7 occurrences in 7 dictionaries

Reference: Prayer


Is the offering of the emotions and desires of the soul to God, in the name and through the mediation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is the communion of the heart with God through the aid of the Holy Spirit, and is to the Christian the very life of the soul. Without this filial spirit, no one can be a Christian, Job 21:15; Ps 10:4.

In all ages God has delighted in the prayers of his saints. From the promulgation of the law, the Hebrews did not intermit public worship daily in the tabernacle or the temple. It consisted in offering the evening and morning sacrifices, every day, accompanied with prayers by the priests and Levites in that holy edifice. Every day also the priests offered sacrifices, incense, offerings, and first fruits for individuals; they performed ceremonies for the redemption of the firstborn, or for purification from pollution; in a word, the people came thither from all parts to discharge their vows and to perform their devotions, not only on great and solemn days, but also on ordinary days; but nothing of this was performed without prayer, 1Ch 23:30; Ne 11:17; Lu 1:10. Compare also 1Ki 8:22, and the Psalms of David for temple worship.

Pious men were accustomed to pray thrice in the day, at fixed hours, Ps 55:7; Da 6:10. See HOURS. Social, family, and secret prayer were all habitual with Bible saints; as well as brief ejaculations in the midst of their ordinary business, Ne 2:4. No uniform posture in prayer is enjoined in the Bible; standing with the hands outspread, 1Ki 8.22, bowing the head, Ge 24:26, kneeling, Lu 22:41, and prostration on the ground, Mt 26:39, were all practiced. Prayer should be offered with submission to God's will, fervently, perseveringly, and with a confiding reliance on God in Christ; it should be accompanied by humble confession and hearty thanksgiving, and with supplications for all living men, as well as for our friends and those nearest to us. Habitual prayer to God is duty enjoined upon us by sound reason and by right affections; and he who lives without it thereby reveals the atheism of his heart. God requires all men thus to worship him, Eze 36:37; Mt 7:1-11; Php 4:6; 1Ti 2:1-3; Jas 1:5; and for neglecting this duty there can be no sufficient excuse. It is often said that prayer cannot alter the unchangeable purposes of God; but the great scheme of his providence embraces every prayer that shall be offered, as well as the answer it shall receive. It is objected that prayer cannot increase his knowledge of our wants, nor his readiness to supply them; and that in any case he will do what is for the best. But he deems it best to grant many blessings in answer to prayer, which otherwise he would withhold; "He will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee." The words of David will be those of every truly praying man: "This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and delivered him out of all his troubles," Ps 34:6.

False and formed religion makes a merit of its prayers, as though "much speaking" and "vain repetitions" could atone for heartlessness. Hypocrites also are wont to pray chiefly that they may have praise of men. These sins Christ reproves in Mt 6:5-15, and gives to his disciples the form of the Lord's prayer as a beautiful model. In Eph 6:18; 1Th 5:17; 1Ti 2:8, Paul directs that believers should pray in all places and at all times, lifting up pure hands towards heaven, and blessing God for all things, whether in eating, drinking, or what ever they do; and that every thing be done to the glory of God, 1Co 10:31. In a word, our Savior has recommended to us to pray without ceasing, Lu 18:1; 21:36.

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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" (Ex 32:11); "pouring out the soul before the Lord" (1Sa 1:15); "praying and crying to heaven" (2Ch 32:20); "seeking unto God and making supplication" (Job 8:5); "drawing near to God" (Ps 73:28); "bowing the knees" (Eph 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 (Heb 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" (Mt 7:7-8; 21:22; Mr 11:24; Joh 14:13-14), and in the name of Christ (20/type/mace'>Mr 16:20,20; 15:16; Eph 2:18; 5:20; Col 3:17; 1Pe 2:5).

Prayer is of different kinds, secret (Mt 6:6); social, as family prayers, and in social worship; and public, in the service of the sanctuary.

