|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
Is converse with God; the intercourse of the soul with God, not in contemplation or meditation, but in direct address to him. Prayer may be oral or mental, occasional or constant, ejaculatory or formal. It is a "beseeching the Lord" (Exodus 32:11); "pouring out the soul before the Lord" (1 Samuel 1:15); "praying and crying to heaven" (2 Chronicles 32:20); "seeking unto God and making supplication" (Job 8:5); "drawing near to God" (Psalm 73:28); "bowing the knees" (Ephesians 3:14).
Prayer presupposes a belief in the personality of God, his ability and willingness to hold intercourse with us, his personal control of all things and of all his creatures and all their actions.
Acceptable prayer must be sincere (Hebrews 10:22), offered with reverence and godly fear, with a humble sense of our own insignificance as creatures and of our own unworthiness as sinners, with earnest importunity, and with unhesitating submission to the divine will. Prayer must also be offered in the faith that God is, and is the hearer and answerer of prayer, and that he will fulfil his word, "Ask, and ye shall receive" (Matthew 7:7, 8; 21:22; Mark 11:24; John 14:13, 14), and in the name of Christ (16:23, 24; 15:16; Ephesians 2:18; 5:20; Colossians 3:17; 1 Peter 2:5).
Prayer is of different kinds, secret (Matthew 6:6); social, as family prayers, and in social worship; and public, in the service of the sanctuary.
Intercessory prayer is enjoined (Numbers 6:23; Job 42:8; Isaiah 62:6; Psalm 122:6; 1 Timothy 2:1; James 5:14), and there are many instances on record of answers having been given to such prayers, e.g., of Abraham (Genesis 17:18, 20; 18:23-32; 20:7, 17, 18), of Moses for Pharaoh (Exodus 8:12, 13, 30, 31; Exodus 9:33), for the Israelites (Exodus 17:11, 13; 32:11-14, 31-34; Numbers 21:7, 8; Deuteronomy 9:18, 19, 25), for Miriam (Numbers 12:13), for Aaron (Deuteronomy 9:20), of Samuel (1 Samuel 7:5-12), of Solomon (1 Kings 8; 2 Chronicles 6), Elijah (1 Kings 17:20-23), Elisha (2 Kings 4:33-36), Isaiah (2 Kings 19), Jeremiah (42:2-10), Peter (Acts 9:40), the church (12:5-12), Paul (28:8).
No rules are anywhere in Scripture laid down for the manner of prayer or the attitude to be assumed by the suppliant. There is mention made of kneeling in prayer (1 Kings 8:54; 2 Chronicles 6:13; Psalm 95:6; Isaiah 45:23; Luke 22:41; Acts 7:60; 9:40; Ephesians 3:14, etc.); of bowing and falling prostrate (Genesis 24:26, 52; Exodus 4:31; 12:27; Matthew 26:39; Mark 14:35, etc.); of spreading out the hands (1 Kings 8:22, 38, 54; Psalm 28:2; 63:4; 88:9; 1 Timothy 2:8, etc.); and of standing (1 Samuel 1:26; 1 Kings 8:14, 55; 2 Chronicles 20:9; Mark 11:25; Luke 18:11, 13).
If we except the "Lord's Prayer" (Matthew 6:9-13), which is, however, rather a model or pattern of prayer than a set prayer to be offered up, we have no special form of prayer for general use given us in Scripture.
Prayer is frequently enjoined in Scripture (Exodus 22:23, 27; 1 Kings 3:5; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalm 37:4; Isaiah 55:6; Joel 2:32; Ezek. 36:37, etc.), and we have very many testimonies that it has been answered (Psalm 3:4; 4:1; 6:8; 18:6; 28:6; 30:2; 34:4; 118:5; James 5:16-18, etc.).
"Abraham's servant prayed to God, and God directed him to the person who should be wife to his master's son and heir (Genesis 24:10-20).
"Jacob prayed to God, and God inclined the heart of his irritated brother, so that they met in peace and friendship (Genesis 32:24-30; 33:1-4).
"Samson prayed to God, and God showed him a well where he quenched his burning thirst, and so lived to judge Israel (Judges 15:18-20).
"David prayed, and God defeated the counsel of Ahithophel (2 Samuel 15:31; 16:20-23; 17:14-23).
"Daniel prayed, and God enabled him both to tell Nebuchadnezzar his dream and to give the interpretation of it (Dan. 2: 16-23).
"Nehemiah prayed, and God inclined the heart of the king of Persia to grant him leave of absence to visit and rebuild Jerusalem (Nehemiah 1:11; 2:1-6).
"Esther and Mordecai prayed, and God defeated the purpose of Haman, and saved the Jews from destruction (Esther 4:15-17; 6:7, 8).
"The believers in Jerusalem prayed, and God opened the prison doors and set Peter at liberty, when Herod had resolved upon his death (Acts 12:1-12).
"Paul prayed that the thorn in the flesh might be removed, and his prayer brought a large increase of spiritual strength, while the thorn perhaps remained (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
"Prayer is like the dove that Noah sent forth, which blessed him not only when it returned with an olive-leaf in its mouth, but when it never returned at all.", Robinson's Job.
Noah Webster's Dictionary
1. (n.) One who prays; a supplicant.
2. (n.) The act of praying, or of asking a favor; earnest request or entreaty; hence, a petition or memorial addressed to a court or a legislative body.
3. (n.) The act of addressing supplication to a divinity, especially to the true God; the offering of adoration, confession, supplication, and thanksgiving to the Supreme Being; as, public prayer; secret prayer.
