Six Types of Prayer

Prayer is a very important part of a Christian’s life. I’ve been told that there are over 650 different prayers recorded in the Bible. Although there may be many different types of prayer, I am only going to discuss six types in today’s SDD. It would be easy to spend a week on each one of these different types of prayer – but, for the time being, I prefer to keep our SDD discussions very basic.

Worship, Praise and/or Adoration. We can find many prayers of this type in the Bible. This type of prayer is focused wholly upon the Lord our God. It acknowledges God as the creator of all things. It gives God the praise and the glory that he rightfully deserves. I believe that all prayers should begin with this type of prayer. The Lord’s Prayer that Jesus gave us begins with this type of prayer.
Thanksgiving. This is a prayer of appreciation – giving thanks to God for all the gifts he has given us. Being thankful is one of the best ways to combat depression and times of self-pity. Thanksgiving is a part of nearly every prayer I pray.
Confession and/or Penitence. This is when we acknowledge the sins we have committed and ask for forgiveness. Psalm 51 is probably the best known prayer of this type in the Bible. We would do well to remember what Jesus says about this in Matthew 6:14-15. If we are unwilling to forgive others, God will not forgive us.
Petition. Petition means to ask for something. I suspect that this may be the most used and misused type of prayer. We all want material prosperity, health, happiness and popularity. When asking God for such things, however, we should always remember to add, “Your will be done.” It is interesting to note that God already knows what we need before we ask him (Matthew 6:8). I don’t know about you, but I often have trouble distinguishing between my wants and my needs.
Intercession. An intercessory prayer is a prayer offered for the benefit of someone else. More often than not, it is a less selfish form of the petition type of prayer.
Just Talking and/or Meditative. I often find myself “just talking” with God – like a child might talk to his father. Even though I don’t have a fancy name for this type of prayer, I think it is extremely beneficial. A meditative type of prayer is a time of silence spent in the glorious presence of God (being in the Spirit).

Next week, Lord willing, I would like to ask, “Can prayer change God’s mind?” If not, why should we pray a petition or intercessory prayer?

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