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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Biblical Prayers, Part 2

Throughout all of my posts in the early stages of Cromulent Thoughts, I have referenced prayer numerous times.  Clearly, prayer is important.  In fact, many times, while mentioning prayer in a post, I have added some form of this tag: “Which I will address in a future post.”  In short, I have hinted at prayer frequently, but really have not written about prayer at all (the closest being the Listening to God post).  This was done on purpose, as I knew the issue of prayer would require a lot of research that I simply did not have time for during the school year.

Postponing these posts proved prophetic.  Since my last post, I have begun researching prayer and all the different directions I could go with it.  I am roughly one-half – to – two-thirds finished with my research…and have 110 pages of notes.  Needless to say, I have my work cut out for me and need more time.  Still, I didn’t want to leave my die-hards hanging (Hi, Mom!!), so I decided to put together an introduction to my future prayer posts.

What I’m giving you this week is a glimpse of all the different prayers provided in the Bible.  This is straight-up NIV scripture.  However…putting this together, I ran into another problem.  The prayer scriptures accumulated over fifty-three pages.  So…in a Cromulent Thoughts first…I am going to provide one post a day this week.  Each day will be roughly ten pages of verbal prayer provided from scripture.

A few notes: I used this site for a lot of help.  It’s actually a pretty cool site, so check it out.  It provides more information than I’m giving here.  According to his site, there are 222 noted prayers in the Bible.  I disagree with him on a few…as I’m sure you’ll disagree with him and/or me on a few.  Current count: I will be providing 126 prayers this week.  Now, technically, one could argue that every psalm is a prayer.  Due to that, I only included Psalm 77 because it’s awesome but long.  I also tried not to include any conversations with God (like Adam and Eve talking with God…Moses…etc).  I also didn’t include any prayers that people prayed to Jesus while He walked the earth—mainly for the sake of space.  Also for space, I tried to stick to just the prayer, so parts of many verses have been edited.  Additionally, if the Bible merely noted that someone prayed, it is not included in this list, or on the site linked above.  The goal is to show actual worded prayer being sent via Biblical Express to the Big Guy.

The purpose of this week is to show how people in the Bible prayed.  These prayers will be referenced a lot in future posts—not just the prayers themselves, but who prayed…why they were praying…how they prayed…how/if their prayer was answered…and how they reacted to answered prayer.  So look for patterns in prayers, and then open your Bibles to find out how (or if) God responded.

Finally, I’m sure I’ve missed some, and I’m sure there are a few that are included that you might consider an Old Testament conversation with God and not a prayer…but cut me some slack.  The Bible is loaded with prayers, and I’m not a biblical scholar.


Old Testament
2 Samuel:
2:1 “Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah?...Where shall I go?”

5:19 “Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands?”

7:18-29 “Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?  And as if this were not enough in your sight, Sovereign Lord, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant—and this decree, Sovereign Lord, is for a mere human!
“What more can David say to you?  For you know your servant, Sovereign Lord.  For the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant.
“How great you are, Sovereign Lord!  There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears.  And who is like your people Israel —the one nation on earth that God went out to redeem as a people for himself, and to make a name for himself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations and their gods from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt?  You have established your people Israel as your very own forever, and you, Lord, have become their God.
“And now, Lord God, keep forever the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house.  Do as you promised, so that your name will be great forever.  Then people will say, ‘The Lord Almighty is God over Israel!’  And the house of your servant David will be established in your sight.
Lord Almighty, God of Israel, you have revealed this to your servant, saying, ‘I will build a house for you.’  So your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you.  Sovereign Lord, you are God!  Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant.  Now be pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, Sovereign Lord, have spoken, and with your blessing the house of your servant will be blessed forever.”

24:10 “I have sinned greatly in what I have done.  Now, Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant.  I have done a very foolish thing.”


1 Kings:
3:6-9 “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart.  You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.
“Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David.  But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties.  Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number.  So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.  For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

