Jesus' Parables for Disciples
Great Prayers of the Bible
Audio Version (4:38)
St. Francis of Assisi (1585-90), by Annibale Carracci (Italian painter, 1560-1609). Larger image.
Over 11 weeks we'll be studying the prayers of Jesus, Abraham, Moses, and Paul. We'll join David in prayers of deep repentance and high praise. We'll observe as Hezekiah, Daniel, and Nehemiah call out to their God. As we study together, hopefully we can learn from their faith and boldness.
So what are the great prayers? Jesus uttered many short prayers to his Father that accomplished huge results. But we don't learn as much from the sentence or two that is recorded in the Bible, so I've looked for longer prayers that help us understanding the dynamics of the prayer better. The prayers I've chosen differ from similar studies of the great prayers, an indication that there are more than enough great prayers to go around. This study is by no means comprehensive or exhaustive.
If you're just new to prayer, I'll try to introduce you to a few of the many of kinds of prayers that you find in the Bible. First, though, I want to introduce you to the helpful acronym ACTS, which helps guide us in our prayers:
Praise and worship of God for who he is.
Confessing our sins and receiving his forgiveness.
Giving thanks for all God's blessings and answers to our prayers.
Asking God for specific things. Petition is another word for this. When you ask God to meet someone else's needs, it is called intercession, the act of interceding.
As we study prayer together, we'll begin with Jesus' pattern prayer, The Lord's Prayer. Then we'll examine other prayers to see what pleases God about them. Often it is the attitude and faith of the prayer that we must learn to model. Many of these prayers are from the Old Testament, but don't consider them inferior for that reason. We learn much from them. Finally, we'll consider a couple of prayers from the New Testament.
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As we study, our desire is to learn to pray better. Prayers that meet God's conditions. Prayers that pray according to God's will. By the time we finish, about three months from now I hope that we will have internalized some of these principles.
Father, as we embark on this study of prayer, we humbly confess that we are novices. But we come longing to learn to know you through prayer. Teach us through your word, through the example of your saints. Teach us also by your Holy Spirit as you interpret the Word to our hearts. And guide us in our attempts to apply what we've learned in actual prayer. We rely on you to guide us and know you will. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
In-depth Bible study books
You can purchase one of Dr. Wilson's complete Bible studies in PDF, Kindle, or paperback format -- currently 48 books in the JesusWalk Bible Study Series.
- Abraham, Faith of
- Jacob, Life of
- Moses the Reluctant Leader
- David, Life of
- Songs of Ascent (Psalms 120-134)
- 28 Advent Scriptures (Messianic)
- Rebuild & Renew: Post-Exilic Books
- Christmas Incarnation (Mt, Lk)
- Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5-7)
- Luke's Gospel
- John's Gospel
- Seven Last Words of Christ
- Jesus and the Kingdom of God
- Resurrection and Easter Faith
- Romans 5-8 (Christ-Powered Life)
- 1 Corinthians
- 2 Corinthians
- Colossians, Philemon
- 1 & 2 Thessalonians
- 1 &2 Timothy, Titus
- Glorious Kingdom, The
- Grace: Favor for the Undeserving
- Great Prayers of the Bible
- Holy Spirit, Disciple's Guide
- JesusWalk: Beginning the Journey
- Lamb of God
- Listening for God's Voice
- Lord's Supper: Disciple's Guide
- Names and Titles of God
- Names and Titles of Jesus