What did the people who lived in Bible times pray about? Everything! Prayer runs though every book, and nearly every chapter. Here are some of the main prayers found throughout the Bible, listed alphabetically by who prayed them.
Abijah’s army – for victory in battle. (2 Chronicles 13:14) When Judah turned around, behold, they were attacked both front and rear; so they cried to the Lord, and the priests blew the trumpets.
Abraham – for a son (Genesis 15:2) And Abram said, “O Lord God, what wilt Thou give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”
Abraham – for Ishmael (Genesis 17:18) And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before Thee!”
Abraham – for Sodom (Genesis 18:23-24) And Abraham came near and said, “Wilt Thou indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous with the city; wilt Thou indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake or the fifty righteous who are in it?” Read more…
Abraham – for Abimelech (Genesis 20:17) And Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his maids, so that they bore children.
Abraham’s servant – for guidance (Genesis 24:12,14) And he said, “O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today, and show lovingkindness to my master Abraham….now may it be that the girl to whom I say, ‘please let down your jar so that I may drink,’ and who answers, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels also’;–may she be the one whom Thou hast appointed for Thy servant Isaac…”
Asa – for victory (2 Chronicles 14:11) Then Asa called to the Lord his God, and said, “Lord, there is no one besides Thee to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; so help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in Thee, and in Thy name have come against this multitude. O Lord, Thou art our God; let not man prevail against Thee.”
Cain – for mercy (Genesis 4:13-14) And Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is too great to bear! Behold, Thou hast driven me this day from the face of the ground; and from Thy face I shall be hidden, and I shall be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth and it will come about that whoever finds me will kill me.”
Centurion – for his servant (Matthew 8:5-6) “And when He had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, entreating Him, and saying, ‘Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering great pain.'”
Christian disciples – for boldness ( Acts 4:29-30) “And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Thy bond-servants may speak Thy word with all confidence, while Thou dost extend Thy hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Thy holy servant Jesus.” Read more…
Christians – for Peter (Acts 12:5) So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God.
Cornelius – for enlightenment (Acts 10:3-4) About the ninth hour of the day he clearly saw in a vision an angel of God who had just come in to him, and said to him, “Cornelius!” And fixing his gaze upon him and being much alarmed, he said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and alms have ascended as a memorial before God.”
Thief at the cross – for salvation (Luke 23:42) And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”
Daniel – for dream interpretation (Daniel 2:17-18) Then Daniel went to his house and informed his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, about the matter, in order that they might request compassion from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his friends might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
Daniel – for the Jews (Daniel 9:3-5) So I gave my attention to the Lord God and seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed and said, “Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly, and rebelled, even turning aside from Thy commandments and ordinances.”
David – for blessing (2 Samuel 7:18) Then David the king went in and sat before the Lord, and he said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that Thou hast brought me this far?”
David – for direction (1 Samuel 23:10- 13) Then David said, “O Lord God of Israel, Thy servant has heard for certain that Saul is seeking to come to Keilah to destroy the city on my account. Will the men of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down just as Thy servant has heard? O Lord God of Israel, I pray, tell Thy servant.” And the Lord said, “He will come down.” Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the Lord said, “They will surrender you.” Then David and his men, about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah, and they went wherever they could go. When it was told Saul that David had escaped from Keilah, he gave up the pursuit.”
David – for repentance (Psalm 51:10-13) Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from They presence, and do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, and sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Thy ways, and sinners will be converted to Thee. Read more…
Elijah – for drought and rain (James 5:17-18) Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the sky poured rain, and the earth produced its fruit. (See 1 Kings 17 -19 for the original story.)
Elijah – raising the widow’s son from the dead (1 Kings 17:20-22) And he called to the Lord and said, “O Lord my God, hast Thou also brought calamity to the widow with whom I am staying, by causing her son to die?” Then he stretched himself upon the child three times, and called to the Lord, and said, “O Lord my God, I pray Thee, let this child’s life return to him.” And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah, and the life of the child returned to him and he revived.
Elijah – for death (1 Kings 19:4) But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.”
Elisha – for sight and blindness (2 Kings 6:17-18) Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, “Strike this people with blindness, I pray.” So He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.
Ezra – confession for the sins of Israel (Ezra 9:6) “O my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to Thee, my God, for our iniquities have risen above our heads, and our guilt has grown even to the heavens.”
