How to Pray

Someone has said, “If you are swept off your feet, it’s time to get on your knees.” Scripture backs up this claim. In the pages of the Bible we find ample evidence that prayer can dramatically change situations, people, and sometimes even the course of nature. Consider the prayers of these Bible characters:

Jehoshaphat

Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, was doing all the right things to please God (2 Chronicles 20:1–30). Suddenly, without warning, he received a frightening report: “A vast army is coming against you!” Alarmed, Jehoshaphat stopped what he was doing and prayed: “O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You” (verse 12).

As Jehoshaphat prayed, so did the people of Judah. “All Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the LORD” (verse 13). Since Jehoshaphat chose to turn the problem over to God, God responded powerfully and answered the prayer of the king and his people (see Philippians 4:6).

Hannah

Unable to have a child, Hannah prayed that God would give her a son (1 Samuel 1:1–20). The Lord answered her prayer, and she gave birth to a son, Samuel, who would one day become one of Israel’s greatest prophets.

Samson

In spite of his previous disobedience to the Lord, Samson prayed, and God returned Samson’s strength (Judges 16:28–30).

Paul and Silas

Imprisoned for their faith, these two men pray. Within moments, an earthquake comes and they are free (Acts 16:22–26).

Peter

When Peter was in prison and awaiting execution, the early church prayed for his release. While they were praying, an angel came and escorted Peter out of the prison (Acts 12:1–17).

Elijah

This Old Testament prophet prayed and the rain stopped. He prayed again, and the rain returned. Another time he prayed, and fire came down from Heaven (James 5:17–18; 1 Kings 18:36–38).

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