4. (n.) The form of words used in praying; a formula of supplication; an expressed petition; especially, a supplication addressed to God; as, a written or extemporaneous prayer; to repeat one's prayers.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
HOURS OF PRAYER
The Mosaic law did not regulate the offering of prayer, but fully recognized its spontaneous character. In what manner or how far back in Jewish history the sacrificial prayer, mentioned in Luke 1:10, originated no one knows. In the days of Christ it had evidently become an institution. But ages before that, stated hours of prayer were known and religiously observed by all devout Jews. It evidently belonged to the evolutionary process of Jewish worship, in connection with the temple-ritual. Devout Jews, living at Jerusalem, went to the temple to pray (Luke 18:10 Acts 3:1). The pious Jews of the Diaspora opened their windows "toward Jerus" and prayed "toward" the place of God's presence (1 Kings 8:48 Daniel 6:10 Psalm 5:7). The regular hours of prayer, as we may infer from Psalm 55:17 and Daniel 6:10, were three in number. The first coincided with the morning sacrifice, at the 3rd hour of the morning, at 9 AM therefore (Acts 2:15). The second was at the 6th hour, or at noon, and may have coincided with the thanksgiving for the chief meal of the day, a religious custom apparently universally observed (Matthew 15:36 Acts 27:35). The 3rd hour of prayer coincided with the evening sacrifice, at the ninth hour (Acts 3:1; Acts 10:30). Thus every day, as belonging to God, was religiously subdivided, and regular seasons of prayer were assigned to the devout believer. Its influence on the development of the religious spirit must have been incalculable, and it undoubtedly is, at least in part, the solution of the riddle of the preservation of the Jewish faith in the cruel centuries of its bitter persecution. Mohammedanism borrowed this feature of worship from the Jews and early Christians, and made it one of the chief pillars of its faith.
Henry E. Dosker
JOSEPH, PRAYER OF
An Old Testament pseudepigraph, number 3 in the Stichometry of Nicephorus (Westcott, Canon of the New Testament(7), 571), with the length given as 1,100 lines, and number 5 in the List of Sixty Books (Westcott, 568). The work is lost, and the only quotations are in Origen (In Joan., ii.25, English in Ante-Nicene Fathers, IX, 341; In Gen., iii.9, 12). Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are said to have been created before every work, but Jacob-Israel is the greatest, "the firstborn of every living creature," the "first minister in God's presence," greater than the angel with whom he wrestled. The purport may be anti-Christian, the patriarchs exalted in place of Christ; compare, perhaps, Enoch 71 (but not so in Charles' 1912 text), but Origen's favorable opinion of the book proves that the polemic could not have been very direct.
GJV, 4th edition, III, 359-60; Dillmann in PRE, 2nd edition, XII, 362; compare Beer in 3rd edition, XVI, 256; Fabricius, Codex pseudep. Vet. Test., I, 761-71.
Burton Scott Easton
LORD'S PRAYER, THE
(Matthew 6:9-13 Luke 11:2-4): Prayer occupied an important place in the life and the teachings of Jesus. He was emphatically a man of prayer, praying frequently in private and in public, and occasionally spending whole nights in communion with His heavenly Father. He often spoke to His disciples on the subject of prayer, cautioning them against ostentation, or urging perseverance, faith and large expectation, and He gave them a model of devotion in the Lord's prayer.
1. Twofold Form:
This prayer is given by the evangelists in two different forms and in two entirely different con nections. In Matthew's account the prayer is given as a part of the Sermon on the Mount and in connection with a criticism of the ostentation usual in the prayers of the hypocrites and the heathen. Luke introduces the prayer after the Galilean ministry and represents it as given in response to a request from one of His disciples, "Lord teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples." It gives us, however, no note of time or place, and it is quite possible that the incident which it records took place much earlier. The later form is much shorter than that of Matthew and the common parts differ materially in language.
In view of the differences, the reader instinctively inquires whether the prayer was given on two different occasions in these different connections, or the evangelists have presented the same incident in forms derived from different sources, or modified the common source to suit their immediate purposes.
If the prayer was given only on one occasion, there is little doubt that Luke preserves the true historical circumstances, though not necessarily the accurate point of time or place, or the exact form of language. Such a request made at the close of the prayer of Jesus would be natural, and the incident bears every mark of reality. On the other hand, it would be reasonable to assume that the author of Matthew's source, remembering the incident, incorporated the prayer in the Sermon on the Mount as an illustration of the injunctions concerning prayer.
There are many reasons for regarding the Sermon as a collection of sayings spoken on different occasions and summarized for convenience in teaching and memorizing. There is, however, no proof that the prayer was given but once by Jesus. We need not suppose that His disciples were always the same, and we know that He gave instruction in prayer on various occasions. He may have given the model prayer on one occasion spontaneously and at another time on the request of a disciple. It is probable that the two evangelists, using the same or different sources, presented the prayer in such connection as best suited the plan of their narratives. In any case, it is rather remarkable that the prayer is not quoted or directly mentioned anywhere else in the New Testament.
In addition to the opening salutation, "Our Father who art in heaven," the Lord's Prayer consists of six petitions. These are arranged in three equal parts. In the first part, the thought is directed toward God and His great purposes. In the second part, the attention is directed to our condition and wants. The two sets of petitions are closely related, and a line of progress runs through the whole prayer. The petitions of the first part are inseparable, as each includes the one which follows. As the hallowing of God's name requires the coming of His kingdom, so the kingdom comes through the doing of His will. Again, the first part calls for the second, for if His will is to be done by us, we must have sustenance, forgiveness and deliverance from evil. If we seek first the glory of God, the end requires our good. While we hallow His name we are sanctified in Him. The doxology of Matthew and our rituals is not found in the leading manuscripts and is generally regarded as an ancient liturgical addition. For this reason it is omitted by the Revised Version (British and American).