Gideon – for proof of God’s call (Judges 6:36) Then Gideon said to God, “If Thou wilt deliver Israel through me, as Thou hast spoken, behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that Thou wilt deliver Israel through me, as Thou hast spoken.” Read more…
Habakkuk – for justice (Habakkuk 1:2-4) How long, O Lord, will I call for help, and Thou wilt not hear? I cry out to Thee, “Violence!” yet Thou dost not save. Why dost Thou make me see iniquity, and cause me to look on wickedness? Yes, destruction and violence are before me; strife exists and contention arises. Therefore, the law is ignored and justice is never upheld. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore, justice comes out perverted.
Habakkuk – for revival and deliverance (Habakkuk 3:2) Lord, I have heard the report about Thee and I fear. O Lord, revive Thy work in the midst of the years, In the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy.
Hannah – for a son (1 Samuel 10:11) And she, greatly distressed, prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. And she made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if Thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of Thy maidservant and remember me, and not forget Thy maidservant, but wilt give Thy maidservant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.” Read more…
Hezekiah – for deliverance (2 Kings 19:15-19) And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord and said, “O Lord, the God of Israel, who art enthroned above the cherubim, Thou art the God, Thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. Thou hast made heaven and earth. Incline Thine ear, O Lord, and hear; open Thine eyes, O Lord, and see; and listen to the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have devastated the nations and their lands and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. So they have destroyed them. And now, O Lord our God, I pray, deliver us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that Thou alone, O Lord, art God.”
Hezekiah – for health (2 Kings 20:3) “Remember now, O Lord, I beseech Thee, how I have walked before Thee in truth and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in Thy sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Holy Spirit – for us when we don’t know how to pray (Romans 8:26) And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
Isaac – for children (Genesis 25:21) And Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived.
Israelites – for deliverance (Exodus 2:23) Now it came about in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died. And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God.
Jabez – for prosperity (1 Chronicles 4:10) Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that Thou wouldst bless me indeed, and enlarge my border, and that Thy hand might be with me, and that Thou wouldst keep me from harm, that it may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested.
Jacob – wrestled with God for blessing (Genesis 32:24-28) Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. And when he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” But he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” So he said to him, “What is your name?” and he said, “Jacob.” And he said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.” Read more…
Jacob – deliverance from Esau (Genesis 32:11) “Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and attack me, the mothers with the children.
Jehoahaz – for favor from the enemy (2 Kings 13:4) Then Jehoahaz entreated the favor of the Lord, and the Lord listened to him; for He saw the oppression of Israel, how the king of Aram oppressed them.
Jehoshaphat – for deliverance (2 Chronicles 18:31) So it came about when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, “It is the king of Israel, ” and they turned aside to fight against him. But Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him and God diverted them from him.”
Jeremiah – intercession on behalf of the people (Jeremiah 42:2) And (they) said to Jeremiah the prophet, “Please let our petition come before you, and pray for us to the Lord your God, that is for all this remnant; because we are left but a few out of many, as your own eyes now see us, that the Lord your God may tell us the way in which we should walk and the thing that we should do.”
Jeremiah – for mercy (Jeremiah 14:7) Although our iniquities testify against us, O Lord, act for Thy name’s sake! Truly our apostasies have been many, we have sinned against Thee.
Jesus – The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9) Pray, then, in this way: “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name. Thy kingdom come. They will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”
Jesus – revelation to children (Matthew 11:25) “I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes.”
Jesus – at the tomb of Lazarus (John 11:41-42) And so they removed the stone. And Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “Father, I thank Thee that Thou heardest Me. And I knew that Thou hearest Me always; but because of the people standing around I said it, that they may believe that Thou didst send Me.”
Jesus – for the church (John 17:1-26) “Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee, even as Thou gavest Him authority over all mankind, that to all whom Thou hast given Him, He may give eternal life. And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given Me to do. (The passage continues).
Jesus – for deliverance from the cross (Matthew 26:39) And He went a little beyond the, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”
Jesus – forgiveness for his killers (Luke 23:34) But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”
Jesus – submission to God’s plan (Luke 23:46) And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit.” And having said this, He breathed His last.
Jews through Ezra – for safe journey (Ezra 8:21) Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a safe journey for us, our little ones, and all our possessions.
Job – confession of surrender to God’s sovereignty (Job 42:1-6) “‘Therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes.'” Read more…
Jonah – for deliverance from the fish (Jonah 2:1-9) Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the stomach of the fish, and he said, “I called out of my distress to the Lord, and He answered me. I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; Thou didst hear my voice. Etc. Read more…
Joshua – for help and mercy (Joshua 7:6-9) Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the Lord until the evening, both he and elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads. And Joshua said, “Alas, O Lord God, why didst Thou ever bring this people over the Jordan, only to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? If only we had been willing to dwell beyond the Jordan! O Lord, what can I say since Israel has turned their back before their enemies? For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it, and they will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what wilt Thou do for Thy great name?”
