Is your prayer life lagging? Do you wish you had more faith in prayer or just more motivation to pray in the first place?
As I studied the topic of prayer recently I wondered why I don’t pray more often and for bigger, more impacting things. I realized how much I tend to pray for what I believe is possible, rather than asking God for the downright impossible. Yet, God wants to stretch our faith through our prayers and show us what a big and good God He really is.
Here are five verses that will re-ignite your prayer life if you really believe them.
1. Matthew 21:22 – “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer” (NIV).
This verse looks like a carte blanche promise. Name it and claim it. Pray it and it’s yours. But there’s some context to this quote from our Savior. He was teaching His disciples a lesson in faith when they were “amazed” that a fig tree immediately withered after Jesus cursed the tree. Jesus’ reply to them teaches us something about faith:
“Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer” (verses 21-22).
Earlier Jesus told His disciples something similar: “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).
Who doesn’t want to be a mountain-mover? If you and I really believed that faith as small as a mustard seed could move something as big as a mountain, we’d be far more concerned about how to grow in our faith, than any other aspect of our lives. And we’d be asking God for far bigger things.
2. 1 John 5:14-15 – “…we also know that he will give us what we ask for” (NLT).
There is no greater promise regarding prayer than this encouraging passage: “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him,” (ESV).
To ask for something “according to his will” or “in His name” is to ask God the Father for something that Jesus the Son would ask for. So, if you are asking for your marriage to be restored, or for the salvation of someone’s soul, or for the continued spread of the gospel, you know that is a request according to His will, and when you know that He hears you (there’s the faith component) you have the confidence that your request is answered. My, how you and I would be bolder in prayer if we really believed that.
3. Ephesians 3:20 – “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
You and I would be far less negative, far less likely to give up, and far less likely to settle for less if we really believed God could do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. I can imagine quite a bit. If I’m full of faith, I can ask for quite a lot, too. But the fact that God is able to do immeasurably beyond all that we even think to ask is mind-blowing. And it would absolutely change our prayer lives if we really believed it. Do we have to actually see Him do immeasurably more to believe it? Faith is “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1, NIV). So believe it.
4. Romans 8:32 – “…how will He not also… graciously give us all things?”
God really does want to bless His children. Romans 8:32 tells us, “God, who did not spare His own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also along with him, graciously give us all things?” Look at this verse alongside Matthew 7:11 (“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”) and you’ll see we have a God who is waiting to give to His children who ask for the right things with the right motives. So why are we not asking?
5. Philippians 4:6-7 – “Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything.”
This is the best reason we have to pray about everything and worry about nothing. Look at the verse in its entirety: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
This verse packs a promise that when we pray about what concerns us, we will receive God’s peace and it will guard our hearts and minds from future worry, fear, and stress. Do you believe if you pray instead of worrying, and you are thankful in advance for what God is going to do, that you can exchange your panic and problems for peace? Try it and see how it changes your life – and the lives of others.