Intercessory prayer is enjoined (Nu 6:23; Job 42:8; Isa 62:6; Ps 122:6; 1Ti 2:1; Jas 5:14), and there are many instances on record of answers having been given to such prayers, e.g., of Abraham (Ge 17:18,20; 18:23-32; 20:7,17-18), of Moses for Pharaoh (Ex 8:12-13,30-31; 9:33), for the Israelites (Ex 17:11,13; 32:11-14,31-34; Nu 21:7-8; De 9:18-19,25), for Miriam (Nu 12:13), for Aaron (De 9:20), of Samuel (1Sa 7:5-12), of Solomon (1Ki 8; 2Ch 6), Elijah (1Ki 17:20-23), Elisha (2Ki 4:33-36), Isaiah (2Ki 19), Jeremiah (Jer 42:2-10), Peter (Ac 9:40), the church (Ac 12:5-12), Paul (Ac 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 (1Ki 8:54; 2Ch 6:13; Ps 95:6; Isa 45:23; Lu 22:41; Ac 7:60; 9:40; Eph 3:14, etc.); of bowing and falling prostrate (Ge 24:26,52; Ex 4:31; 12:27; Mt 26:39; Mr 14:35, etc.); of spreading out the hands (1Ki 8:22,38,54; Ps 28:2; 63:4; 88:9; 1Ti 2:8, etc.); and of standing (1Sa 1:26; 1Ki 8:14,55; 2Ch 20:9; Mr 11:25; Lu 18:11,13).

If we except the "Lord's Prayer" (Mt 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 (Ex 22:23,27; 1Ki 3:5; 2Ch 7:14; Ps 37:4; Isa 55:6; Joe 2:32; Eze 36:37, etc.), and we have very many testimonies that it has been answered (Ps 3:4; 4:1; 6:8; 18:6; 28:6; 30:2; 34:4; 118:5; Jas 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 (Ge 24:10-20).

Jacob prayed to God, and God inclined the heart of his irritated brother, so that they met in peace and friendship (Ge 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 (Jg 15:18-20).

David prayed, and God defeated the counsel of Ahithophel (2Sa 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 (Da 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 (Ne 1:11; 2:1-6).

Esther and Mordecai prayed, and God defeated the purpose of Haman, and saved the Jews from destruction (Es 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 (Ac 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 (2Co 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.

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(1) Techinnah, from chandra "to be gracious"; hithpael, "to entreat grace"; Greek deesis.

(2) Tephillah, from hithpael of paalal, "to seek judgment"; Greek proseuchee. "Prayer," proseuchee, for obtaining blessings, implying devotion; "supplication," deesis, for averting evil. "Prayer" the general term; "supplication" with imploring earnestness (implying the suppliant's sense of need); enteuxis, intercession for others, coming near to God, seeking an audience in person, generally in another's behalf. Thanksgiving should always go with prayer (1Ti 2:1; Eph 6:18; Php 4:6). An instinct of every nation, even pagan (Isa 16:12; 44:17; 45:20; 1Ki 18:26). In Seth's days, when Enos (frailty) was born to him, "men began to call upon the name of Jehovah."

The name Enos embodies the Sethites' sense of human frailty urging them to prayer, in contrast to the Cainites' self sufficient "pride of countenance" which keeps sinners from seeking God (Ps 10:4). While the Cainites by building a city and inventing arts were founding the kingdom of this world, the Sethites by united calling upon Jehovah constituted the first church, and laid the foundation of the kingdom of God. The name of God is His whole self manifestation in relation to man. On this revealed divine character of grace and power believers fasten their prayers (Ps 119:49; Pr 18:10). The sceptic's objections to prayer are:

(1) The immutability of nature's general laws. But nature is only another name for the will of God; that will provides for answers to prayer in harmony with the general scheme of His government of the world. There are higher laws than those observed in the material world; the latter are subordinate to the former.

(2) God's predestinating power, wisdom and love make prayer useless and needless. But man is made a free moral agent; and God who predestines the blessing predestines prayer as the means to that end (Mt 24:20).