8:23-53 Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.  You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today.
“Now Lord, the God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father the promises you made to him when you said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your descendants are careful in all they do to walk before me faithfully as you have done.’  And now, God of Israel, let your word that you promised your servant David my father come true.
“But will God really dwell on earth?  The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you.  How much less this temple I have built!  Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, Lord my God.  Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.  May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which you said, ‘My Name shall be there,’ so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place.  Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place.  Hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.
“When anyone wrongs their neighbor and is required to take an oath and they come and swear the oath before your altar in this temple, then hear from heaven and act.  Judge between your servants, condemning the guilty by bringing down on their heads what they have done, and vindicating the innocent by treating them in accordance with their innocence.
“When your people Israel have been defeated by an enemy because they have sinned against you, and when they turn back to you and give praise to your name, praying and making supplication to you in this temple, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them back to the land you gave to their ancestors.
“When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and give praise to your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel.  Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance.
“When famine or plague comes to the land, or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers, or when an enemy besieges them in any of their cities, whatever disaster or disease may come, and when a prayer or plea is made by anyone among your people Israel—being aware of the afflictions of their own hearts, and spreading out their hands toward this temple— then hear from heaven, your dwelling place.  Forgive and act; deal with everyone according to all they do, since you know their hearts (for you alone know every human heart), so that they will fear you all the time they live in the land you gave our ancestors.
“As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your name—for they will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm—when they come and pray toward this temple, then hear from heaven, your dwelling place.  Do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name.
“When your people go to war against their enemies, wherever you send them, and when they pray to the Lord toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name, then hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause.
“When they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin —and you become angry with them and give them over to their enemies, who take them captive to their own lands, far away or near; and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captors and say, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly’; and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and pray to you toward the land you gave their ancestors, toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name; then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause.  And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you, and cause their captors to show them mercy; for they are your people and your inheritance, whom you brought out of Egypt, out of that iron-smelting furnace.
“May your eyes be open to your servant’s plea and to the plea of your people Israel, and may you listen to them whenever they cry out to you.  For you singled them out from all the nations of the world to be your own inheritance, just as you declared through your servant Moses when you, Sovereign Lord, brought our ancestors out of Egypt.”

17:20-21 Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?...Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”

18:36-37 Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.  Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”

19:4 “I have had enough, Lord,” he said.  “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”


2 Kings:
6:17 “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.”

19:15-19 Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth.  You have made heaven and earth.  Give ear, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God.
“It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands.  They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands.  Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God.”

20:3  “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.”


1 Chronicles:
4:10 “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory!  Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.”

29:10-19 “Praise be to you, Lord,
    the God of our father Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting.
Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power
    and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
    for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;
    you are exalted as head over all.
Wealth and honor come from you;
    you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
    to exalt and give strength to all.
Now, our God, we give you thanks,
    and praise your glorious name.
“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this?  Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.  We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors.  Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope.  Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you.  I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity.  All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent.  And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.  Lord, the God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep these desires and thoughts in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you.  And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion to keep your commands, statutes and decrees and to do everything to build the palatial structure for which I have provided.”


2 Chronicles:
14:11 Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty.  Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army.  Lord, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.”

20:6-12 Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven?  You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations.  Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.  Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?  They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’
“But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them.  See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance.  Our God, will you not judge them?  For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.  We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”


Ezra:
7:27-28 Praise be to the Lord, the God of our ancestors, who has put it into the king’s heart to bring honor to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem in this way and who has extended his good favor to me before the king and his advisers and all the king’s powerful officials.  Because the hand of the Lord my God was on me, I took courage and gathered leaders from Israel to go up with me.

9:6-15 “I am too ashamed and disgraced, my God, to lift up my face to you, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens.  From the days of our ancestors until now, our guilt has been great.  Because of our sins, we and our kings and our priests have been subjected to the sword and captivity, to pillage and humiliation at the hand of foreign kings, as it is today.
“But now, for a brief moment, the Lord our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage.  Though we are slaves, our God has not forsaken us in our bondage.  He has shown us kindness in the sight of the kings of Persia: He has granted us new life to rebuild the house of our God and repair its ruins, and he has given us a wall of protection in Judah and Jerusalem.
“But now, our God, what can we say after this?  For we have forsaken the commands you gave through your servants the prophets when you said: ‘The land you are entering to possess is a land polluted by the corruption of its peoples.  By their detestable practices they have filled it with their impurity from one end to the other.  Therefore, do not give your daughters in marriage to their sons or take their daughters for your sons.  Do not seek a treaty of friendship with them at any time, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it to your children as an everlasting inheritance.’
“What has happened to us is a result of our evil deeds and our great guilt, and yet, our God, you have punished us less than our sins deserved and have given us a remnant like this.  Shall we then break your commands again and intermarry with the peoples who commit such detestable practices?  Would you not be angry enough with us to destroy us, leaving us no remnant or survivor?  Lord, the God of Israel, you are righteous!  We are left this day as a remnant.  Here we are before you in our guilt, though because of it not one of us can stand in your presence.”


Nehemiah:
1:5-11 Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel.  I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you.  We have acted very wickedly toward you.  We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
“Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’
“They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand.  Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name.  Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.”

4:4-5 Hear us, our God, for we are despised.  Turn their insults back on their own heads.  Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity.  Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of the builders.

6:9 “Now strengthen my hands.”

