Pray the Bible

Learn the Prayers of the Bible

The Bible contains powerful prayers for so many situations, good, bad and indifferent, that we can learn from and use as a model for our own prayers. We can also pray these prayers for others and our city. 

To start, use this pattern to pray the prayers of the Bible.

  1. Read the prayer and take a few minutes to think about it
  2. Identify the different parts of the prayer. (e.g. Praising, Asking, Questioning, Thanking, etc)
  3. Make the prayer personal to your situation. Write down a few points in your journal

We have included five examples:

1. The Prayer of Jesus

Jesus taught his disciples to pray using this prayer. It is simple and powerful. At City Lights we have modelled simple prayer around it:


  • Praise and Thanksgiving - "holy is your name" See God for who He is and thank Him for what He has done.
  • Repent and Receive - "forgive us and forgive others" - Change the way you think about God and yourself. Admit your need for God and your failings. Receive His grace and His truth for your life.
  • Ask - "our daily bread" - Ask for what you need, ask for God to speak to you, ask for others needs, ask for God to change your heart.
  • Yes -  "your will be done" - What is God saying to you? What is God asking you to do? Say "Yes".

Matthew 6:9-13 NLT

9 Pray like this:

Our Father in heaven,
    may your name be kept holy.
10 May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
    as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today the food we need,
12 and forgive us our sins,
    as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
13 And don’t let us yield to temptation,
    but rescue us from the evil one.

2. Paul's Prayer for Inner Strength and Love

This prayer was read out in many New Testament churches. Below is one example of a pattern of prayer you can use and apply specifically to your circumstances: 

  • Acknowledge God's greatness as Creator v 14
  • Receive inner strength through the Holy Spirit v16
  • Choose to trust God in every area of your life v17
  • Ask God to experience a revelation of His love for you v18-19
  • Choose to live with the fullness and power of God v19 
  • Thank God that He will exceed our expectations with His goodness and provision v20

Ephesians 3:14-20 NLT

14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. 20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

3. David's Prayer in Trouble

David prayed this prayer in the midst of opposition and pressure and we can do the same too. In this prayer:

  • Acknowledge God's saving power despite your trouble
  • Receive rest in the middle of the conflict
  • Praise God again and again
Psalm 3 The Message
3 1-2 God! Look! Enemies past counting!
Enemies sprouting like mushrooms,
Mobs of them all around me, roaring their mockery:
“Hah! No help for him from God!”
3-4 But you, God, shield me on all sides;
You ground my feet, you lift my head high;
With all my might I shout up to God,
His answers thunder from the holy mountain.
5-6 I stretch myself out. I sleep.
Then I’m up again—rested, tall and steady,
Fearless before the enemy mobs
Coming at me from all sides.
7 Up, God! My God, help me!
Slap their faces,
First this cheek, then the other,
Your fist hard in their teeth!
8 Real help comes from God.

Your blessing clothes your people!

4. Jabez's Prayer of Expansion

Jabez was someone God highlighted as a man of honour in the Bible. This is a little prayer with a BIG impact for anyone who wants to expand their Kingdom influence and impact for God's glory.

1 Chronicles 4:10 NLT

10 He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request.

5. Nehemiah's Prayer for City Renewal

Nehemiah's heart was moved to see the renewal of the city of Jerusalem. When praying for our city:

  • Ask God to move your heart
  • Come to God on behalf of others in the city or community
  • Thank God 
  • Ask for insight and favour in meeting the needs of the city
Nehemiah 1 The Message

4 When I heard this, I sat down and wept. I mourned for days, fasting and praying before the God-of-Heaven.

5-6 I said, “God, God-of-Heaven, the great and awesome God, loyal to his covenant and faithful to those who love him and obey his commands: Look at me, listen to me. Pay attention to this prayer of your servant that I’m praying day and night in intercession for your servants, the People of Israel, confessing the sins of the People of Israel. And I’m including myself, I and my ancestors, among those who have sinned against you.

7-9 “We’ve treated you like dirt: We haven’t done what you told us, haven’t followed your commands, and haven’t respected the decisions you gave to Moses your servant. All the same, remember the warning you posted to your servant Moses: ‘If you betray me, I’ll scatter you to the four winds, but if you come back to me and do what I tell you, I’ll gather up all these scattered peoples from wherever they ended up and put them back in the place I chose to mark with my Name.’
10-11a “Well, there they are—your servants, your people whom you so powerfully and impressively redeemed. O Master, listen to me, listen to your servant’s prayer—and yes, to all your servants who delight in honoring you—and make me successful today so that I get what I want from the king.”