The sources of the two accounts cannot be known with certainty. It is hardly correct to say that one account is more original than the other. The original was spoken in Aramaic, while both of the reports are certainly based on Greek sources. The general agreement in language, especially in the use of the unique term epiousios shows that they are not independent translations of the Aramaic original.
4. Special Expressions:
Three expressions of the prayer deserve special notice. The words, "Our Father," are new in the Bible and in the world. When God is called Father in the Old Testament, He is regarded as Father of the nation, not of the individual. Even in the moving prayer of Isaiah 63:16 (the King James Version), "Doubtless thou art our father," the connection makes clear that the reference is to God in the capacity of Creator. The thought of God as the Father of the individual is first reached in the Apocrypha: "O Lord, Father and Master of my life" (Sirach 23:1; compare The Wisdom of Solomon 2:16; 14:3). Here also the notion is veiled in the thought of God as Creator. It was left for Jesus the Son to give us the privilege of calling God "Our Father."
Of the adjective epiousion, "daily" or "needful," neither the origin nor the exact meaning is or is likely to be known. Whether it is qualitative or temporal depends on its derivation from epeinai, or epienai. Our translators usually follow the latter, translating "daily." the American Standard Revised Version gives "needful" as a marginal rendering.
The phrase apo tou ponerou, is equally ambiguous. Since the adjective may be either masculine or neut., it is impossible to decide whether "from the evil one" or "from the evil" was intended. The probability is in favor of the masculine. The Oriental naturally thought of evil in the concrete, just as we think of it in the abstract. For this reason the Authorized rendering "from evil" is more real to us. The evil deprecated is moral, not physical.
5. Purpose: The Lord's Prayer was given as a lesson in prayer. As such this simple model surpasses all precepts about prayer. It suggests to the child of God the proper objects of prayer. It supplies suitable forms of language and illustrates the simple and direct manner in which we may trustingly address our heavenly Father. It embraces the elements of all spiritual desire summed up in a few choice sentences. For those who are not able to bring their struggling desires to birth in articulate language it provides an instructive form. To the mature disciple it ever unfolds with richer depths of meaning. Though we learn these words at our mother's knee, we need a lifetime to fill them with meaning and all eternity to realize their answer.
The literature of this subject is very extensive. For brief treatment the student will consult the relative sections in the commentaries on the Gospels of Matthew and Luke and in the Lives of Christ and the articles on the Lord's Prayer in the several Bible diets. A collection of patristic comment is given by G. Tillmann in his Das Gebet nach der Lehre der Heiligen dargestellt, 2 volumes, Freiburg, 1876. The original comments may be found in any of the standard collections of the Church Fathers.
Among historical studies may be mentioned, F.H. Chase, The Lord's Prayer in the Early Church, Cambridge, 1891, and G. Dalman, Die Worte Jesu, I, Leipzig, 1898, English translation, Edinburgh, 1902.
Among the numerous interpretative treatments, the following are some of the more important: N. Hall, The Lord's Prayer, Edinburgh, 1889; H.J. Van Dyke, The Lord's Prayer, New York, 1891; J. Ruskin, Letters to the Clergy on the Lord's Prayer and the Church, late edition, New York, 1896; E. Wordsworth, Thoughts on the Lord's Prayer, New York, 1898; C.W. Stubbs, Social Teachings of the Lord's Prayer, London, 1900; A.B. Bruce, The Training of the Twelve, chapter vi, 4th edition, New York, 1905; L.T. Chamberlain, The True Doctrine of Prayer, New York, 1906; F.M. Williams, Spiritual Instructions on the Lord's Prayer, New York, 1907.
Russell Benjamin Miller
MANASSES, THE PRAYER OF
2. Canonicity and Position
4. Original Language
6. Author and Motive
8. Text and Versions
The Prayer of Manasses purports to be, and may in reality be, the prayer of that king mentioned in 2 Chronicles 33:13, 18 f.
A. it is called simply "A Prayer of Manasses," in the London Polyglot "A Prayer of Manasses, King of the Jews." Its title in the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) is "A Prayer of Manasses, King of Judah, when He Was Held Captive in Babylon." In Baxter's Apocrypha, Greek and English this Prayer appears at the end with the heading "A Prayer of Manasses, son of Ezekias" (equals Hezekiah).
2. Canonicity and Position:
The Greek church is the only one which has consistently reckoned this Prayer as a part of its Bible. Up to the time of the Council of Trent (1545-1563 A.D.), it formed a part of the Vulgate, but by that council it was relegated with 3 and 4 (1 and 2) Esdras to the appendix (which included uncanonical scriptures), "lest they should become wholly lost, since they are occasionally, cited by the Fathers and are found in printed copies. Yet it is wholly absent from the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) of Sixtus V, though it is in the Appendix of the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) of Clement VIII. Its position varies in manuscripts, versions and printed editions of the Septuagint. It is most frequently found among the odes or canticles following the Psalter, as in Codices Alexandrinus, T (the Zurich Psalter) and in Ludolf's Ethiopic Psalter. In Swete's Septuagint the Psalter of Solomon followed by the odes (Odai), of which The Prayer of Manasseh is the 8th, appear as an Appendix after 4 Maccabees in volume III. It was placed after 2 Chronicles in the original Vulgate, but in the Romanist Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) it stands first, followed by 3 and 4 (1 and 2) Esdras in the apocryphal Appendix. It is found in all manuscripts of the Armenian Bible, where, as in Swete's Septuagint, it is one of many odes. Though not included in Coverdale's Bible or the Geneva VS, it was retained (at the close of the Apocrypha) in Luther's translation, in Mathew's Bible and in the Bishops' Bible, whence it passed into our English Versions of the Bible.
