Here are some of the most meaningful and poignant prayers in the Bible:
THE PRAYERS OF JESUS
Have you ever wondered, as I have, when the first intimate conversation between God Almighty and his little son, Jesus Christ, took place? We know that when the anxious Mary and Joseph found the twelve year old Jesus sitting among the teachers in the Temple and reasoning with them, he asked Mary and Joseph, “Did you not know I must be in my Father’s house?”
Jesus spent many hours in prayer, some in solitary places like the Garden of Gethsemane, some in very public places - before feeding the 5,000 in the countryside or on the cross as he died. Here are a few examples. Some occur in all 4 gospels, others in 2 or 3:
- Jesus said grace before the feeding miracles: the five thousand (Lk 9:16), the couple from Emmaus (Lk 24:39), the last supper with his disciples (Mt 26:26).
- Jesus prayed before performing some miracles: the raising of Lazarus (Jn 11:41).
- Jesus taught his disciples how to pray: Our Father (Mt 6:9-13)
- Jn 17 is a long prayer in which Jesus prayed he might be glorified. He also prayed for his disciples and future Christians. This was just prior to his crucifixion.
- Jesus prayed the same prayer three times in Gethsemane before his crucifixion (Mt 26:36-56).
- Jesus prayed on the Cross: Father, forgive them (Jk 23:34); Into your hands I commend my spirit (Lk 23:44-46); My God, my god why have you forsaken me (Mk 15: 34).
THE PRAYERS OF DAVID
David prayed all his life. He was a shepherd boy who became a great soldier and leader and then King of Israel. Like all humanity, he sinned, repented, suffered for his sins, feared, trusted in God,and sang God’s praises as he worshipped. Of the 150 Psalms in the Old Testament, David wrote 73, possibly 75. They are not all prayers, but show the pre-eminent place the Lord God occupied in his thoughts and life. Here are some of the best known and loved:
- Ps 23: The Lord is my shepherd
- Ps 61: Hear my cry, O God….lead me to ground that is higher than I.
- Ps 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace and sleep, for thou, Lord only makest me dwell in safety.
- Ps 18:1-2 The Lord is my rock….in whom I will trust.
- Ps 4:1-8 Answer me when I call to you.
- Ps 8 O Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
- Ps 110 The Lord said unto my Lord
- Ps 1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked.
- Ps 34 I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise
- Ps 22 My God, my God why have you forsaken me?
- Ps 69 Save me, O God,
- Ps 27 The Lord is my light and my salvation
- Ps 91: He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High
- Ps 28:The Lord is my strength and shield, my heart trusts in him
- Ps 51 Against you only have I sinned and done this evil
- Ps 32 Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven
In God we trust