Prayer produces and strengthens in the mind conscious dependence on God, faith, and love, the state for receiving and appreciating God's blessing ordained in answer to prayer. Moreover prayer does not supersede work; praying and working are complementary of each other (Ne 4:9). Our weakness drives us to cast ourselves on God's fatherly love, providence, and power. Our "Father knoweth what things we have need of before we ask Him"; "we know not what things we should pray for as we ought" (Mt 6:8; Ro 8:26). Yet "the Spirit helpeth our infirmities," and Jesus teaches us by the Lord's prayer how to pray (Luke 11). Nor is the blessing merely subjective; but we may pray for particular blessings, temporal and spiritual, in submission to God's will, for ourselves. "Thy will be done," (Mt 6:10) and "if we ask anything according to His will" (1Jo 5:14-15), is the limitation. Every truly believing prayer contains this limitation. God then grants either the petition or something better than it, so that no true prayer is lost (2Co 12:7-10; Lu 22:42; Heb 5:7).

Also "intercessions" for others (the effect of which cannot be merely subjective) are enjoined (1Ti 2:1). God promises blessings in answer to prayer, as the indispensable condition of the gift (Mt 7:7-8). Examples confirm the command to pray. None prayed so often as Jesus; early in the morning "a great while before day" (Mr 1:35), "all the night" (Lu 6:12), in Gethsemane with an "agony" that drew from Him "sweat as it were great drops of blood falling to the ground" (Lu 22:44); "when He was being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened" (Lu 3:21); "as He prayed" He was transfigured (Lu 9:29); "as He was praying in a certain place" (Lu 11:1) one disciple struck by His prayer said, "Lord teach us to pray as John also taught his disciples" (Lu 11:1) (an interesting fact here only recorded). Above all, the intercession in John 17, His beginning of advocacy with the Father for us; an example of the highest and holiest spiritual communion.

The Holy Spirit in believers "maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God." "He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit," and so casts off all that is imperfect and mistaken in our prayers, and answer s the Spirit who speaks in them what we would express aright but cannot (Ro 8:26-27,34). Then our Intercessor at God's right hand presents out prayers, accepted on the ground of His merits and blood (Joh 14:13; 15:16; 16:23-27). Thus God incarnate in the God-man Christ reconciles God's universal laws, i.e. His will, with our individual freedom, and His predestination with our prayers. Prayer is presupposed as the adjunct of sacrifice, from the beginning (Ge 4:4). Jacob's wrestling with the divine Angel and prayer, in Genesis 32, is the first full description of prayer; compare the inspired continent on it, Ho 12:3-6. But Abraham's intercession for Sodom (Genesis 18), and Isaac's, preceded (Ge 24:63 margin).

Moses' law prescribes sacrifice, and takes for granted prayer (except the express direction for prayer, De 26:12-15) in connection with it and the sanctuary, as both help us to realize God's presence; but especially as prayer needs a propitiation or atonement to rest on, such as the blood of the sacrifices symbolizes. The temple is "the house of prayer" (Isa 56:7). He that hears player (Ps 65:2) three manifested Himself. Toward it the prayer of the nation, and of individuals, however distant, was directed (1Ki 8:30,35,38,46-49; Da 6:10; Ps 5:7; 28:2; 138:2). Men used to go to the temple at regular hours for private prayer (Lu 18:10; Ac 3:1). Prayer apparently accompanied all offerings, as did the incense its symbol (Ps 141:2; Re 8:3-4; Lu 1:10; De 26:12-15, where a form of prayer is prescribed).

The housetop and mountain were chosen places for prayer, raised above the world. The threefold Aaronic blessing (Nu 6:24-26), and Moses' prayer at the moving (expanded in Psalm 68) and resting of the ark (Nu 10:35-36), are other forms of prayer in the Mosaic legislation. The regular times of prayer were the third (morning sacrifice), sixth, and ninth hours (evening sacrifice); Ps 55:17; Da 6:10; 9:21; Ac 3:1; 10:3; 2:15. "Seven times a day" (Ps 119:164), i.e. continually, seven being the number for perfection; compare Ps 119:147-148, by night. Grace was said before meals (Mt 15:36; Ac 27:35).