According to 2 Chronicles 33 (compare 2 Kings 21) Manasseh was exiled by the Assyrians to Babylon as a punishment for his sins. There he became penitent and earnestly prayed to God for pardon and deliverance. God answered his prayer and restored him to Jerusalem and to the throne. Though the prayer is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 33:13, 18, it is not given, but this lack has been supplied in the The Prayer of Manasseh of the Apocrypha. After an opening invocation to the God of Abraham, Isaac, Judah and their righteous seed, the Creator of all things, most high, yet compassionate, who has ordained repentance, not for perfect ones like the patriarchs who did not need it, but for the like of the person praying, there follows a confession of sin couched for the most part in general terms, a prayer for pardon and a vow to praise God forever if this prayer is answered.
4. Original Language:
The bulk of scholars (Fritzsche, Reuss, Schurer, Ryssel, etc.) agree that this Prayer was composed in Greek. The Greek recension is written in a free, flowing and somewhat rhetorical style, and it reads like an original work, not like a translation. Though there are some Hebraisms, they are not more numerous or striking than usually meet us in Hellenistic Greek. It is of some importance also that, although Jewish tradition adds largely to the legends about Manasseh, it has never supplied a Hebrew version of the Prayer (see VERSIONS; TEXT OF THE OLD TESTAMENT). On the other hand, Ewald (Hist. Isr, I, 186; IV, 217, note 5, German edition, IV, 217), Furst (Gesch. der bibl. Lit., II, 399), Budde (ZAW, 1892, 39;), Ball (Speaker's Apocrypha) and others argue for a Hebrew original, perhaps existing in the source named of 2 Chronicles 33:18 (see Ryssel in Kautzsch, Die Apocrypha des Altes Testament, 167).
Have we here the authentic prayer of Manasseh offered under the circumstances described in 2 Chronicles 33 ? Ewald and the other scholars named (see foregoing section), who think the Prayer was composed in Hebrew, say that we have probably here a Greek rendering of the Hebrew original which the Chronicler saw in his source. Ball, on the other hand, though not greatly opposed to this view, is more convinced that the Hebrew original is to be sought in a haggadic narrative concerning Manasseh. Even if we accept the view of Ewald or of Ball, we still desiderate evidence that this Hebrew original is the very prayer offered by the king in Babylon. But the arguments for a Greek original are fairly conclusive. Many Old Testament scholars regard the narrative of the captivity, prayer and penitence of Manasseh as a fiction of the Chronicler's imagination, to whom it seemed highly improper that this wicked king should escape the punishment (exile) which he richly deserved. So De Wette (Einleitung), Graf (Stud. u. Krit., 1859, 467-94, and Gesch. Bucher des Altes Testament, 174) and Noldeke (Schenkel's Bibelwerk, "Manasse"). Nothing corresponding to it occurs in the more literal narrative of 2 Kings 21, an argument which, however, has but little weight. Recent discoveries of cuneiform inscriptions have taken off the edge of the most important objections to the historicity of this part of Chronicles. See Ball (op. cit., 361;) and Bissell (Lange's Apocrypha, 468). The likeliest supposition is that the author of the Prayer was an Alexandrian Jew who, with 2 Chronicles 33 before him, desired to compose such a prayer as Manasseh was likely to offer under the supposed circumstances. This prayer, written in excellent Alexandrian Greek, is, as Fritzsche points out, an addition to 2 Chronicles 33, corresponding to the prayers of Mordecai and Esther added to the canonical Esther (Additions to Esther 13:8-14:19), and also to the prayer of Azarias (The So of the Three Children (Azariah) 1:2-22) and the So of the Three Young Men (The So of the Three Children (Azariah) 1:29-68) appended to the canonical Book of Daniel.
6. The Author and His Motive:
That the author was an Alexandrian Jew is made probable by the (Greek) language he employs and by the sentiments he expresses. It is strange to find Swete (Expository Times, II, 38) defending the Christian authorship of this Prayer. What purpose could the writer seek to realize in the composition and publication of the penitential psalm? In the absence of definite knowledge, one may with Reuss (Das Altes Testament, VI, 436) suppose that the Jewish nation was at the time given up to great unfaithfulness to God and to gross moral corruption. The lesson of the Prayer is that God will accept the penitent, whatever his sins, and remove from the nation its load of sufferings, if only it turns to God.
Ewald and Furst (op. cit.) hold that the prayer is at least as old as the Book of Chronicles (300 B.C.), since it is distinctly mentioned, they say, in 2 Chronicles 33:13, 18 f. But the original form was, as seen (compare 4 above), Greek, not Hebrew. Moreover, the teaching of the Prayer is post-Biblical. The patriarchs are idealized to the extent that they are thought perfect and therefore not needing forgiveness (33:8); their merits avail for the sinful and undeserving (33:1) (see Weber, Jud. Theologie, 292). The expressions "God of the Just" (33:8), "God of those who repent" (33:13), belong to comparatively late Judaism. A period about the beginning of the Christian era or (Fritzsche) slightly earlier would suit the character (language and teaching) of the Prayer. The similarity between the doctrines implied in The Prayer of Manasseh and those taught in apocryphal writings of the time confirms this conclusion. There is no need with Bertholdt to bring down the writing to the 2nd or 3rd century A.D. Fabricius (Liber Tobit, etc., 208) dates the Prayer in the 4th or 5th century A.D., because, in his opinion, its author is the same as that of the Apostolical Constitutions which has that date. But the source of this part of the Apostolical Constitutions is the Didaskalia (3rd century), and moreover both these treatises are of Christian origin, the Prayer being the work of an Alexandrian Jew.
