25 Encouraging Scripture Verses for Prayer

I am blessed to be involved with my church’s intercessory prayer group.  Every Friday, a group of “prayer warriors” go to battle in what I have appropriately called our “War Room” in our church building.  Prayer allows us to go before the throne of God, to draw close to Him, and to one another, and to ask that His Will be done.  May these verses encourage you as you seek His Will in prayer.

Psalm 17:1, 6-8  “Hear me, Lord, my plea is just; listen to my cry. Hear my prayer— it does not rise from deceitful lips… I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.  Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.  Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.”

Psalm 4:1  “Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.”

Psalm 141:2  “May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.”

Romans 12:1-2  “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Ephesians 6:10-18  “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

Matthew 6:9-13  “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

Psalm 145:18  “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”

Romans 8:26  “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”

1 John 5:14-20  “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.  If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that.   All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.  We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.  We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.”

James 5:16  “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

Philippians 4:6-7  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

2 Chronicles 6:21  “Hear the supplications 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.”

Jeremiah 29:12-13  “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

1 Chronicles 16:8-11  “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.  Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.  Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.”

2 Chronicles 7:14  “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Mark 11:22-25  “ “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.””

Matthew 5:43-48  ““You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’   But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?  And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?  Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Proverbs 15:8  “The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.”

Romans 12:12  “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

Proverbs 15:29  “The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.”

Matthew 7:7-11  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.  “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

Luke 18:1-8  “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.  He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought.  And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’  “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”  And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says.  And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?  I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?””

1 Thessalonians 5:16-19  “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit.”

James 4:7-10  “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

1 Timothy 2:1-6  “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.”

 

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

 

 

 

 

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Canada’s Grief

My son started skating at age four.  From the time he could safely navigate the ice without falling on his derriere, he was holding a hockey stick.  We signed him up to play hockey when he was six and to the time he was sixteen, we attended every practice and every game he played in.  There were overnight tournaments and long drives to remote Alberta towns; sitting in cold arenas, subsisting on stale hotdogs and hot chocolate while we watched him play.  Our son was a light-weight compared to his other team mates, so he had to specialize in his skating technique and scoring prowess to maneuver around much taller and heavier defensemen. 

I was a typical hockey mom, I guess.  I cheered (perhaps too loudly) for my son when he got the puck.  When he scored, well, let’s just say no one could mistake my unabashed joy at his accomplishment.  I was told by his hockey coach to “tone it down” in one game but he knew that my enthusiasm would not be squelched.  I made no apologies then, and I make no apologies now.  That’s what hockey parents do! We support our hockey players!

Remembering those road trips, the many games and practices, the camaraderie amongst the team mates and parents in the stands, I understand and empathize with the many families who share in this hockey culture that permeates Canadian society.  We are one, when it comes to hockey.

It’s taken me almost a week to process what happened last Friday.  I join with most of Canada in experiencing the shock and grief over what happened in Saskatchewan.  While travelling to a playoff hockey game, the Humboldt Broncos Junior Hockey Team, was involved in a horrific crash with a semi-trailer truck.  Of the 29 people on board that bus, sixteen people did not survive including the head coach, bus driver, athletic therapist, team statistician and play-by-play commentator.  Eleven promising young players were killed instantly, and thirteen more players were taken by air ambulance to hospitals.  The first responders on the scene included parents who were traveling in their own vehicles to see the game their boys were scheduled to play that evening in Nipiwan.  Instead, they came face-to-face with disaster that day.

This past week, news reports have been absolutely heart-wrenching.  One in particular has resonated with me so profoundly I still can’t come to terms with it fully.  When catastrophic injuries made firm identification of victims difficult, one of two families faced the unimaginable thinking their son had survived only to learn the boy they held bedside vigil with was not their boy at all but another family’s son.  Their son, the goalie of the team, had passed and the boy in the bed, whose own parents had thought him dead now learned he had survived.  Unimaginable!

The only girl on the bus, the team’s athletic therapist, passed away from her injuries yesterday.  Another family donated their son’s organs so that six other people would soon be blessed by their son’s sacrifice.  Another brave player facing life as a paraplegic, paralyzed from the neck down, has refused to let his injury prevent him from doing what he loves to do…play hockey!  He has already expressed his intent to be a sledge hockey player in the Paralympics!  The stories of this hockey team, it’s players, staff and families have permeated the media this past week and will continue to draw headlines in every paper across this country as we celebrate their lives in the days ahead.

Canadians have rallied in support of the team, their families, and the small town of Humboldt.  In a variety of ways Canadians have expressed their sympathies by donating money, wearing team jerseys, and putting hockey sticks on front porches to show our nation’s solidarity in grieving with those who grieve.  The Go Fund me page is close to raising $10 million dollars for the team’s families.  NHL teams (and hockey teams around the world) have paid tribute by standing in a circle at centre ice in their respective hockey rinks and having a moment of silence for the Humboldt Broncos.  As I said, we are one when it comes to hockey.

This editorial cartoon by Bruce MacKinnon, an award-winning cartoonist with the Halifax Chronicle Herald, represents in a powerful way how all Canadians feel about this tragedy:

This week, I have grieved along with all Canadians over this terrible loss.  I have joined countless others in putting hockey sticks on my front porch.  Today, team jerseys are being worn in schools and in places of business to honour the Broncos.  Mostly though, I have spent a considerable amount of time praying for all those involved in the accident, the families, first responders and the community of Humboldt.

It is important to note that, along with all the support, there has been an ongoing, outpouring of prayer for the families during this time of great sorrow.  In fact, something that has not escaped the notice of even the most liberal of our Canadian media is the fact that the Humboldt Broncos head coach, Darcy Haugan, was a man of great faith.  When the community gathered last Saturday to share in their common grief at the Humboldt arena, and many, including our Prime Minister, Trudeau flew in to be in attendance, the Gospel message was clearly and honestly shared by the team’s chaplain, Sean Brandow.  If people ask what “good” can come out such a terrible accident, I would point to all the ways Canadians have come together in common grief this week.  I ask that you listen to Chaplain Brandow’s words and share it around the world.

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Joy in Mourning

griefI couldn’t help but think as I wrote yet another card of sympathy, that I have attended more funerals this year than birthdays.  I then thought it must be another sign of getting older, but that’s not the case at all.  In January we attended a funeral for my husband’s aged aunt.  She was ninety-nine years old and had lived a long and happy life.  Only a few weeks later, we celebrated the life of a friend who leaves behind a wife and three children, the youngest child only eight years old.  There was such an unfairness with which cancer riddled our friend’s body.  Too soon taken from us.  This past week, one of my former students, a brilliant boy, only twenty-two years old decided to end his own life.  I am still coming to grips with the tragic loss of such a wonderful young man.

There is such a sense of unfairness when death comes too soon.  We are left perplexed by the cold, finality of death.  Its grip on each one of us is a certainty.  We can’t escape its clutch but how dismally we mourn its wrath.  Still, as a Christ Follower, we should mourn differently than those who have no Hope.  “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13.

I won’t forget the words spoken by the Pastor this week as he spoke to over six hundred gathered for the young man’s funeral: “Some may wonder if he is in heaven.  I don’t want you to ask that question, but ask whether YOU will be!”

The entire service was dedicated to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who had come to mourn.  I witnessed a grieving family who exemplified joy in mourning.  Their Hope is found in Jesus and despite their personal tragedy, they shared openly how they feel His presence and His comfort during this time of great sorrow.

Old age, cancer, disease, accidents, violence and in the case this week: deep depression robs us of our loved ones too soon.  All life is precious and when death comes, no matter the cause, we grieve.  It is understandable.  However, I do grieve differently than someone who is not a Christ Follower.  I am thankful that one day I will be in the presence of my Saviour in a place where there is no mourning or grief.  When I die, I will go to a place of blessed reunion with those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus.  Heaven will be my new Home.  I have that Hope.

Do you?

 

 

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