Unwise Prayers

Most Relevant Verses

Genesis 18:23-32

Abraham stepped forward and said, “Will You really sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are 50 righteous people in the city? Will You really sweep it away instead of sparing the place for the sake of the 50 righteous people who are in it? You could not possibly do such a thing: to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. You could not possibly do that! Won’t the Judge of all the earth do what is just?”read more.
The Lord said, “If I find 50 righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” Then Abraham answered, “Since I have ventured to speak to the Lord—even though I am dust and ashes— suppose the 50 righteous lack five. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?”He replied, “I will not destroy it if I find 45 there.” Then he spoke to Him again, “Suppose 40 are found there?”He answered, “I will not do it on account of 40.” Then he said, “Let the Lord not be angry, and I will speak further. Suppose 30 are found there?”He answered, “I will not do it if I find 30 there.” Then he said, “Since I have ventured to speak to the Lord, suppose 20 are found there?”He replied, “I will not destroy it on account of 20.” Then he said, “Let the Lord not be angry, and I will speak one more time. Suppose 10 are found there?”He answered, “I will not destroy it on account of 10.”

Genesis 32:24-30

Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that He could not defeat him, He struck Jacob’s hip socket as they wrestled and dislocated his hip. Then He said to Jacob, “Let Me go, for it is daybreak.”But Jacob said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me.”read more.
“What is your name?” the man asked.“Jacob,” he replied. “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” He said. “It will be Israel because you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked Him, “Please tell me Your name.”But He answered, “Why do you ask My name?” And He blessed him there. Jacob then named the place Peniel, “For I have seen God face to face,” he said, “and I have been delivered.”

2 Samuel 7:18-29

Then King David went in, sat in the Lord’s presence, and said,Who am I, Lord God, and what is my house that You have brought me this far? What You have done so far was a little thing to You, Lord God, for You have also spoken about Your servant’s house in the distant future. And this is a revelation for mankind, Lord God. What more can David say to You? You know Your servant, Lord God. read more.
Because of Your word and according to Your will, You have revealed all these great things to Your servant. This is why You are great, Lord God. There is no one like You, and there is no God besides You, as all we have heard confirms. And who is like Your people Israel? God came to one nation on earth in order to redeem a people for Himself, to make a name for Himself, and to perform for them great and awesome acts, driving out nations and their gods before Your people You redeemed for Yourself from Egypt. You established Your people Israel to be Your own people forever, and You, Lord, have become their God. Now, Lord God, fulfill the promise forever that You have made to Your servant and his house. Do as You have promised, so that Your name will be exalted forever, when it is said, “The Lord of Hosts is God over Israel.” The house of Your servant David will be established before You since You, Lord of Hosts, God of Israel, have revealed this to Your servant when You said, “I will build a house for you.” Therefore, Your servant has found the courage to pray this prayer to You. Lord God, You are God; Your words are true, and You have promised this grace to Your servant. Now, please bless Your servant’s house so that it will continue before You forever. For You, Lord God, have spoken, and with Your blessing Your servant’s house will be blessed forever.