6:14 Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, my God, because of what they have done; remember also the prophet Noadiah and how she and the rest of the prophets have been trying to intimidate me.

9:5-38 “Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise.  You alone are the Lord.  You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them.  You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.
“You are the Lord God, who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and named him Abraham.  You found his heart faithful to you, and you made a covenant with him to give to his descendants the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Jebusites and Girgashites.  You have kept your promise because you are righteous.
“You saw the suffering of our ancestors in Egypt; you heard their cry at the Red Sea.  You sent signs and wonders against Pharaoh, against all his officials and all the people of his land, for you knew how arrogantly the Egyptians treated them.  You made a name for yourself, which remains to this day.  You divided the sea before them, so that they passed through it on dry ground, but you hurled their pursuers into the depths, like a stone into mighty waters.  By day you led them with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire to give them light on the way they were to take.
“You came down on Mount Sinai; you spoke to them from heaven.  You gave them regulations and laws that are just and right, and decrees and commands that are good.  You made known to them your holy Sabbath and gave them commands, decrees and laws through your servant Moses.  In their hunger you gave them bread from heaven and in their thirst you brought them water from the rock; you told them to go in and take possession of the land you had sworn with uplifted hand to give them.
“But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands.  They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them.  They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery.  But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.  Therefore you did not desert them, even when they cast for themselves an image of a calf and said, ‘This is your god, who brought you up out of Egypt,’ or when they committed awful blasphemies.
“Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the wilderness.  By day the pillar of cloud did not fail to guide them on their path, nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take.  You gave your good Spirit to instruct them.  You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst.  For forty years you sustained them in the wilderness; they lacked nothing, their clothes did not wear out nor did their feet become swollen.
“You gave them kingdoms and nations, allotting to them even the remotest frontiers.  They took over the country of Sihon king of Heshbon and the country of Og king of Bashan.  You made their children as numerous as the stars in the sky, and you brought them into the land that you told their parents to enter and possess.  Their children went in and took possession of the land.  You subdued before them the Canaanites, who lived in the land; you gave the Canaanites into their hands, along with their kings and the peoples of the land, to deal with them as they pleased.  They captured fortified cities and fertile land; they took possession of houses filled with all kinds of good things, wells already dug, vineyards, olive groves and fruit trees in abundance.  They ate to the full and were well-nourished; they reveled in your great goodness.
“But they were disobedient and rebelled against you; they turned their backs on your law.  They killed your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you; they committed awful blasphemies.  So you delivered them into the hands of their enemies, who oppressed them.  But when they were oppressed they cried out to you.  From heaven you heard them, and in your great compassion you gave them deliverers, who rescued them from the hand of their enemies.
“But as soon as they were at rest, they again did what was evil in your sight.  Then you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies so that they ruled over them.  And when they cried out to you again, you heard from heaven, and in your compassion you delivered them time after time.
“You warned them in order to turn them back to your law, but they became arrogant and disobeyed your commands.  They sinned against your ordinances, of which you said, ‘The person who obeys them will live by them.’  Stubbornly they turned their backs on you, became stiff-necked and refused to listen.  For many years you were patient with them.  By your Spirit you warned them through your prophets.  Yet they paid no attention, so you gave them into the hands of the neighboring peoples.  But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.
“Now therefore, our God, the great God, mighty and awesome, who keeps his covenant of love, do not let all this hardship seem trifling in your eyes—the hardship that has come on us, on our kings and leaders, on our priests and prophets, on our ancestors and all your people, from the days of the kings of Assyria until today.  In all that has happened to us, you have remained righteous; you have acted faithfully, while we acted wickedly.  Our kings, our leaders, our priests and our ancestors did not follow your law; they did not pay attention to your commands or the statutes you warned them to keep.  Even while they were in their kingdom, enjoying your great goodness to them in the spacious and fertile land you gave them, they did not serve you or turn from their evil ways.
“But see, we are slaves today, slaves in the land you gave our ancestors so they could eat its fruit and the other good things it produces.  Because of our sins, its abundant harvest goes to the kings you have placed over us.  They rule over our bodies and our cattle as they please. We are in great distress.
“In view of all this, we are making a binding agreement, putting it in writing, and our leaders, our Levites and our priests are affixing their seals to it.”

13:14 Remember me for this, my God, and do not blot out what I have so faithfully done for the house of my God and its services.

13:22 Then I commanded the Levites to purify themselves and go and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy.  Remember me for this also, my God, and show mercy to me according to your great love.

13:29 Remember them, my God, because they defiled the priestly office and the covenant of the priesthood and of the Levites.

13:31 Remember me with favor, my God.

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