Jesus—The Man of Prayer
It’s been said before that the Bible is the best prayer book. As such, it teaches us how to pray, tells us for what to pray, presents model prayers, and sets before us as its central character the man of prayer Himself. Psalm 109:4, speaking typologically of Jesus says, “In return for my love they have become my adversaries, but I am all prayer.” Jesus, as a man of prayer, lived on every word that proceeded out through the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4). The fact that Jesus was fasting those 40 days (fasting is typically accompanied by prayer in the Bible) and the fact that He quoted this verse, certainly indicates that Jesus lived by praying over the Scriptures in communion with His Father. Even on the cross as He was dying, He lived by praying the Scriptures. When Psalm 22:1 came off the Lord’s lips at the ninth hour, I don’t think He was quoting the Scriptures in a ceremonial way or for aesthetic effect or simply for prophetic fulfillment. Here was the man of prayer, praying the Scriptures to the end.
In total, Jesus prayed three times on the cross. Each prayer was Scripturally sourced:
- Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. –Luke 23:34, from Isa. 53:12
- My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? –Matt. 27:46, from Psa. 22:1
- Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit. –Luke 23:46, from Psa. 31:5
If we are to be His extension and reproduction, then we need to learn to pray the Bible. The entire Bible should be received by means of prayer (Eph. 6:17-18). However, there are certain verses that are crucial to incorporate into our regular prayer life. If we miss these, we miss a lot. Below are 20 verses that we should pay special attention to in prayer. These verses embody big-picture burdens that will add depth, weight, and balance to our prayer habits. I’ve taken the list, slightly modified, from Witness Lee’s chapter on prayer in Crucial Truths in the Holy Scriptures, Vol. 3, Ch. 32.
20 Things to Always Pray For
1. For our condition before God and for our spiritual life, especially for our being kept from sins
Clear me of my secret faults. Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; do not let them have dominion over me; then I will be blameless and cleared of great transgression. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable before You, O Jehovah, my rock and my Redeemer. –Psa. 19:12-14
2. For God to search us, know us, try us, and lead us
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there is some harmful way in me, and lead me on the eternal way. –Psa. 139:23-24
3. For the Lord to direct our hearts into His love and endurance
The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the endurance of Christ. –2 Thes. 3:5
4. For the Father to give us the Holy Spirit for our experience
…How much more will the Father who is from heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him. –Luke 11:13
5. For the Father to give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Christ
That…the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him, the eyes of your heart having been enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. –Eph. 1:17-19
6. For the Father to strengthen us into our inner man so that Christ may make His home in our hearts
That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man, that Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be full of strength to apprehend with all the saints what the breadth and length and height and depth are and to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God. –Eph. 3:16-19
7. To be filled with the full knowledge of God’s will and to walk worthily of the Lord and please Him in all things
We… do not cease praying and asking on your behalf that you may be filled with the full knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, to walk worthily of the Lord to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and growing by the full knowledge of God, being empowered with all power, according to the might of His glory, unto all endurance and long-suffering with joy. –Col. 1:9-11
8. That we would stand mature and fully assured in all God’s will
…Always struggling on your behalf in his prayers that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. –Col. 4:12
9. For God to perfect us in every good work to do His will
The God of peace… perfect you in every good work for the doing of His will, doing in us that which is well pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ. –Heb. 13:20-21
10. For God’s eternal purpose to be done on earth
…Your name be sanctified; Your kingdom come; Your will be done, as in heaven, so also on earth. –Matt. 6:9-10
11. For the Lord to thrust out workers into His harvest
Beseech the Lord of the harvest that He would thrust out workers into His harvest. –Matt. 9:38
12. For the saints’ experience and for the apostles’ speaking
…Praying at every time in spirit and watching unto this in all perseverance and petition concerning all the saints, and for me, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known in boldness the mystery of the gospel. –Eph. 6:18-19
13. For the word of the Lord to spread and be glorified
…Brothers, pray concerning us, that the word of the Lord may run and be glorified… –2 Thes. 3:1
14. For God’s work concerning His sons
Ask Me about the things to come concerning My sons, and concerning the work of My hands, command Me. –Isa. 45:11
15. For the revival of God’s work
…O Jehovah, revive Your work in the midst of the years; in the midst of the years make it known… –Hab. 3:2
16. For the turning and recovery of the church
Turn to us, O Jehovah, and we will be turned; renew our days as before. –Lam. 5:21
17. For the oneness of the church
…Holy Father, keep them in Your name, which You have given to Me, that they may be one even as We are. –John 17:11
18. For the salvation of all men and for those in high positions
I exhort therefore, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings be made on behalf of all men; on behalf of kings and all who are in high position, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all godliness and gravity. –1 Tim. 2:1-2
19. For the salvation of the Jews specifically
…My petition to God for them is for their salvation. –Rom. 10:1
20. For the Lord’s return
…Come, Lord Jesus! –Rev. 22:20
What verses do you regularly pray over?
Amen, brother to your posts regarding prayer. May the Lord be merciful that I may become fully one with the Man of prayer!
I was reading the Life-Study of Exodus and enjoyed this portion regarding prayer:
“What the incense altar typifies is very deep. It indicates that if we would pray intercessory prayers at the incense altar, we must become ashes; that is, we must become nothing. If we have become ashes, we shall not have our natural conduct, our natural sight, or our natural virtue. We shall not have natural conduct replacing Christ as our life supply, we shall not have natural sight replacing Christ as our light, and we shall not have natural virtues replacing Christ as our incense. This means that we shall no longer be natural. Therefore, with us there will be no veil. In place of the veil, we shall have the ark, Christ as God’s testimony. As a result, we shall be qualified to intercede at the incense altar. Having traveled through the various stations of the tabernacle, we may now come to pray, to intercede, at the golden altar of incense.”
Well, may the Lord give me the experiences I need to become ashes, not trusting in myself, in what I have, can and do according my view and natural virtues!
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Wow! Incredible quote. I’ve never seen that. Thanks for sharing!
Amen to Beatriz post from Exodus Life Study.
Thank you for these reminders in the Word to pray.
Some that I use are: Let the words of my mouth and meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight; Search me Try me; May the Lord grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation; That you may be strengthened with might in the inner man to apprehend with all the saints; Your will be done; thrust out workers; praying for all the saints; may Your Word run; oneness; for those in high places; come. Amen Lord, bring us into oneness with the Man of prayer.
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Working on this post caused me to realize how out of balance my prayers can become. I’ve been meaning to print out these verses on a sheet and put them up somewhere in my apartment to remind me to expand my prayers along these central lines.