8. Text and Versions:
The Greek text occurs in Codices Alexandrinus, T (Psalterium Turicence 262, Parsons). Swete (OLD TESTAMENT in Greek, III, 802-4) gives the text of Codex Alexandrinus with the variations of T. It is omitted from the bulk of ancient manuscripts and editions of the Septuagint, as also from several modern editions (Tischendorf, etc.). Nestle (Septuaginta Studien, 1899, 3) holds that the Greek text of Codices Alexandrinus, T, etc., has been taken from the Apostolical Constitutions or from the Didaskalia. The common view is that it was extracted by the latter from the Septuagint.
The Latin text in Sabatier (Bib. Sac. Latin, III, 1038) is not by Jerome, nor is it in the manner of the Old Latin; its date is later.
The outstanding literature has been cited in the foregoing article. Reference may be made to Howorth ("Some Unconventional Views on the Text of the Bible," PSBA, XXXI, 89;: he argues that the narrative concerning Manasseh, including the Prayer in the Apostolical Constitutions, represents a portion of the true Septuagint of 2 Chronicles 33).
T. Witton Davies
prar (deesis, proseuche, (enteuxis; for an excellent discussion of the meaning of these see Thayer's Lexicon, p. 126, under the word deesis; the chief verbs are euchomai, proseuchomai, and deomai, especially in Luke and Acts; aiteo, "to ask a favor" distinguished from erotao, "to ask a question," is found occasionally): In the Bible "prayer" is used in a simpler and a more complex a narrower and a wider signification. In the former case it is supplication for benefits either for one's self (petition) or for others (intercession). In the latter it is an act of worship which covers all soul in its approach to God. Supplication is at the heart of it, for prayer always springs out of a sense of need and a belief that God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). But adoration and confession and thanksgiving also find a It place, so that the suppliant becomes a worshipper. It is unnecessary to distinguish all the various terms for prayer that are employed in the Old Testament and the New Testament. But the fact should be noticed that in the Hebrew and Greek aloe there are on the one hand words for prayer that denote a direct petition or short, sharp cry of the heart in its distress (Psalm 30:2 2 Corinthians 12:8), and on the other "prayers" like that of Hannah (1 Samuel 2:1-10), which is in reality a song of thanksgiving, or that of Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ, in which intercession is mingled with doxology (Ephesians 3:14-21).
1. In the Old Testament:
The history of prayer as it meets us here reflects various stages of experience and revelation. In the patriarchal period, when `men began to call upon the name of the Lord' (Genesis 4:26; compare Genesis 12:8; Genesis 21:33), prayer is naive, familiar and direct (Genesis 15:2; 17:18; 18:23 ; 24:12). It is evidently associated with sacrifice (Genesis 12:8; Genesis 13:4; Genesis 26:25), the underlying idea probably being that the gift or offering would help to elicit the desired response. Analogous to this is Jacob's vow, itself a species of prayer, in which the granting of desired benefits becomes the condition of promised service and fidelity (Genesis 28:20). In the pre-exilic history of Israel prayer still retains many of the primitive features of the patriarchal type (Exodus 3:4 Numbers 11:11-15 Judges 6:13; 11:30 1 Samuel 1:11 2 Samuel 15:8 Psalm 66:13 f). The Law has remarkably little to say on the subject, differing here from the later Judaism (see Schurer, HJP, II, i, 290, index-vol, p. 93; and compare Matthew 6:5;; 23:14; Acts 3:1; Acts 16:13); while it confirms the association of prayer with sacrifices, which now appear, however, not as gifts in anticipation of benefits to follow, but as expiations of guilt (Deuteronomy 21:1-9) or thank offerings for past mercies (Deuteronomy 26:1-11). Moreover, the free, frank access of the private individual to God is more and more giving place to the mediation of the priest (Deuteronomy 21:5; Deuteronomy 26:3), the intercession of the prophet (Exodus 32:11-13 1 Samuel 7:5-13; 1 Samuel 12:23), the ordered approach of tabernacle and temple services (Exodus 40 1 Kings 8). The prophet, it is true, approaches God immediately and freely-Moses (Exodus 34:34 Deuteronomy 34:10) and David (2 Samuel 7:27) are to be numbered among the prophets-but he does so in virtue of his office, and on the ground especially of his possession of the Spirit and his intercessory function (compare Ezekiel 2:2 Jeremiah 14:15).
A new epoch in the history of prayer in Israel was brought about by the experiences of the Exile. Chastisement drove the nation to seek God more earnestly than before, and as the way of approach through the external forms of the temple and its sacrifices was now closed, the spiritual path of prayer was frequented with a new assiduity. The devotional habits of Ezra (Ezra 7:27; Ezra 8:23), Nehemlab (Nehemiah 2:4; Nehemiah 4:4, 9, etc.) and Daniel (Daniel 6:10) prove how large a place prayer came to hold in the individual life; while the utterances recorded in Ezra 9:6-15 Nehemiah 1:5-11; Nehemiah 9:5-38 Daniel 9:4-19 Isaiah 63:7-64:12 serve as illustrations of the language and spirit of the prayers of the Exile, and show especially the prominence now given to confession of sin. In any survey of the Old Testament teaching the Psalms occupy a place by themselves, both on account of the large period they cover in the history and because we are ignorant in most cases as to the particular circumstances of their origin. But speaking generally it may be said that here we see the loftiest flights attained by the spirit of prayer under the old dispensation-the intensest craving for pardon, purity and other spiritual blessings (Psalm 51; Psalm 130), the most heartfelt longing for a living communion with God Himself (Psalm 42:2; Psalm 63:1; Psalm 84:2).
