What Do People Pray for in the New Testament? (Part 2)
We first looked at prayers people make “to God,” with God as the primary focus. Now we turn to prayers people make for themselves.
PRAYERS FOR OUR NEEDS
Prayer for Needs
- Give us today our daily bread (Matt. 6:11).
- Asking, seeking, knocking for our needs (Matt. 7:7-11).
- Jesus tells the parable of the friend who asks for bread at night. His friend will give only because of his shameless audacity (Lk. 11:5-8).
- Parable of the widow who went to the judge over and over again (Lk. 18:1-8).
- Don’t be anxious, but by prayer and petition, and with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Phil. 4:6).
- Widows who are in need pray and ask God for help (1 Tim. 5:5).
Receiving What We Ask For
- Jesus says that whatever you ask for in prayer, if you believe, you will receive it (Matt. 21:22; Mark 11:24).
- Jesus says he will do whatever you ask in his name, so the Father may be glorified in the Son (Jn. 14:13-14).
- If you remain in Jesus and he in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you (Jn. 15:7).
- I chose you and appointed you so you might bear fruit that will last and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you (Jn. 15:16). Similar language in Jn. 16:23-26.
- When you ask, you don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures (Jam. 4:3).
- We receive what we ask for when we keep his commands: believing in Jesus and loving one another (1 Jn. 3:22).
- We have confidence that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us (1 Jn. 5:14).
Let Us Not Give in to Temptation
- Lead us not into temptation (Matt. 6:13).
- He told his disciples to pray so they would not fall into temptation (Matt. 26:41).
Prayer for Protection
- Jesus prays that the Father would protect the disciples that they may be one (Jn. 17:11-12).
- Jesus prays not that they would be taken out of the world, but be protected from the evil one (Jn. 17:15).
- The church prayed for Peter while he was in jail (Acts 12:5).
- Paul asks for prayers to be kept safe from unbelievers in Judea (Rom. 15:31).
- Paul asks for prayer to be delivered from wicked and evil people (2 Thess. 3:2).
Thanking God for Food
- Jesus thanked God for the food when he fed the 5,000 and 4,000 (Matt. 14:13-21; 15:32-39).
- Jesus thanked God for the food at the Last Supper (Matt 26:26-27).
- If we take part in the meal with an unbeliever with thankfulness, we are thanking God for it and don’t deserve condemnation (1 Cor. 10:30).
Prayer for Healing
- Peter prayed before raising a girl from the dead (Acts 9:40).
- Paul prayed for a man sick with fever and healed him (Acts 28:8).
- Those who are sick should call the elders of the church and be anointed (Jam. 5:14-15).
Prayer in the Midst of Suffering
- Jesus says to pray that flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath (Matt. 24:20; referring to Rome in AD 70).
- Jesus prayed in Gethsemane that the cup would be taken from him, but also for God’s will to be done (Matt 26:39).
- Paul knows that the prayers of the Philippians while he is in chains will result in his deliverance (Phil. 1:19).
- Jesus offered prayers and petitions to the one who could save him from death (Heb. 5:7).