Leper – for healing (Matthew 8:2) And behold, a leper came to Him, and bowed down to Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
Manasseh – for deliverance (2 Chronicles 33:12-13) And when he was in distress, he entreated the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. When he prayed to Him, He was moved by his entreaty and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.
Manoah – for guidance (Judges 13:8) Then Manoah entreated the Lord and said, “O Lord, please let the man of God whom Thou hast sent come to us again that he may teach us what to do for the boy who is to be born.”
Moses – for Pharaoh (Exodus 8:8-9) Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, “Entreat the Lord that He remove the frogs from me and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to the Lord.” And Moses said to Pharaoh, “The honor is yours to tell me. When shall I entreat for you and your servants and your people, that the frogs be destroyed from you and your houses, that they may be left only in the Nile?”
Moses – for water (Exodus 15:24-25) So the people grumbled at Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” Then he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree; and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet. There He made for them a stature and regulation, and there He tested them.
Moses – forgiveness for the sin of Israel (Exodus 32:31-32) Then Moses returned to the Lord, and said; “Alas, this people has committed a great sin, and they have made a god of gold for themselves. But now, if Thou wilt, forgive their sin-and it no, please blot me out from Thy book which Thou has written!”
Moses – for Miriam (Numbers 12:11-13) Then Aaron said to Moses, “Oh, my lord, I beg you, do not account this sin to us, in which we have acted foolishly and in which we have sinned. Oh, do not let her be like one dead, whose flesh is half eaten away when he comes from his mother’s womb!” And Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, “O God, heal her, I pray!”
Moses – to see the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 3:23-25) I also pleaded with the Lord at that time, saying, “O Lord God, Thou hast begun to show Thy servant Thy greatness and Thy strong hand; for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as Thine? Let me, I pray, cross over and see the fair land that is beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.”
Moses – for a successor (Numbers 27:15-17) Then Moses spoke to the Lord, saying, “May the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation, who will go out and come in before them, and who will lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the Lord may not be like sheep which have no shepherd.”
Nehemiah – for the Jews to return to their land (Nehemiah 1:4-11) Now it came about when I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven. And I said, “I beseech Thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who preserves the covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, let Thine ear now be attentive and Thine eyes open to hear the prayer of Thy servant which I am praying before Thee now, day and night, on behalf of the sons of Israel Thy servants, confessing the sins of the sons of Israel which we have sinned against Thee; I and my father’s house have sinned.” Etc.
Paul – for healing of Publius’ father (Acts 28:8) And it came about that the father of Publius was lying in bed afflicted with recurrent fever and dysentery; and Paul went in to see him and after he had prayed, he laid his hands on him and healed him.
Paul – for the Ephesians (Ephesians 3:14-21) For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
Paul – for deliverance from his thorn (2 Corinthians 12:8) Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
People of Judah – for a covenant (2 Chronicles 15:12) And they entered into the covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and soul.
Peter – for raising Dorcas from the dead (Acts 9:40) But Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed, and turning to the body said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
Rebekah – for wisdom (Genesis 25:22-23) But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If it is so, why then am I this way?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb; and two peoples shall be separated from your body; and one people shall be stronger than the other; and the older shall serve the younger.”
Samson – for water (Judges 15:18) Then he became very thirsty, and he called to the Lord and said, “Thou hast given this great deliverance by the hand of Thy servant, and now shall I die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?”
Samson – for strength (Judges 16:28) Then Samson called to the Lord and said, “O Lord God, please remember me and please strengthen me just this time, O God, that I may at once be avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.”
Samuel – for Israel (1 Samuel 7:5-6) Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.” And they gathered to Mizpah, and drew water and poured it out before the Lord, and fasted on that day, and said there, “We have sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel judged the sons of Israel at Mizpah.
Solomon – for wisdom (1 Kings 3:6-9) The Solomon said, “Thou hast shown great lovingkindness to Thy servant David my father, according as he walked before Thee in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward Thee; and Thou hast reserved for him this great lovingkindness, that Thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O Lord my God, Thou hast made Thy servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Thy servant is in the midst of Thy people which Thou hast chosen, a great people who cannot be numbered or counted for multitude. So give Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Thine?” Read more…
Tax-gatherer – mercy (Luke 18:13) “But the tax-gatherer, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!'”
Zacharias – for a son (Luke 1:13) But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John.”
Go now to: Great Prayers of the Bible.