Posture. Standing: 1Sa 1:26; Mt 6:5; Mr 11:25; Lu 18:11. Kneeling, in humiliation: 1Ki 8:54; 2Ch 6:13; Ezr 9:5; Ps 95:6; Da 6:10. Prostration: Jos 7:6; 1Ki 18:42; Ne 8:6. In the Christian church, kneeling only: (Ac 7:60) Stephen, (Ac 9:40) Peter, (Ac 20:36; 21:5) Paul imitating Christ in Gethsemane. In post apostolic times, standing on the Lord's day, and from Easter to Whitsunday, to commemorate His resurrection and ours with Him. The hands were lifted up, or spread out (Ex 9:33; Ps 28:2; 134:2).

The spiritual songs in the Pentateuch (Ex 15:1-19; Nu 21:17-18; Deuteronomy 32) and succeeding books (Judges 5; 2/1/type/mace'>1Sa 2:1-10,2 Samuel 22; 1Ki 8:23-53; Ne 9:5-38) abound in prayer accompanied with praise. The Psalms give inspired forms of prayer for public and private use. Hezekiah prayed in the spirit of the Psalms. The prophets contain many such prayers (Isaiah 12; 25; 26; Isa 37:14-20; 38:9-20; Da 9:3-23). The praise and the reading and expounding of the law constituted the service of the synagogue under the sheliach hatsibbur, "the apostle" or "legate of the church."

THE LORD'S PRAYER, (Mt 6:9-13) couched in the plural, "when ye pray, say, Our Father ... give us ... forgive us ... lead us" shows that forms suit public joint prayer. "Thou when thou prayest, enter into thy closet ... shut thy door, pray to thy Father [which is] in secret" (Mt 6:6); in enjoining private prayer Christ gives no form. The Lord's prayer is our model. The invocation is the plea on which the prayer is grounded, God's revealed Fatherhood. Foremost stand the three petitions for hallowing God's name, God's kingdom coming, God's will being done below as above; then our four needs, for bread for body and soul, for forgiveness producing a forgiving spirit in ourselves, or not being led into temptation, and for deliverance from evil. The petitions are seven the sacred number (Mt 6:5-13).

Prayer was the breath of th

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Prayer in the Bible is the uplifting of the heart to God with whatever motive. It includes supplication, whether in view of material or of spiritual needs; intercession, for individuals or communities; confession of sin

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This has been described as 'the intercourse of a dependent one with God.' It may take the form of communion in one brought nigh, or it may be the making requests for oneself or for others. There are twelve different words used for prayer in the O.T., and eight in the N.T., with various shades of meaning, as there are in English: 'asking, begging, beseeching,' etc. In the synoptic Gospels the word used in connection with Christ is that most commonly employed for "praying," but in John's gospel the word is that generally rendered, 'ask' or, 'demand.' The change is explained by the different aspect in which the Lord is presented in John.

God hears and encourages prayer. A cry to God is the mark of a soul truly turning to Him: "Behold, he prayeth," was said of Saul of Tarsus. Ac 9:11. To the saints it is said, "Pray without ceasing;" "ask and ye shall receive." "If we ask anything according to his will he heareth us, and . . . . we know that we have the petitions." "All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer believing ye shall receive." "Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you." The disciples as left here, representative of Christ and charged with His interests, were to ask in His name; and the same is true in principle as regards believers now. Mr 11:24; Joh 14:13; 15:16; 16:23,26; Jas 1:5-7; 1Jo 5:14-15. Christians are exhorted to make known all their petitions, or requests, to God, and having done so, the peace of God shall keep their hearts and minds. Php 4:6-7. This is their wondrous privilege: they have addressed God, and in peace they leave it with Him to grant their petitions or not.