1 Kings 8:22-61

Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire congregation of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven. He said:Lord God of Israel,
there is no God like You
in heaven above or on earth below,
keeping the gracious covenant
with Your servants who walk before You
with their whole heart. You have kept what You promised
to Your servant, my father David.
You spoke directly to him
and You fulfilled Your promise by Your power
as it is today.read more.
Therefore, Lord God of Israel,
keep what You promised
to Your servant, my father David:
You will never fail to have a man
to sit before Me on the throne of Israel,
if only your sons guard their walk before Me
as you have walked before Me. Now Lord God of Israel,
please confirm what You promised
to Your servant, my father David. But will God indeed live on earth?
Even heaven, the highest heaven, cannot contain You,
much less this temple I have built. Listen to Your servant’s prayer and his petition,
Lord my God,
so that You may hear the cry and the prayer
that Your servant prays before You today, so that Your eyes may watch over this temple night and day,
toward the place where You said:
My name will be there,
and so that You may hear the prayer
that Your servant prays toward this place. Hear the petition of Your servant
and Your people Israel,
which they pray toward this place.
May You hear in Your dwelling place in heaven.
May You hear and forgive. When a man sins against his neighbor
and is forced to take an oath,
and he comes to take an oath
before Your altar in this temple, may You hear in heaven and act.
May You judge Your servants,
condemning the wicked man by bringing
what he has done on his own head
and providing justice for the righteous
by rewarding him according to his righteousness. When Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy,
because they have sinned against You,
and they return to You and praise Your name,
and they pray and plead with You
for mercy in this temple, may You hear in heaven
and forgive the sin of Your people Israel.
May You restore them to the land
You gave their ancestors. When the skies are shut and there is no rain,
because they have sinned against You,
and they pray toward this place
and praise Your name,
and they turn from their sins
because You are afflicting them, may You hear in heaven
and forgive the sin of Your servants
and Your people Israel,
so that You may teach them the good way
they should walk in.
May You send rain on Your land
that You gave Your people for an inheritance. When there is famine on the earth,
when there is pestilence,
when there is blight, mildew, locust, or grasshopper,
when their enemy besieges them
in the region of their fortified cities,
when there is any plague or illness, whatever prayer or petition
anyone from Your people Israel might have—
each man knowing his own afflictions
and spreading out his hands toward this temple— may You hear in heaven, Your dwelling place,
and may You forgive, act, and repay the man,
according to all his ways, since You know his heart,
for You alone know every human heart, so that they may fear You
all the days they live on the land
You gave our ancestors. Even for the foreigner who is not of Your people Israel
but has come from a distant land
because of Your name— for they will hear of Your great name,
mighty hand, and outstretched arm,
and will come and pray toward this temple— may You hear in heaven, Your dwelling place,
and do according to all the foreigner asks You for.
Then all the people on earth will know Your name,
to fear You as Your people Israel do
and know that this temple I have built
is called by Your name. When Your people go out to fight against their enemies,
wherever You send them,
and they pray to Yahweh
in the direction of the city You have chosen
and the temple I have built for Your name, may You hear their prayer and petition in heaven
and uphold their cause. When they sin against You—
for there is no one who does not sin—
and You are angry with them
and hand them over to the enemy,
and their captors deport them to the enemy’s country—
whether distant or nearby— and when they come to their senses
in the land where they were deported
and repent and petition You in their captors’ land:
“We have sinned and done wrong;
we have been wicked,” and when they return to You with their whole mind and heart
in the land of their enemies who took them captive,
and when they pray to You in the direction of their land
that You gave their ancestors,
the city You have chosen,
and the temple I have built for Your name, may You hear in heaven, Your dwelling place,
their prayer and petition and uphold their cause. May You forgive Your people
who sinned against You
and all their rebellions against You,
and may You give them compassion
in the eyes of their captors,
so that they may be compassionate to them. For they are Your people and Your inheritance;
You brought them out of Egypt,
out of the middle of an iron furnace. May Your eyes be open to Your servant’s petition
and to the petition of Your people Israel,
listening to them whenever they call to You. For You, Lord God, have set them apart as Your inheritance
from all the people on earth,
as You spoke through Your servant Moses
when You brought their ancestors out of Egypt. When Solomon finished praying this entire prayer and petition to the Lord, he got up from kneeling before the altar of the Lord, with his hands spread out toward heaven, and he stood and blessed the whole congregation of Israel with a loud voice: “May the Lord be praised! He has given rest to His people Israel according to all He has said. Not one of all the good promises He made through His servant Moses has failed. May the Lord our God be with us as He was with our ancestors. May He not abandon us or leave us so that He causes us to be devoted to Him, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commands, statutes, and ordinances, which He commanded our ancestors. May my words I have made my petition with before the Lord be near the Lord our God day and night, so that He may uphold His servant’s cause and the cause of His people Israel, as each day requires, and so that all the peoples of the earth may know that Yahweh is God. There is no other! Let your heart be completely devoted to the Lord our God to walk in His statutes and to keep His commands, as it is today.”

