Use these 24 Bible verses on prayer – how to pray, what to pray, praying for others, etc – to spark more passion in your quiet times with God.
Scripture on Prayer
All of the Bible verses below are from the NIV translation of the Bible.
Jeremiah 29:12-13 – Prayer From The Heart
“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. “
Daniel 9:18 – Only Because of God’s Mercy
“We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.”
So often, we feel a sense of entitlement in life. If we do enough good works, we feel deserving of an easy, comfortable life, but often that’s just not the way it works.
When we pray, it has nothing to do with the good deeds we have (or haven’t) done. It is only because of God’s great mercy that we can approach His throne with our requests and have them granted.
Psalm 5:3 – Pray With Great Expectations
“In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait expectantly.”
I’m not a morning person, so left to my own devices, the first thoughts that go through my mind in the morning are something like, “*grumble* I just want more sleep.”
This is a verse I memorized in college because I wanted this to be my first thought in the morning – pray and wait with great expectations.
It adds connection, intentionality, and a sense of wonder, even in morning stupors.
Psalm 34:15 – He Hears The Righteous
“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry;”
Psalm 141:2 – Rising Like Incense
“May my prayer be set before you like incense;
may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.”
I love the imagery of my prayers rising up to the Lord like incense, swirling through the air and offering a pleasing aroma to Him.
Psalm 145:18 – He Is Near To Those Who Seek Him
“The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.”
Matthew 5:44 – Pray For Your Enemies
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
I make little note cards every January with prayer requests for my close friends and family members. I try to be intentional to cover those people near and dear to me with prayer.
But do I pray for my enemies just as intentionally? Unfortunately, not so much.
But our calling is the same – pray for those you are close to and also those people who aren’t so easy to be around.
Matthew 6:7-8 – You Don’t Need The “Right” Words
“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
I absolutely love this verse because it takes the pressure off. There no “right” or “wrong” words to use when you’re talking to God. The words themselves are not the reason for the prayer.
The Lord already knows what You need, but we still seek Him in prayer, without the stress of saying the wrong thing.
Matthew 6:9-13 – The Lord’s Prayer
“This, then, is how you should pray:
‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”‘
Matthew 18:20 – Pray With Others
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
There is always power in prayer, whether we are alone in our bedrooms or in a sanctuary full of other believers.
But I just love that God intentionally includes in His Word that when multiple people come together to pray, that He is there with them.
Matthew 26:41 – Pray Watchfully
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Mark 11:25 – Forgive First
“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
Luke 18:1 – Pray Persistently
“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”
This is just before Jesus tells his disciples the parable of the persistent widow, encouraging them to persistently pray, crying out to the Lord day and night until they get justice.
Romans 8:26 – Praying Wordless Groans
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
Again, I just love how the point of prayer is not the words at all. There have been moments when I desperately needed God, but just couldn’t form (or even think) the words.
There have been nights when all I can muster is, “Jesus.” Praise God for the gift of the Spirit who fills in all of our gaps!
Romans 12:12 – Faithful In Prayer
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
Ephesians 6:18 – Keep On Praying
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
Philippians 4:6-7 – Prayer & Thanksgiving
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Prayer and thanksgiving are just a powerful combination. When we pray, we recognize our need for God and go right to the Source for help. And recognizing and expressing our gratitude in every situation with those prayers result in a peace that passes all understanding – a beautiful gift in times of stress, worry, anxiety, and all kinds of trouble.
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.“
James 4:2-3 – Pray With Right Motives
“You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
James 5:13 – There’s A Prayer For That
“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.”
You know how with smartphones these days, “there’s an app for that” to fix just about any problem?
Well, that’s even more true when it comes to prayer.
Are you in trouble? Are you happy? Are you grieving?
There’s a prayer for that.
James 5:16 – Pray For Others
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
I think it’s a beautiful thing that God gives us glimpses of our relationship with Him in our relationships with others.
The connections you form with others when you confess your sins and pray for each other are deeply fulfilling.
1 Peter 3:12 – His Ears Are Attentive To The Prayers Of The Righteous
“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
1 John 5:14 – Pray Confidently According To His Will
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”