The Bible is so valuable for prayer. It both teaches us and gives us power to pray.
The Bible directly instructs us on prayer. The Bible will serve you well as a textbook or a manual on prayer. There are numerous passages that give instruction on how to pray, why to pray, when to pray, and where to pray.
The prayers of the Bible teach us how to prayer. I don’t personally like the idea of using the prayers of the Bible to pray—to read them or to recite them as our own prayers. I think when we do that there is too much of a temptation to impress people with our prayers. But if we study them I think we can learn how to pray from them. I especially like the prayers of the Psalms because they express so much human emotion. When we feel sad or angry or happy we can go to the Psalms and get a good idea of how to express our feelings to God in prayer.
The prayer warriors of the Bible teach us how to pray. There are so many great prayer warriors in the Bible. They all teach us how to pray by their prayers and by their holy lives.
The whole Bible teaches us to pray. Not every word of the Bible directly instructs us on prayer, but every word has a link to prayer and has the potential to breathe into us the Spirit of prayer; for the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of prayer, thus every word of the Bible, being inspired has within it the Spirit of prayer. Therefore, when we read the Word with a prayerful attitude and with an open heart to the Lord, without even knowing it we are being taught by the Spirit how to pray.
The Word gives us power to pray. When we meditate on the Word and obey the Word so that we are abiding in the Word, God will give us power in prayer. This almost seems like a cliché or a formula, but it’s true, and it makes sense—because when we abide in the Word we abide in Him. That means that we trust Him and love Him and obey Him. Therefore, because we love and obey Him, He will love us and disclose Himself to us (Jn. 14:21). The more we know Him and know His will, the deeper we abide in Him and the more power we have in prayer. Hence, the following verse is true: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (Jn. 15:7).
The Word sometimes becomes prayer. When we spend time meditating on certain scriptures, the Holy Sprit will no doubt help us to apply those scriptures to our heart so that we are moved by them and desire them. Those words of scripture will actually become our prayers—even perhaps without us realizing it.
Thank you for this practical insight on prayer, Stephen!