us that if we lack wisdom, the only thing we have to do is ask God for it, and it will be given to us. This is a simple thing to do: ask and receive. James, then, ends his book with plain details about praying for the sick.
“Is any 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 shall save the sick…” (James 5:14–15, ESV)

The Love Prayer

Finally, there is part of one chapter in the New Testament that I use as a prayer. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, I believe, is a prayer of action. A prayer to help me be and do what a Christian should. Also known as the Love Chapter, it embodies my prayer for help.

4 "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

I am on a path to discover the treasures of prayer. The Bible is the treasure map leading us to examples of women and men who lived and operated in prayer. I have learned how to pray, when to pray, what to pray, while on my quest.

We are all the children of God and He loves and cares for our needs and wants. We want to prosper and be happy, and He wants the same for us. How do we communicate this to God? Through prayer!

Communing with God through prayer helps us to listen and empowers us to act for Him. The road is there; you only have to take the first step!

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