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Different Types Of Prayer Found In The Bible

There are many different types of prayers found in the Bible; some given by name and others by
example. There is also variation in how people categorize various prayers in the Bible. Here is a
good list to get you started in studying the different types of prayers in the Bible for yourself. I
trust these descriptions will help you in your study and that they will encourage you to look for
these prayers for many years to come as you study Gods Word.

Prayer of Thanksgiving
Philippians 4:6 and Colossians 4:2 tell us to pray with thanksgiving. Psalm 95 and 100 tell us to
enter into the presence of God with thanksgiving. When Christ prayed He often gave thanks
(Matthew 15:36; 26:26, 27; Luke 22:19). Praying with thanksgiving should be a regular part of
our prayer life.
Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 that praying with thanksgiving should be a regular
course of communication with God. It is the will of God for us to pray with thanksgiving. This is
not something that should be reserved for one special time of year, but we should always have an
attitude of thankfulness.

Along with being thankful, Paul tells us in Philippians 4:6 that we should pray with supplication.
The idea of supplication is that of asking. It isnt just asking God for something on behalf of
others (which is an intercessory prayer), but supplication is more a prayer for oneself. We see this
prayer often in the Psalms where David is asking God for help in a particular area of his own life.
If you do a search for the word supplication in the Bible you will find almost 60 instances of the
word. In almost every case it is talking about the person asking God for something on their own
behalf. It occasionally mentions praying in supplication on behalf of others. The point being that
it is not arrogant to pray for your own needs. God welcomes you with open arms when you take
your genuine requests for help to Him.

Intercessory Prayer
Interceding is typically thought of as praying on behalf of others. It means to intervene between
two people, to speak on behalf of someone to another person. Another word that is found in the
Bible that is used in this way is the word intreat. It means to beg or implore. Many times in the
Bible it is used in the same way as the word intercede.
Paul tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 2:1 that intercessory prayer (along with several other types of
prayer) should be given on behalf of all men.

Imprecatory Prayer
You wont find this word in the Bible, but it is a type of prayer that is associated with King
David. To imprecate means to curse or speak evil toward someone. When David used this type of
praying it wasnt as a form of exacting revenge. Rather, David used it as a way to show
agreement with Gods judgment and sovereignty over evil. A few examples of this type of prayer
are Psalms 7, 35, 55, 58 and 59.

Corporate or Public Prayer

The book of Acts teaches much about corporate prayer. The disciples and the early church were
involved in public prayer. In the first couple chapters of Acts it seems that the church services
were mainly made up of prayer. Decisions in the early church were accompanied by prayer. This
is seen in the choosing of the first deacons (Acts 6:1-6) and when they sent out the first
missionaries (Acts 13:1-3).

Closet or Private Prayer

In Matthew 6:5, 6 the Lord tells His disciples to pray privately. Certainly there is nothing wrong
with public prayer, but we should not pray to be seen of men. The example that Christ uses is the
hypocrites who pray out loudand loudlyso that they can be seen by others. Private prayer is
a time of personal relationship with the Lord. We get our term closet prayer from this passage in

A prayer of worship and a prayer of thanksgiving both focus on God. However, while the prayer
of thanksgiving focuses on what God has done, the prayer of worship focuses on who God is. We
see this in Jesus model prayer for the disciples. He says to pray in worship and honor to who
God is (Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4).

Prayer of Consecration
This is a type of prayer that the Lord used as a confirmation and dedication to the will of the
Father in Matthew 26, Luke 22 and Mark 14. We see another example of this in Hannahs prayer
dedicating Samuel to the Lord (1 Samuel 1:24-28).

Prayer of Faith
James says the prayer of faith will heal the sick (James 5:15). This is a prayer that is offered in
confidence knowing that the Lord will answer. Of course, we are taught in 1 John 5:14 how that
we can know God hears us and will answer; by praying in His will. When our prayers are in line
with His will, then we can have that confidence of the prayer of faith.

In a prayer of expiation or contrition, we acknowledge our sinfulness and ask God for His
forgiveness and mercy. The Confiteor or Penitential Rite at the beginning of Mass, and the Agnus
Dei (or Lamb of God) before Communion, are prayers of expiation, as is the Act of Contrition.

Prayers of love or charity are just thatexpressions of our love for God, the source and object of
all love. The Act of Charity is perhaps the best example of a prayer of love.

Prayers of petition are the type of prayer with which we are most familiar. In them, we ask God
for things we needprimarily spiritual needs, but physical ones as well. Our prayers of petition
should always include a statement of our willingness to accept God's Will, whether He directly
answers our prayer or not. The Our Father is a good example of a prayer of petition, and the line
"Thy will be done" shows that, in the end, we acknowledge that God's plans for us are more
important than what we desire..