The above passages demonstrate that to receive what is prayed for, requests must be in faith, they must be according to the light of God's will, and hence made in the name of the Lord Jesus. While prayer is always to God, it is suggested that requests would naturally be made to the Father in respect of all that tends to the promotion of Christ in believers, as well as in things referring to their discipline in the pathway here. On the other hand prayer would be made to the Lord in relation to that over which He is set as administrator, such as the service of the gospel, the saints, the house of God, etc.

The attitudes in prayer which are recorded are: 'standing,' 1Sa 1:26; '/Mark/11/25/type/mace'>Mr 11:25; 'kneeling,' Da 6:10; Lu 22:41; and 'falling down,' De 9:25; Jos 7:6.

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The object of this article will be to touch briefly on --

1. The doctrine of Scripture as to the nature and efficacy of prayer;

2. Its directions as to time, place and manner of prayer;

3. Its types and examples of prayer.

1. Scripture does not give any theoretical explanation of the mystery which attaches to prayer. The difficulty of understanding real efficacy arises chiefly from two sources: from the belief that man lives under general laws, which in all cases must be fulfilled unalterably; and the opposing belief that he is master of his own destiny, and need pray for no external blessing. Now, Scripture, while, by the doctrine of spiritual influence it entirely disposes of the latter difficulty, does not so entirely solve that part of the mystery which depends on the nature of God. It places it clearly before us, and emphasizes most strongly those doctrines on which the difficulty turns. Yet while this is so, on the other hand the instinct of prayer is solemnly sanctioned and enforced on every page. Not only is its subjective effect asserted, but its real objective efficacy, as a means appointed by God for obtaining blessing, is both implied and expressed in the plainest terms. Thus, as usual in the case of such mysteries, the two apparently opposite truths are emphasized, because they are needful: to man's conception of his relation to God; their reconcilement is not, perhaps cannot be, fully revealed. For, in fact, it is involved in that inscrutable mystery which attends on the conception of any free action of man as necessary for the working out of the general laws of God's unchangeable will. At the same time it is clearly implied that such a reconcilement exists, and that all the apparently isolated and independent exertions of man's spirit in prayer are in some way perfectly subordinated to the one supreme will of God, so as to form a part of his scheme of providence. It is also implied that the key to the mystery lies in the fact of man's spiritual unity with God in Christ, and of the consequent gift of the Holy Spirit. So also is it said of the spiritual influence of the Holy Ghost on each individual mind that while "we know not what to pray for, "the indwelling" Spirit makes intercession for the saints, according to the will of God."

Ro 8:26-27

Here, as probably in still other cases, the action of the Holy Spirit on the soul is to free agents what the laws of nature are to things inanimate, and is the power which harmonizes free individual action with the universal will of God.

2. There are no directions as to prayer given in the Mosaic law: the duty is rather taken for granted, as an adjunct to sacrifice, than enforced or elaborated. It is hardly conceivable that, even from the beginning public prayer did not follow every public sacrifice. Such a practice is alluded to in

Lu 1:10

as common; and in one instance, at the offering of the first-fruits, it was ordained in a striking form.

De 26:12-15

In later times it certainly grew into a regular service both in the temple and in the synagogue. But, besides this public prayer, it was the custom of all at Jerusalem to go up to the temple, at regular hours if possible, for private prayer, see

Lu 18:10; Ac 3:1

and those who were absent were wont to "open their windows toward Jerusalem," and pray "toward" the place of God's presence.

1Ki 8:46-49; Ps 5:7; 28:2; 138:2; Da 6:10

The regular hours of prayer seem to have been three (see)

Ps 55:17; Da 6:10

the evening, that is the ninth hour

Ac 3:1; 10:3

the hour of the evening sacrifice,

Da 9:21

the "morning," that is, the third hour

Ac 2:15

that of the morning sacrifice; and the sixth hour, or "noonday." Grace before meat would seem to have been a common practice. See

Mt 15:36; Ac 27:35

The posture of prayer among the Jews seems to have been most often standing,

1Sa 1:26; Mt 6:5; Mr 11:25; Lu 18:11

unless the prayer were offered with especial solemnity and humiliation, which was naturally expressed by kneeling,

1Ki 8:54

comp. 2Chr 6:13; Ezra 9:5; Psal 95:8; Dani 6:10 or prostration.