Luke 11:1-13

He was praying in a certain place, and when He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples.” He said to them, “Whenever you pray, say:Father,
Your name be honored as holy.
Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread.read more.
And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves also forgive everyone
in debt to us.
And do not bring us into temptation.” He also said to them: “Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I don’t have anything to offer him.’ Then he will answer from inside and say, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is already locked, and my children and I have gone to bed. I can’t get up to give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he won’t get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his friend’s persistence, he will get up and give him as much as he needs. “So I say to you, keep asking,and it will be given to you. Keep searching,and you will find. Keep knocking,and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

Luke 18:1-8

He then told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not become discouraged: “There was a judge in a certain town who didn’t fear God or respect man. And a widow in that town kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’read more.
“For a while he was unwilling, but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or respect man, yet because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice, so she doesn’t wear me out by her persistent coming.’” Then the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. Will not God grant justice to His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay to help them? I tell you that He will swiftly grant them justice. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find that faith on earth?”

John 17:1-26

Jesus spoke these things, looked up to heaven, and said:Father,
the hour has come.
Glorify Your Son
so that the Son may glorify You, for You gave Him authority
over all flesh;
so He may give eternal life
to all You have given Him. This is eternal life:
that they may know You, the only true God,
and the One You have sent—Jesus Christ.read more.
I have glorified You on the earth
by completing the work You gave Me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me in Your presence
with that glory I had with You
before the world existed. I have revealed Your name
to the men You gave Me from the world.
They were Yours, You gave them to Me,
and they have kept Your word. Now they know that all things
You have given to Me are from You, because the words that You gave Me,
I have given them.
They have received them
and have known for certain
that I came from You.
They have believed that You sent Me. I pray for them.
I am not praying for the world
but for those You have given Me,
because they are Yours. Everything I have is Yours,
and everything You have is Mine,
and I have been glorified in them. I am no longer in the world,
but they are in the world,
and I am coming to You.
Holy Father,
protect them by Your name
that You have given Me,
so that they may be one as We are one. While I was with them,
I was protecting them by Your name
that You have given Me.
I guarded them and not one of them is lost,
except the son of destruction,
so that the Scripture may be fulfilled. Now I am coming to You,
and I speak these things in the world
so that they may have My joy completed in them. I have given them Your word.
The world hated them
because they are not of the world,
as I am not of the world. I am not praying
that You take them out of the world
but that You protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world,
as I am not of the world. Sanctifythem by the truth;
Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world,
I also have sent them into the world. I sanctify Myself for them,
so they also may be sanctified by the truth. I pray not only for these,
but also for those who believe in Me
through their message. May they all be one,
as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You.
May they also be one in Us,
so the world may believe You sent Me. I have given them the glory You have given Me.
May they be one as We are one. I am in them and You are in Me.
May they be made completely one,
so the world may know You have sent Me
and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father,
I desire those You have given Me
to be with Me where I am.
Then they will see My glory,
which You have given Me
because You loved Me before the world’s foundation. Righteous Father!
The world has not known You.
However, I have known You,
and these have known that You sent Me. I made Your name known to them
and will make it known,
so the love You have loved Me with
may be in them and I may be in them.

Numbers 11:15

If You are going to treat me like this, please kill me right now. If You are pleased with me, don’t let me see my misery anymore.”

1 Kings 19:4

but he went on a day’s journey into the wilderness. He sat down under a broom tree and prayed that he might die. He said, “I have had enough! Lord, take my life, for I’m no better than my fathers.”

Matthew 20:21

“What do you want?” He asked her.“Promise,” she said to Him, “that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right and the other on Your left, in Your kingdom.”

Bible Theasaurus

From Thematic Bible


Unwise prayers » Select readings

Genesis 18:23-32

Abraham stepped forward and said, "Will You really sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are 50 righteous people in the city? Will You really sweep it away instead of sparing the place for the sake of the 50 righteous people who are in it? You could not possibly do such a thing: to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. You could not possibly do that! Won't the Judge of all the earth do what is just?" read more.
The Lord said, "If at Sodom I find 50 righteous people in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake." Then Abraham answered, "Since I have ventured to speak to the Lord-even though I am dust and ashes- suppose the 50 righteous lack five. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?" He replied, "I will not destroy [it] if I find 45 there." Then he spoke to Him again, "Suppose 40 are found there?" He answered, "I will not do [it] on account of 40." Then he said, "Let the Lord not be angry, and I will speak further. Suppose 30 are found there?" He answered, "I will not do [it] if I find 30 there." Then he said, "Since I have ventured to speak to the Lord, suppose 20 are found there?" He replied, "I will not destroy [it] on account of 20." Then he said, "Let the Lord not be angry, and I will speak one more time. Suppose 10 are found there?" He answered, "I will not destroy [it] on account of 10."