2. In the New Testament:
Here it will be convenient to deal separately with the material furnished by the Gospel narratives of the life and teaching of Christ and that found in the remaining books. The distinctively Christian view of prayer comes to us from the Christ of the Gospels. We have to notice His own habits in the matter (Luke 3:21; Luke 6:12; Luke 9:16, 29; 22:32, 39-46; Luke 23:34-46 Matthew 27:46 John 17), which for all who accept Him as the revealer of the Father and the final authority in religion immediately dissipate all theoretical objections to the value and efficacy of prayer. Next we have His general teaching on the subject in parables (Luke 11:5-9; Luke 18:1-14) and incidental sayings (Matthew 5:44; Matthew 6:5-8; 7:7-11; 9:38; 17:21; 18:19; 21:22; 24:20:00; 26:41 and the parallels), which presents prayer, not as a mere energizing of the religious soul that is followed by beneficial spiritual reactions, but as the request of a child to a father (Matthew 6:8; Matthew 7:11), subject, indeed, to the father's will (Matthew 7:11; compare Matthew 6:10; Matthew 26:39, 42 1 John 5:14), but secure always of loving attention and response (Matthew 7:7-11; Matthew 21:22). In thus teaching us to approach God as our Father, Jesus raised prayer to its highest plane, making it not less reverent than it was at its best in Old Testament times, while far more intimate and trustful. In the LORD'S PRAYER (which see). He summed up His ordinary teaching on the subject in a concrete example which serves as a model and breviary of prayer (Matthew 6:9-13 Luke 11:2-4). But according to the Fourth Gospel, this was not His final word upon the subject. On the night of the betrayal, and in full view of His death and resurrection and ascension to God's right hand, He told His disciples that prayer was henceforth to be addressed to the Father in the name of the Son, and that prayer thus offered was sure to be granted (John 16:23, 24, 26). The differentia of Christian prayer thus consists in its being offered in the name of Christ; while the secret of its success lies on the one hand in the new access to the Father which Christ has secured for His people (John 17:19; compare Hebrews 4:14-16; Hebrews 10:19-22), and on the other in the fact that prayer offered in the name of Christ will be prayer in harmony with the Father's will (John 15:7; compare 1 John 3:22; 1 John 5:13).
In the Acts and Epistles we see the apostolic church giving effect to Christ's teaching on prayer. It was in a praying atmosphere that the church was born (Acts 1:14; compare Acts 2:1); and throughout its early history prayer continued to be its vital breath and native air (Acts 2:42; Acts 3:1; Acts 6:4, 6 and passim). The Epistles abound in references to prayer. Those of Paul in particular contain frequent allusions to his own personal practice in the matter (Romans 1:9 Ephesians 1:16 Philippians 1:9 1 Thessalonians 1:2, etc.), and many exhortations to his readers to cultivate the praying habit (Romans 12:12 Ephesians 6:18 Philippians 4:6 1 Thessalonians 5:17, etc.). But the new and characteristic thing about Christian prayer as it meets us now is its connection with the Spirit. It has become a spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 14:14-16); and even those who have not this gift in the exceptional charismatic sense may "pray in the Spirit" whenever they come to the throne of grace (Ephesians 6:18 Jude 1:20). The gift of the Spirit, promised by Christ (John 14:16;, etc.), has raised prayer to its highest power by securing for it a divine cooperation (Romans 8:15, 26 Galatians 4:6). Thus Christian prayer in its full New Testament meaning is prayer addressed to God as Father, in the name of Christ as Mediator, and through the enabling grace of the indwelling Spirit.
SeePRAYERS OF CHRIST.
J. C. Lambert
PRAYER OF HABAKKUK
See HABAKKUK; BETH-HORON, THE BATTLE OF.
HABAKKUK, THE PRAYER OF
See BETH-HORON, THE BATTLE OF.
PRAYER OF JOSEPH
See JOSEPH, PRAYER OF.
PRAYER OF MANASSES
See MANASSES, THE PRAYER OF.
PRAYER, HOURS OF
See HOURS OF PRAYER.
See LORD'S PRAYER, THE.
