WHY PRAY? To strengthen my own resolve in prayer, I made the following list in my journal of biblical reasons for prayer:
FOR HEALING OF OUR LAND & REVIVAL OF GOD's PEOPLE ~ 2 Chronicles 7:14 "...if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place."
FOR WISDOM & DIRECTION ~ James 1:5-8 "If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get His help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who "worry their prayers" are like wind-whipped waves. Don't think you're going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open."
FOR OUR SOUL TO PROSPER IN GOOD HEALTH ~ 3 John 1:2 "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers."
FOR HEALING & FORGIVENESS ~ James 5:13-17 "Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 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. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."
FOR A CLEAR CONSCIENCE ~ Hebrews 13: 18 "Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably."
FOR HOLINESS FREE FROM ANGER ~ 1 Timothy 2:8 "I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting".
FOR THE WORD OF THE GOSPEL TO GO OUT SWIFTLY ~ 2 Thessalonians 3:1-3 "Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one."
FOR KINGS & ALL IN AUTHORITY ~ 1 Timothy 2:1-2 "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence."
FOR REJOICING IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil."
FOR OUR PEOPLE TO BE FILLED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD ~ Colossians 1:9-14 "For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins."
FOR ABOUNDING LOVE ~ Philippians 1:9-11 "And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God."
FOR THE FEAR OF GOD ~ Proverbs 1:28-30 “Then they will call on Me, but I will not answer; They will seek Me diligently, but they will not find Me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord, they would have none of My counsel and despised My every rebuke."
FOR PARDON FROM INIQUITY ~ Numbers 14:19-20 "Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.” Then the Lord said:“I have pardoned, according to your word;"
FOR STRENGTH FOR THE TASKS GOD GIVES US ~ Judges 16:28-29 "Then Samson called to the Lord, saying, “O Lord God, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!”
FOR DELIVERANCE FROM OUR ENEMIES ~ 1 Samuel 7:5-10 "Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.” So they gathered together at Mizpah, drew water, and poured it out before the Lord. And they fasted that day, and said there, “We have sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel judged the children of Israel at Mizpah. Now when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel had gathered together at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard of it, they were afraid of the Philistines. So the children of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines....Then Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him. Now as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the Lord thundered with a loud thunder upon the Philistines that day, and so confused them that they were overcome before Israel."
FOR LEADERS TO TEACH THE GOOD AND RIGHT WAY ~ 1 Samuel 12:23-25 "Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way. Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.”
FOR GOD's PROMISES & CALLNG TO BE CLEAR & TO COME TO PASS ~ 1 Kings 8:26-30 "And now I pray, O God of Israel, let Your word come true, which You have spoken to Your servant David my father. “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built! Yet regard the prayer of Your servant and his supplication, O Lord my God, and listen to the cry and the prayer which Your servant is praying before You today: that Your eyes may be open toward this temple night and day, toward the place of which You said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that You may hear the prayer which Your servant makes toward this place. And may You hear the supplication of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. Hear in heaven Your dwelling place; and when You hear, forgive."
TO NOURISH THE LIFE OF CHRIST IN US PERSONALLY ~ John 15:5 “ I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
FOR GOD TO BRING ABOUT JUSTICE FOR HIS PEOPLE ~ Luke 18:7-8 "And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
TO SEE THE BEAUTY OF JESUS ~ Psalms 27:4-6 "One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord."
FOR FULLY DEVOTED DISCIPLES OF JESUS' CHURCH TO GO, TEACH, BAPTIZE AND MAKE DISCIPLES ~ Matthew 28:18-20 "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “ All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”