When many people think of prayer, they think of asking God for things. That is a big part of our prayers. But it is not the only way we can pray. Today I want to outline several types of prayer.
1 – Confession and Repentance
In a previous post, I had mentioned that when we first embark on our relationship with the Lord, we confess our sins and repent of them. But this might be something we need to do again and again if sin continues to be a part of our lives. We are not perfect and we will mess up sometimes. Thankfully, as Christians, the Holy Spirit lives inside of us and nudges us when we have taken a wrong turn. This helps us to recognize sin and to take it to the Lord in prayer. We can ask for His forgiveness and then make every effort to turn away from that sin.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. – Psalm 51:10
2 – Petition / Supplication
This is what we are most familiar with in our prayer lives. We bring our needs before the Lord and ask Him for His help and provision. We might ask for necessities, such as food and clothing. We might ask for strength when facing something difficult. We might ask for healing, when we have a particular illness. We might ask for help with our finances. The items here are endless. The good news is that God knows exactly what we need and loves to provide for His children.
Many years ago, two missionaries, who were also husband and wife, spoke in front of our church. They talked about how little they had when they were on their missions trips. But they also talked about how God provided for them. One night they prayed for soap because they didn’t even have a bar of soap to bathe with. The next morning they discovered a bar of soap where they were staying. It had teeth marks in it and it appeared as though God had used a rat to transport it for them. When I heard them tell that story, it left an impact on me. This is a good reminder of how powerful prayer is and how much God wants to help us with our needs.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4:6
3 – Intercession
Intercessory prayer is when we pray for other people. This is a powerful way to help our loved ones who need salvation, healing, protection, or anything else.
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people. – 1 Timothy 2:1
4 – Gratitude
In our prayers, I think it is important to thank God for all He has done for us. Thank Him for all the answered prayers. If you like keeping a prayer journal, this might be a good way to keep track of answered prayers. Personally I don’t have a dedicated prayer journal. But I do have a gratitude journal. In it I try to jot down blessings that I see in my life. This helps me to remember that even when things in my life are a little chaotic, there is still a whole lot of good in my life too. It reminds me of God’s goodness. And it reminds me that every day is a gift from God.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
5 – Praise
Praise and gratitude might sound pretty similar. In some ways they are. But praising God goes a little further than gratitude. When we praise God, we are praising Him for who He is, not just for all that He does for us. We praise Him for His character, His goodness, His magnificence, and His sovereignty.
Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. – Psalm 106:1
These are a few types of prayers that we can implement into our daily prayer routines. If we try dividing our prayer time among these parts, I believe we will see our prayers become stronger and more meaningful. We will connect with God in a significant way. And we will walk away with more peace and joy in our hearts.
© 2021 Bridget A. Thomas