Prayer (406 Occurrences)
Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, Have love for those who are against you, and make prayer for those who are cruel to you; (BBE)
Matthew 6:6 But when you make your prayer, go into your private room, and, shutting the door, say a prayer to your Father in secret, and your Father, who sees in secret, will give you your reward. (BBE)
Matthew 6:7 And in your prayer do not make use of the same words again and again, as the Gentiles do: for they have the idea that God will give attention to them because of the number of their words. (BBE)
Matthew 6:9 Let this then be your prayer: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. (BBE)
Matthew 9:38 Make prayer, then, to the Lord of the grain-fields, that he may send out workers to get in his grain. (BBE)
Matthew 14:23 And after he had sent the people away, he went up into the mountain by himself for prayer: and when evening was come, he was there by himself. (BBE)
Matthew 17:21 But this kind doesn't go out except by prayer and fasting." (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS)
Matthew 21:13 He said to them, "It is written,'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a den of robbers!" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 21:22 All things, whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive." (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. (KJV WEY BBE DBY WBS)
Matthew 24:20 And say a prayer that your flight may not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. (BBE)
Matthew 26:36 Then comes Jesus with them to a place named Gethsemane, and says to his disciples, Be seated here, while I go over there for prayer. (BBE)
Matthew 26:39 And he went forward a little, and falling down on his face in prayer, he said, O my Father, if it is possible, let this cup go from me; but let not my pleasure, but yours be done. (BBE)
Matthew 26:41 Keep watch with prayer, so that you may not be put to the test: the spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is feeble. (BBE)
Matthew 26:42 Again, a second time he went away, and said in prayer, O my Father, if this may not go from me without my taking it, let your pleasure be done. (BBE)
Matthew 26:44 And he went away from them again, and a third time said the same prayer. (BBE)
Mark 1:35 And in the morning, a long time before daylight, he got up and went out to a quiet place, and there he gave himself up to prayer. (BBE)
Mark 5:23 And made strong prayers to him, saying, My little daughter is near to death: it is my prayer that you will come and put your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and have life. (Root in BBE)
Mark 6:46 And after he had sent them away, he went up into a mountain for prayer. (BBE)
Mark 9:29 He said to them, "This kind can come out by nothing, except by prayer and fasting." (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Mark 11:17 He taught, saying to them, "Isn't it written,'My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations?' But you have made it a den of robbers!" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Mark 11:24 For this reason I say to you, Whatever you make a request for in prayer, have faith that it has been given to you, and you will have it. (BBE RSV NIV)
Mark 11:25 And whenever you make a prayer, let there be forgiveness in your hearts, if you have anything against anyone; so that you may have forgiveness for your sins from your Father who is in heaven. (BBE)
Mark 13:18 And say a prayer that it may not be in the winter. (BBE)
Mark 13:33 Take care, keep watch with prayer: for you are not certain when the time will be. (BBE)
Mark 14:32 And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he said to his disciples, Be seated here while I say a prayer. (BBE)
Mark 14:38 Keep watch with prayer, so that you may not be put to the test; the spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is feeble. (BBE)
Mark 14:39 And again he went away, and said a prayer, using the same words. (BBE)
Luke 1:10 And all the people were offering prayers outside, at the time of the burning of perfumes. (Root in BBE NAS)
Luke 1:13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. (KJV BBE WBS RSV NIV)
Luke 2:37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. (Root in KJV WEY BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV)
Luke 3:21 Now it came about that when all the people had been given baptism, Jesus, having had baptism with them, was in prayer, when, the heaven being open, (BBE)
Luke 5:12 And it came about that while he was in one of the towns, there was a leper there: and when he saw Jesus he went down on his face in prayer to him, saying, Lord, if it is your pleasure, you have power to make me clean. (BBE)
Luke 5:16 But he went away by himself to a waste place for prayer. (BBE)
Luke 6:12 It happened in these days, that he went out to the mountain to pray, and he continued all night in prayer to God. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Luke 9:18 And it came about that when he was in prayer, by himself, and the disciples were with him, he put a question to them, saying, Who do the people say I am? (BBE)
Luke 9:28 And about eight days after he had said these things, he took Peter and John and James with him and went up into the mountain for prayer. (BBE)
Luke 9:29 And while he was in prayer, his face was changed and his clothing became white and shining. (BBE)
Luke 10:2 And he said to them, There is much grain ready to be cut, but not enough workers: so make prayer to the Lord of the grain-fields that he will send workers to get in the grain. (BBE)
Luke 11:1 And it came about that he was in prayer in a certain place, and when he came to an end, one of his disciples said to him, Lord, will you give us teaching about prayer, as John did to his disciples? (BBE)
Luke 18:1 And he made a story for them, the point of which was that men were to go on making prayer and not get tired; (BBE)
Luke 18:10 Two men went up to the Temple for prayer; one a Pharisee, and the other a tax-farmer. (BBE)
Luke 19:46 saying to them, "It is written,'My house is a house of prayer,' but you have made it a'den of robbers'!" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 21:36 But keep watch at all times with prayer, that you may be strong enough to come through all these things and take your place before the Son of man. (BBE)
Luke 22:32 But I have made prayer for you, that your faith may not go from you: and when you are turned again, make your brothers strong. (BBE)
Luke 22:40 And when he came to the place, he said to them, Make a prayer that you may not be put to the test. (BBE)
Luke 22:41 And he went a little distance away from them and, falling on his knees in prayer, he said, (BBE)
Luke 22:44 And being in great trouble of soul, the force of his prayer became stronger, and great drops, like blood, came from him, falling to the earth. (BBE)
Luke 22:45 When he rose up from his prayer, he came to the disciples, and found them sleeping because of grief, (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 22:46 And he said, Why are you sleeping? Get up, and give yourselves to prayer, so that you may not be put to the test. (BBE)
John 4:10 In answer Jesus said, If you had knowledge of what God gives freely and who it is who says to you, Give me water, you would make your prayer to him, and he would give you living water. (BBE)
John 14:16 And I will make prayer to the Father and he will give you another Helper to be with you for ever, (BBE)
