The Bible is filled with examples of many different types of prayers and uses different words to describe the practice. For example, 1 Timothy 2:1 says, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people.” Here, all four of the main Greek words used for prayer are mentioned in one verse!
Prayer in general, is setting your heart and mind on God or asking good things from God. Vocal prayer may be spoken or sung, out loud or softly. Mental or inward prayer can either take on the form of meditating on or contemplating a matter with one’s mind towards the Lord. Following, are examples of 6 such prayers which can also easily be taught to children.
1. The prayer of agreement or corporate prayer
Acts 1:14 – These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
After Jesus ascended to heaven, His disciples joined in united and continued prayer. After Pentecost, the early church devoted themselves to prayer. (Acts 2:42). Their example encourages us to pray with others for the advancement of His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
2. The prayer of request or supplication
Philippians 4:6-7 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
This Scripture invites us to tell God everything in our hearts, holding back nothing, but keeping in mind to give Him thanks for what we have asked from Him. Ephesians 6:18 invites us to put our requests before Him without ceasing! Ephesians 6:18 – …praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints…
3. The prayer of thanksgiving
1 Thessalonians 5:18 – …in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
So often people ask; what is God’s will? Not only does God invite us to make our requests known to Him, but He also tells us that giving thanks is His will for us! So, whenever you want to do something that is the perfect will of God, give Him thanks!
4. The prayer of worship
Acts 13:2-3 – As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.
Ministering to the Lord and worshipping God is closely related. When we desire to hear God’s voice on a matter, worship and fasting will often lead us to hear His voice more clearly on important matters in our lives.
5. The prayer of consecration
Matthew 26:39 – He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
The Bible is filled with examples of people who went aside to pray to God by themselves, completely pouring out their hearts to God. Jesus did the same thing the night before His crucifixion. Whenever we face a life-and-death situation or need an answer from God, setting yourself aside to pray where no one can see you is very special.
6. The prayer of intercession
Colossians 1:9 – For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding…
Many times, our prayers include requests for others as we intercede for them. 1 Timothy 2:1 also invites us to make intercession ‘for everyone’. Jesus’ prayer in John 17 certainly serves as the best example of praying for His disciples and the Church. As we read this chapter, we learn the pattern for intercessory prayer from the Lord Jesus Himself.