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Three Different Types of Prayer


In reading the bible, you will find several different types of prayer. The importance in our prayer life is to know what type of prayer to pray and when to pray it. Three different types of prayer are supplication, intercession, and praise and thanksgiving.


Supplication means to petition. To ask for something humbly, earnest entreaty, or request. As stated in Ephesians 6:18, "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. Elijah and Solomon were men of prayer. We see in James 5:17-18 that, "Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit." We see in 1 Kings 8:54-55, "And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the Lord, he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven. And he stood and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying..."

The prayer of supplication changes things. In Philippians 4:6 it states, "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God." KJV Fasting can sometimes comes from a prayer of supplication.

We can pray the prayers of supplication concerning both natural and spiritual needs not only for ourselves but also for all men. We are also to pray for those who are in authority, including the unbeliever as stated in 1 Tim 2:1-2, "I exhort therefore that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty."


Another type of prayer is the prayer of intercession. To intercede means to mediate on behalf of another. We see examples of Jesus and the Holy Spirit praying prayers of intercession for us. In Hebrews 7:25 it states, "Wherefore He (Jesus) is able also to save to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them." We see in Romans 8:26-27, "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know notw what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God."

To quote Oswald Chambers as he put it succinctly, "Jesus Christ carries on intercession for us in heaven, the Holy Ghost carries on intercession in us on earth, and we the saints have to carry on intercession for all men."

Prayer of intercession means to pray earnestly for others. We must enter with our heart that really loves the Lord and cares about the things God cares about.

One of the earliest examples is when Abraham pleaded with God for the well-being of the people of Sodom as seen in Genesis 18. We see Abraham, instead of being overcome with his own needs, he prayed for those around him.

In the New Testament we see Paul's prayers of intercession. In Philippians 1:9-11 it states, "And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God." Another example is while Peter was in prison, the church prayer fervently. We see this is Acts 12:5, Peter therefore was kept in prison, but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

Possibly the most important type of prayer is that of praise and thanksgiving. As we praise God especially in what appears to be a negative situation we affirm our faith in Him. This not only pleases God but helps us with our faith.

The prayers of praise and thanksgiving are power weapons to the believer. It destroys the hold of Satan and unbelief in our life. Both of these can manifest in many different ways. It is no wonder why scripture calls praise a two edged sword as seen in Psalm 149:4-9, "For the LORD taketh pleasure in His people. He will beautify the meek with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory; Let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written-- this honour have all His saints. Praise ye the LORD!"

When we give praise and thanksgiving to God it helps us understand just how awesome He really is. We should praise Him or how powerful, giving, and loving He is. We should thank Him for all He has done, is doing, and will continue to do for us. Paul tells us this in Colossians 1:3, 12-14, "We give thanks to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you. Giving thanks to the Father which has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light; who hath delivered us from the power of darkness and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins."

Also, we are commanded to give praise and thanksgiving to God as seen in Hebrew 13:15-16, "By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name. But to do good and to communicate, forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." We see this command also in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

All forms of prayer are important and has a place in our lives as Christians. I feel most Christians get complacent with their prayer life. As we see above, it in necessary to pray a variety of prayers depending on what is going on in your life and for those around you. We must always remember foremost to pray a prayer of praise and thanksgiving daily. This alone will strengthen our faith in God.

Author: Nancy A. Wood
I was born and raised in Oakland, CA. I am second generation Italian-American and have used these experiences to see through life. I am a Christian wife, mother and grandmother. Currently I am writing and publishing articles on biblical character and virtues. You can see my published articles on EzineArticles.com and FaithWriters.com.

In December, 2009 I graduated from ministry school. The two year program was a very rewarding experience. It not only delved into doctrine but also continued to build my relationship with God and my faith. This journey will be forever reflected in my writings and my wish is to help those build their relationship and faith.

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