Genesis 32:24-30

Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that He could not defeat him, He struck Jacob's hip as they wrestled and dislocated his hip socket. Then He said to Jacob, "Let Me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob said, "I will not let You go unless You bless me." read more.
"What is your name?" the man asked. "Jacob!" he replied. "Your name will no longer be Jacob," He said. "It will be Israel because you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed." Then Jacob asked Him, "Please tell me Your name." But He answered, "Why do you ask My name?" And He blessed him there. Jacob then named the place Peniel, "For," [he said,] "I have seen God face to face, and I have been delivered."

2 Samuel 7:18-29

Then King David went in, sat in the Lord's presence, and said, "Who am I, Lord God , and what is my house that You have brought me this far? What You have done so far was a little thing to You, Lord God , for You have also spoken about Your servant's house in the distant future. And this is a revelation for mankind, Lord God . What more can David say to You? You know Your servant, Lord God . read more.
Because of Your word and according to Your will, You have revealed all these great things to Your servant. "This is why You are great, Lord God . There is no one like You, and there is no God besides You, as all we have heard confirms. And who is like Your people Israel? God came to one nation on earth in order to redeem a people for Himself, to make a name for Himself, and to perform for them great and awesome acts, driving out nations and their gods before Your people You redeemed for Yourself from Egypt. You established Your people Israel Your own people forever, and You, Lord, have become their God. "Now, Lord God, fulfill the promise forever that You have made to Your servant and his house. Do as You have promised, so that Your name will be exalted forever, when it is said, 'The Lord of Hosts is God over Israel.' The house of Your servant David will be established before You since You, Lord of Hosts, God of Israel, have revealed this to Your servant when You said, 'I will build a house for you.' Therefore, Your servant has found the courage to pray this prayer to You. Lord God , You are God; Your words are true, and You have promised this grace to Your servant. Now, please bless Your servant's house so that it will continue before You forever. For You, Lord God , have spoken, and with Your blessing Your servant's house will be blessed forever."

