Prayer: Asking Through Scripture
When we ask things of God in prayer, praying with and through God’s Word helps us be in line with God’s will. Though in some traditions it appears “fake” to have a written prayer that isn’t “straight from the heart,” many Biblical examples of petitions before God show careful structure and deliberate thought. While God certainly hears our prayer whether we speak stream-of-consciousness or take the time to write our prayer, pleading our case with more intentionality, using patterns of prayer from Scripture can guide our thoughts and instruct us toward a healthy posture before God.
With the work of Rebecca Olsen from our Storytelling Team, we’ve created a guide for anyone who would like a resource for writing their own prayers of petition from Scripture. Additionally, we’ve written and collected similar prayers from members of our community, demonstrating from our own stories how Scripture can guide us in our asking, from the biggest requests to our everyday sustenance.
Scriptural Prayers of Petition from our Community
Madelyn St Clair: On Homelessness
Psalm 91, 136; Matthew 10
Sovereign God, would You save Your people living in the streets?
Keep the darkness from surrounding them,
We beg for Your light to shine through
Hear our prayer Lord
See Your people
Would Your people know You love them:
You’ve numbered all the hairs on their head
Your steadfast love endures forever
They have a home in You
Would that feel true
Your Word says we will not fear the terror of the night
For we are hidden under the shadow of Your wing.
Would we find refuge in that?
Lord, do what only You can do
Would You shelter them
Would You save them
Would You bring them into Your family?
You’re the only one who can
Father of orphans, Prince of peace, God With Us,
You are our Sovereign God and Sovereign over this too.
Rebecca Olson: For a Friend in Perpetual Seasons of Challenge
Father, my heart breaks for my friend who has experienced so many difficult seasons. It seems she never gets a break from one great sorrow or stress to the next. Like the man in Luke 9, I ask that all of her hardship would be for the purpose of displaying your works in her life. May her life shine brilliantly with the goodness of your hand guiding her in her hardships.
Rebecca Olson: General Asking from the Lord’s Prayer and High Priestly Prayer
Matthew 6, John 17
Our Father in heaven, we praise your holy name. You, in your kindness and goodness, have taught us to pray in this way, and so today we ask that your kingdom come, and your will be done on earth, amongst Park Church, as it is in heaven.
Lord, just as Jesus prayed for us, we pray that we would know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent, that by knowing this we would glorify you for all eternity.
Oh Father, but yet for a little while we are still in this world, and we ask for your protection. Protect us by the power of your name so that we might be one. The evil one comes to steal and kill and destroy, and we need your protection. Save us from lies that steal our joy, kill our hope, and destroy our love for one another. Teach us more of your word, which is truth, and make us holy, set apart for you through that Truth.
Father, give us our daily bread. We have nowhere else to go for our daily bread, for you are our bread of life. Give us everything we need for today; patience in traffic, gentleness with our loved ones, peace about the week to come, and self-control tonight when we’ve allowed our exhaustion to weaken our reserve to get to bed on time.
Forgive us our debts, the things we have done and the things we have left undone. As we remember the grace we have received from you, remind us to give grace generously to those around us, even to those who have sinned against us.
Father, we are but little children, so please deliver us from temptations and crippling doubt. We want to be known in our homes, our church, and our community for our love that comes straight from you.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
Gary McQuinn: Petition for Unity in the Body of Christ
John 17, Matthew 6, Ephesians 4
Father, Son, Spirit. One God in three Persons. You exist in perfect Unity. You’ve created us to reflect Your communal love and harmonious unity in diversity. But in sin and selfishness we are prone to divisions.
Jesus, You laid down Your life to show us love and to bind us together in covenant love. You said the world will know that we are Your disciples by our love for one another. And You said that our oneness would help the world know that You were sent by the Father to restore the kingdom.
Help our church to be one. Even as You and the Father are one. (John 17)
Deliver us from the evil one; his schemes and his designs to divide and destroy what You are building. (Matthew 6)
Help us to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4)