The Bible’s Strong Emphasis on Prayer
November, 2021
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
866-295-4143,
fbns@wayoflife.org
The following is excerpted from Effectual Prayer in Perilous Times, a new Bible course available from www.wayoflife.org
Prayer
Nothing is more important in the Christian life and ministry than effectual prayer.

In light of the following Bible facts about prayer, it has rightly been said, “No prayer, no power; little prayer, little power; much prayer, much power.”

Prayer is mentioned at least 550 times in the Bible, 174 times in the New Testament, 35 times in Acts, 48 times in Paul’s epistles. Paul taught something about prayer in practically every one of his epistles.

James, Peter, John, and Jude mention prayer 11 times.

Prayer is a major emphasis of Christ’s teaching (Mt. 5:44; 6:5-15; 9:38; 17:21; 21:22; 26:41; Mr. 13:33; Lu. 11:5-13; 18:1-6).

The prominent saints in the Bible were praying people (e.g., Enoch, Abraham, Hannah, Deborah, Samuel, David, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Nehemiah, Paul, Lydia).

Prayer is one of the four foundational characteristics of the first church in Jerusalem (“they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, and breaking of bread and prayers,” Acts 2:42).

Prayer is the first ministry of church leaders (“But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word,” Ac. 6:4). Note that prayer is to be continual. And note that prayer is put first, and that is because prayer is necessary for the ministry of the word to be most effectual. This is God’s plan. Paul plainly taught this.

Prayer is to be “first of all” in the churches (1 Ti. 2:1-2).

God’s people are to pray without ceasing (1 Th. 5:17), to continue instant or steadfast in prayer (Ro. 12:12), to pray always (Eph. 6:18), to continue in prayer (Col. 4:2).

The prayers of the saints are kept before the throne of God as sweet odors before Him and are effectual in producing His great works on earth. Prayers are mentioned at the opening of the seven-sealed book which contains God’s plan for overthrowing the rebellion on earth and establishing Christ’s eternal kingdom (Re. 5:8; 8:3-4). These are not the selfish prayers of nominal believers; these are not the prayers of those who pray for comfort and help while they live lukewarm, worldly lives; these are the prayers of the saints who are living according to God’s will and praying according to God’s will, like the saints recorded in Scripture.

Prayer is a major part of spiritual warfare in the battle for truth and righteousness in this present world. Paul mentioned prayer prominently in his description of the whole armor of God. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Eph. 6:18). The devil does everything he can to stop or hinder effectual prayer. He tries to make the saint think that his prayers won’t change anything, that it doesn’t matter whether or not he prays, or how much he prays. He tries to focus the saint’s attention on his sin and failings and cause him to become too discouraged to pray.



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Way of Life Literature

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Way of Life Literature

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