Jos 7:6; 1Ki 18:42; Ne 8:6

3. The only form of prayer given for perpetual use in the Old Testament is the one in

De 26:5-15

connected with the offering of tithes and first-fruits, and containing in simple form the important elements of prayer, acknowledgment of God's mercy, self-dedication and prayer for future blessing. To this may perhaps be added the threefold blessing of

Nu 6:24-26

couched as it is in a precatory form, and the short prayer of Moses,

Nu 10:35-36

at the moving and resting of the cloud the former of which was the germ of the 68th Psalm. But of the prayers recorded in the Old Testament the two most remarkable are those of Solomon at the dedication of the temple,

1Ki 8:23-58

and of Joshua the high priest, and his colleagues, after the captivity.

Ne 9:5-38

It appears from the question of the disciples in

Lu 11:1

and from Jewish tradition, that the chief teachers of the day gave special forms of prayer to their disciples as the badge of their discipleship and the best fruits of their learning. All Christian prayer is, of course, based on the Lord's Prayer; but its spirit is also guided by that of his prayer in Gethsemane and of the prayer recorded by St. John,

Joh 17:1

... the beginning of Christ's great work of intercession. The influence of these prayers is more distinctly traced in the prayers contained in the epistles, see

Ro 16:25-27; Eph 3:14-21; Phm 1:3-11; Col 1:9-15; Heb 13:20-21; 1Pe 5:10-11

etc., than in those recorded in the Acts. The public prayer probably in the first instance took much of its form and style from the prayers of the synagogues. In the record on prayer accepted and granted by God, we observe, as always, a special adaptation to the period of his dispensation to which they belong. In the patriarchal period, they have the simple and childlike tone of domestic application for the ordinary and apparently trivial incidents of domestic life. In the Mosaic period they assume a more solemn tone and a national bearing, chiefly that of direct intercession for the chosen people. More rarely are they for individuals. A special class are those which precede and refer to the exercise of miraculous power. In the New Testament they have a more directly spiritual hearing. It would seem the intention of Holy Scripture to encourage all prayer more especially intercession, in all relations and for all righteous objects.

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PRAYER has been well defined, the offering up of our desires unto God, for things agreeable to his will, in the name or through the mediation of Jesus Christ, by the help of the Holy Spirit, with a confession of our sins, and a thankful acknowledgment of his mercies.

1. Prayer is in itself a becoming acknowledgment of the all-sufficiency of God, and of our dependence upon him. It is his appointed means for the obtaining of both temporal and spiritual blessings. He could bless his creatures in another way: but he will be inquired of, to do for them those things of which they stand in need, Eze 36:37. It is the act of an indigent creature, seeking relief from the fountain of mercy. A sense of want excites desire, and desire is the very essence of prayer. "One thing have I desired of the Lord," says David; "that will I seek after." Prayer without desire is like an altar without a sacrifice, or without the fire from heaven to consume it. When all our wants are supplied, prayer will be converted into praise; till then Christians must live by prayer, and dwell at the mercy seat. God alone is able to hear and to supply their every want. The revelation which he has given of his goodness lays a foundation for our asking with confidence the blessings we need, and his ability encourages us to hope for their bestowment. "O thou that hearest prayer; unto thee shall all flesh come," Ps 65:2.

2. Prayer is a spiritual exercise, and can only be performed acceptably by the assistance of the Holy Spirit, Ro 8:26. "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is his delight." The Holy Spirit is the great agent in the world of grace, and without his special influence there is no acceptable prayer. Hence he is called the Spirit of grace and of supplication: for he it is that enables us to draw nigh unto God, filling our mouth with arguments, and teaching us to order our cause before him, Zec 12:10.

3. All acceptable prayer must be offered in faith, or a believing frame of mind. "If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering

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