John 16:26 In that day you will make requests in my name: and I do not say that I will make prayer to the Father for you, (BBE)
John 17:9 My prayer is for them: my prayer is not for the world, but for those whom you have given to me, because they are yours (BBE)
John 17:15 My prayer is not that you will take them out of the world, but that you will keep them from the Evil One. (BBE NIV)
John 17:20 My prayer is not for them only, but for all who will have faith in me through their word; (BBE NIV)
John 18:1 After offering this prayer Jesus went out with His disciples to a place on the further side of the Ravine of the Cedars, where there was a garden which He entered--Himself and His disciples. (WEY)
Acts 1:14 All these with one accord continued steadfastly in prayer and supplication, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 2:21 And whoever makes his prayer to the Lord will have salvation. (BBE)
Acts 2:42 They continued steadfastly in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and prayer. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 3:1 Peter and John were going up into the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 4:24 And hearing it, they all, with one mind, made prayer to God and said, O Lord, maker of heaven and earth and the sea and all things in them: (BBE NIV)
Acts 4:31 And when their prayer was ended, the place where they were was violently moved, and they all became full of the Holy Spirit, preaching the word of God without fear. (BBE)
Acts 6:4 But we will continue steadfastly in prayer and in the ministry of the word." (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 6:6 These men they brought to the Apostles, and, after prayer, they laid their hands upon them. (WEY BBE)
Acts 7:59 And Stephen, while he was being stoned, made prayer to God, saying, Lord Jesus, take my spirit. (BBE)
Acts 8:15 Who, when they came there, made prayer for them, that the Holy Spirit might be given to them: (BBE)
Acts 8:22 Let your heart be changed, and make prayer to God that you may have forgiveness for your evil thoughts. (BBE)
Acts 8:24 And Simon, answering, said, Make prayer for me to the Lord, so that these things which you have said may not come on me. (BBE)
Acts 9:11 And the Lord said to him, Get up, and go to the street which is named Straight, and make search at the house of Judas for one named Saul of Tarsus: for he is at prayer; (BBE)
Acts 9:40 But Peter made them all go outside, and went down on his knees in prayer; and turning to the body, he said, Tabitha, get up. And, opening her eyes, she saw Peter and got up. (BBE)
Acts 10:2 He was religious and God-fearing--and so was every member of his household. He was also liberal in his charities to the people, and continually offered prayer to God. (WEY BBE)
Acts 10:9 Now the day after, when they were on their journey and were near the town, Peter went up to the top of the house for prayer, about the sixth hour: (BBE)
Acts 10:30 "Just at this hour, three days ago," replied Cornelius, "I was offering afternoon prayer in my house, when suddenly a man in shining raiment stood in front of me, (WEY ASV BBE RSV)
Acts 10:31 and said,'Cornelius, your prayer is heard, and your gifts to the needy are remembered in the sight of God. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 11:5 "While I was in the town of Jaffa, offering prayer," he said, "in a trance I saw a vision. There descended what seemed to be an enormous sail, being let down from the sky by ropes at the four corners, and it came close to me. (WEY BBE)
Acts 12:5 Peter therefore was kept in the prison, but constant prayer was made by the assembly to God for him. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Acts 12:12 And when he became clear about this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John named Mark, where a number of them had come together for prayer. (BBE)
Acts 13:3 So, after fasting and prayer and the laying on of hands, they let them go. (WEY BBE)
Acts 14:23 And in every Church, after prayer and fasting, they selected Elders by show of hands, and commended them to the Lord on whom their faith rested. (WEY BBE RSV NIV)
Acts 16:13 On the Sabbath day we went forth outside of the city by a riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down, and spoke to the women who had come together. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 16:16 It happened, as we were going to prayer, that a certain girl having a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much gain by fortune telling. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 20:36 And having said these words, he went down on his knees in prayer with them all. (BBE)
Acts 21:5 And when these days came to an end, we went on our journey; and they all, with their wives and children, came with us on our way till we were out of the town: and after going on our knees in prayer by the sea, (BBE)
Acts 22:17 And it came about that when I had come back to Jerusalem, while I was at prayer in the Temple, my senses became more than naturally clear, (BBE)
Acts 26:29 "My prayer to God, whether briefly or at length," replied Paul, "would be that not only you but all who are my hearers to-day, might become such as I am--except these chains." (WEY BBE)
Acts 28:8 And the father of Publius was ill, with a disease of the stomach; to whom Paul went, and put his hands on him, with prayer, and made him well. (BBE NIV)
Romans 8:26 In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness; for we do not know what prayers to offer nor in what way to offer them. But the Spirit Himself pleads for us in yearnings that can find no words, (Root in WEY BBE)
Romans 10:1 Brothers, my heart's desire and my prayer to God is for Israel, that they may be saved. (WEB KJV WEY BBE WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Romans 12:12 rejoicing in hope; enduring in troubles; continuing steadfastly in prayer; (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Romans 15:30 Now I beg you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, (Root in WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
1 Corinthians 7:5 Don't deprive one another, unless it is by consent for a season, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer, and may be together again, that Satan doesn't tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Corinthians 11:4 Every man who takes part in prayer, or gives teaching as a prophet, with his head covered, puts shame on his head. (BBE)
1 Corinthians 11:13 Be judges yourselves of the question: does it seem right for a woman to take part in prayer unveiled? (BBE)
1 Corinthians 14:14 For if I make use of tongues in my prayers, my spirit makes the prayer, but not my mind. (Root in BBE)
1 Corinthians 14:15 What then? let my prayer be from the spirit, and equally from the mind; let my song be from the spirit, and equally from mind. (BBE)
1 Corinthians 14:16 For if you give a blessing with the spirit, how will the man who has no knowledge say, So be it, after your prayer, seeing that he has not taken in what you are saying? (BBE)
2 Corinthians 1:11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf. (KJV BBE WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Corinthians 9:14 And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you. (KJV BBE WBS NAS NIV)
2 Corinthians 13:7 And our prayer to God is that you may do nothing wrong; not in order that our sincerity may be demonstrated, but that you may do what is right, even though our sincerity may seem to be doubtful. (WEY BBE)