1 Kings 8:22-61

Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire congregation of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven. He said: Lord God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth below, keeping the gracious covenant with Your servants who walk before You with their whole heart. You have kept what You promised to Your servant, my father David. You spoke directly [to him] and You fulfilled [Your promise] by Your power as it is today. read more.
Therefore, Lord God of Israel, keep what You promised to Your servant, my father David: You will never fail to have a man to sit before Me on the throne of Israel, if only your sons guard their walk before Me as you have walked before Me. Now Lord God of Israel, please confirm what You promised to Your servant, my father David. But will God indeed live on earth? Even heaven, the highest heaven, cannot contain You, much less this temple I have built. Listen to Your servant's prayer and his petition, Lord my God, so that You may hear the cry and the prayer that Your servant prays before You today, so that Your eyes may watch over this temple night and day, toward the place where You said: My name will be there, and so that You may hear the prayer that Your servant prays toward this place. Hear the petition of Your servant and Your people Israel, which they pray toward this place. May You hear in Your dwelling place in heaven. May You hear and forgive. When a man sins against his neighbor and is forced to take an oath, and he comes to take an oath before Your altar in this temple, may You hear in heaven and act. May You judge Your servants, condemning the wicked by bringing what he has done on his own head and providing justice for the righteous by rewarding him according to his righteousness. When Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy, because they have sinned against You, and they return to You and praise Your name, and they pray and plead with You for mercy in this temple, may You hear in heaven and forgive the sin of Your people Israel. May You restore them to the land You gave their ancestors. When the skies are shut and there is no rain, because they have sinned against You, and they pray toward this place and praise Your name, and they turn from their sins because You are afflicting them, may You hear in heaven and forgive the sin of Your servants and Your people Israel, so that You may teach them the good way they should walk in. May You send rain on Your land that You gave Your people for an inheritance. When there is famine on the earth, when there is pestilence, when there is blight, mildew, locust, or grasshopper, when their enemy besieges them in the region of their fortified cities, [when there is] any plague or illness, whatever prayer or petition anyone from Your people Israel might have- each man knowing his own afflictions and spreading out his hands toward this temple- may You hear in heaven, Your dwelling place, and may You forgive, act, and repay the man, according to all his ways, since You know his heart, for You alone know every human heart, so that they may fear You all the days they live on the land You gave our ancestors. Even for the foreigner who is not of Your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of Your name- for they will hear of Your great name, mighty hand, and outstretched arm, and will come and pray toward this temple- may You hear in heaven, Your dwelling place, and do according to all the foreigner asks You for. Then all the people on earth will know Your name, to fear You as Your people Israel do and know that this temple I have built is called by Your name. When Your people go out to fight against their enemies, wherever You send them, and they pray to the Lord in the direction of the city You have chosen and the temple I have built for Your name, may You hear their prayer and petition in heaven and uphold their cause. When they sin against You- for there is no one who does not sin- and You are angry with them and hand them over to the enemy, and their captors deport them to the enemy's country- whether distant or nearby- and when they come to their senses in the land where they were deported and repent and petition You in their captors' land: "We have sinned and done wrong; we have been wicked," and when they return to You with their whole mind and heart in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and when they pray to You in the direction of their land that You gave their ancestors, the city You have chosen, and the temple I have built for Your name, may You hear in heaven, Your dwelling place, their prayer and petition and uphold their cause. May You forgive Your people who sinned against You and all their rebellions against You, and may You give them compassion in the eyes of their captors, so that they may be compassionate to them. For they are Your people and Your inheritance; You brought them out of Egypt, out of the middle of an iron furnace. May Your eyes be open to Your servant's petition and to the petition of Your people Israel, listening to them whenever they call to You. For You, Lord God , have set them apart as Your inheritance from all the people on earth, as You spoke through Your servant Moses when You brought their ancestors out of Egypt. When Solomon finished praying this entire prayer and petition to the Lord, he got up from kneeling before the altar of the Lord, with his hands spread out toward heaven, and he stood and blessed the whole congregation of Israel with a loud voice: "May the Lord be praised! He has given rest to His people Israel according to all He has said. Not one of all the good promises He made through His servant Moses has failed. May the Lord our God be with us as He was with our ancestors. May He not abandon us or leave us. May He incline our hearts toward Him to walk in all His ways and to keep His commands, ordinances, and judgments, which He commanded our ancestors. May my words I have made my petition with before the Lord be near the Lord our God day and night, so that He may uphold His servant's cause and the cause of His people Israel, as each day requires, and so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God. There is no other! Let your heart be completely devoted to the Lord our God to walk in His ordinances and to keep His commands, as it is today."

Luke 11:1-13

He was praying in a certain place, and when He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples." He said to them, "Whenever you pray, say: Father, Your name be honored as holy. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. read more.
And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone in debt to us. And do not bring us into temptation." He also said to them: "Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him at midnight and says to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I don't have anything to offer him.' Then he will answer from inside and say, 'Don't bother me! The door is already locked, and my children and I have gone to bed. I can't get up to give you anything.' I tell you, even though he won't get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence, he will get up and give him as much as he needs. "So I say to you, keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"

More verses: Luke 18:1-8

Unwise prayers » Examples of

Numbers 11:15

If You are going to treat me like this, please kill me right now. If You are pleased with me, don’t let me see my misery anymore.”

1 Kings 19:4

but he went on a day’s journey into the wilderness. He sat down under a broom tree and prayed that he might die. He said, “I have had enough! Lord, take my life, for I’m no better than my fathers.”

Matthew 20:21

“What do you want?” He asked her.“Promise,” she said to Him, “that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right and the other on Your left, in Your kingdom.”

Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers.