Rather than a single type of prayer or even a list of specific prayers, the Bible notes a variety of ways people pray to God. Because prayer is talking with God, it can occur at any time and place, involve a variety of forms, continue as a conversation with God throughout the day, and can also include times of public prayer among believers.
What types of prayer are mentioned in the Bible?
One specific type of prayer mentioned in the Bible is a prayer of thanksgiving. The Psalms are filled with these types of prayers. Philippians 4:6 in the New Testament also notes, "with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."
A second type of prayer is a prayer of worship. In addition to thanking God, we recognize Him for who He is. In Acts 13:2-3 we read about prayer, worship, and fasting in the same context, leading to the powerful calling of Saul (Paul) and Barnabas beginning their mission work: "While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, 'Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.' Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off."
A third type of prayer is intercession. In these prayers, we ask God for needs regarding our own life or the lives of others (1 Timothy 2:1). In John 17 Jesus prayed a prayer of intercession on behalf of His disciples and all believers.
A fourth type of prayer is the prayer of faith. In James 5:15 we read, "And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up." Prayers of faith are given for healing. This does not negate the important role of medical professionals, but encourages believers to turn to God for help during times of physical need.
A fifth type of prayer is corporate prayer. The early church "all joined together constantly in prayer" (Acts 1:14 NIV) and was devoted to prayer together (Acts 2:42). While praying alone is an important part of Christian growth, praying together serves a unique role that combines the power of prayer with community among believers.
A sixth type of prayer can be called a prayer of consecration. Jesus is our example in this area. On the night before His death, He prayed, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will" (Matthew 26:39).
These and others types of prayer all acknowledge our complete dependence upon the Lord's help for our daily needs. The Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 offers a model prayer we can also use in praising and making our requests known to God.
Why pray? What is the purpose of prayer?
If God already has a plan for me, why should I pray? If He already knows what I want, why should I tell Him?
What is the Lord's Prayer? How is the Lord's Prayer a model for our prayers?
Is silent prayer biblical?
Persistent prayer - Is it biblical? Is it acceptable to repeatedly pray for the same thing, or should we ask only once?
Truth about Prayer