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5 Compelling Prayers in the Bible

Browse the many books written by Philip Yancey in the Bible Gateway Store where you'll enjoy low prices every dayIn his book Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? (Zondervan, 2010), bestselling author Philip Yancey says, “We pray because we want to thank someone or something for the beauties and glories of life, and also because we feel small and helpless and sometimes afraid. We pray for forgiveness, for strength, for contact with the One who is, for assurance that we are not alone….The main purpose of prayer is not to make life easier, nor to gain magical powers, but to know God.”

[Browse the many books written by Philip Yancey in the Bible Gateway Store]

The Bible records many prayers. When you don’t know what to say to God, look to Scripture for prayerful insight.

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Buy your copy of Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? in the Bible Gateway Store where you'll enjoy low prices every day

Isaiah 64:1–5

“Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down,
    that the mountains would tremble before you!
As when fire sets twigs ablaze
    and causes water to boil,
come down to make your name known to your enemies
    and cause the nations to quake before you!
For when you did awesome things that we did not expect,
    you came down, and the mountains trembled before you.
Since ancient times no one has heard,
    no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
    who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.
You come to the help of those who gladly do right,
    who remember your ways.”

[Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, The Lord’s Prayer is Revolutionary: An Interview with R. Albert Mohler Jr.]

Buy your copy of The Prayer That Turns the World Upside Down: The Lord's Prayer as a Manifesto for Revolution in the Bible Gateway Store where you'll enjoy low prices every day

Jonah 2:2–9

“In my distress I called to the LORD,
    and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
    and you listened to my cry.
You hurled me into the depths,
    into the very heart of the seas,
    and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
    swept over me.
I said, ‘I have been banished
    from your sight;
yet I will look again
    toward your holy temple.’
Buy your copy of The Daniel Prayer: Prayer That Moves Heaven and Changes Nations in the Bible Gateway Store where you'll enjoy low prices every dayThe engulfing waters threatened me,
    the deep surrounded me;
    seaweed was wrapped around my head.
To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
    the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, LORD my God,
    brought my life up from the pit.
“When my life was ebbing away,
    I remembered you, LORD,
and my prayer rose to you,
    to your holy temple.
“Those who cling to worthless idols
    turn away from God’s love for them.
But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
    will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
    I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the LORD.’”

[Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, The Daniel Prayer: An Interview with Anne Graham Lotz]

Buy your copy of Praying the Bible in the Bible Gateway Store where you'll enjoy low prices every day

Psalm 8:1–9

LORD, our LORD,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
    in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds,
    and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
    and the fish in the sea,
    all that swim the paths of the seas.
LORD, our LORD,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

[Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, Praying the Bible: An Interview with Donald Whitney]

Buy your copy of Your Powerful Prayers: Reaching the Heart of God with a Bold and Humble Faith in the Bible Gateway Store where you'll enjoy low prices every day

Luke 1:47–55

“My soul glorifies the Lord
    and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
    for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
    holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
    from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
    he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
    but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
    but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
    remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
    just as he promised our ancestors.”

[Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, Quiz: Can You Identify These Bible Prayers?]

Chart measuring daily prayer around the world

Philippians 1:9–11

“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”


Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? is published by HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., the parent company of Bible Gateway.


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Filed under Discipleship, Prayer