In this article we will take a look at the different types of prayer in the Bible. Yes, there is more than one type! Plus a free PDF you can download to help you study on the topic of prayer. So, grab your Bible and let’s dive in…
Continuing on with my study on prayer. I thought about all the different kinds and types of prayers.
Some I could easily think of the top of my head, but I knew I was missing a lot of them. So, I figured why not do a Bible study on the different types of prayer! And that’s how this post began.
I even decided to make a PDF you can download for free! You can find it at the bottom of this post. I hope it helps you in your study and understanding of prayer.
The Different Kinds of Prayer In the Bible
The word pray and its many suffixes are mentioned over 700 times in the KJV. This doesn’t account for terms like “called on the Lord.”
That’s a lot of praying!
As I was studying, I was reminded of Ephesians 6:18, it says,
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. – Ephesians 6:18 NIV
In other translations, we see “kinds of” use the word “all” or the words “all manner of prayer.”
So, let’s take a look at nine different types of prayer in the Bible. Just remember that when we pray, we actually use different kinds of prayer in the same sitting.
And I want to point out that one type of prayer is not more important than another. And written prayer is not a type of prayer but the way you are praying.
Prayer of Supplication
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God – Philippians 4:6
You will see the word supplication quite a bit in verses that deal with prayer. It’s basically a prayer request or to petition before the Lord.
This is usually in reference to our own personal need. The prayer of Jabez is a great example of this.
When praying for others it’s called intercession. Which we will look at next.
Prayer of Intercession
So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. – Ezekiel 22:30
Intercession comes from the word intercede. It means to intervene on someone’s behalf. In the passage above God is looking for someone to stand in the gap and intercede.
Sadly, God didn’t find anyone.
It’s easy to pray for ourselves and our needs, but we should also spend time praying for others and situations outside of ourselves.
Paul, encourages us to do it all…
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men – 1 Timothy 2:1
Prayer of Faith
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. – James 5:13-15
The prayer of faith is used when we are praying for healing. We are believing God to touch someone and make them well.
I also believe the prayer of faith extends into praying for miracles. All throughout the Bible and history God’s people have prayed and miraclous things have happened!
These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. – Acts 1:14
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. – Acts 2:42
Corporate prayer is when we gather together as believers and pray together. During this time of prayer the congregation could be praying for healing, intercession, or any other type of prayer.
Praying in The Spirit or Praying in Tongues
For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. – 1 Corinthians 14:2
If you have the gift of tongues, you are able to use your prayer language to pray. Paul is clear to let us know that when we do we are speaking to God and speaking mysteries.
In verse 18 in 1 Corinthians 14, Paul states he speaks more in tongues than anyone else.
Praying in tongues is a powerful weapon for the believer, because it’s our spirit praying right to God!
Here are few more portions of scripture on the topic:
For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. – 1 Corinthians 14:14-15
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. – Romans 8:26
Learn more about praying in tongues here: The Power of Praying In the Spirit
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. – Psalm 100:4
Giving thanks to God is a powerful way to enter into His presence. It reminds us of the goodness of God and keeps our hearts soft before Him.
If you have never done thanksgiving prayer, give it a try. Spend 5 minutes giving thanks to the Lord.
It’s amazing how things lift off of you when you focus on the Lord and not on yourself!
Prayer of Confession and Repentance
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. – James 5:16
There are many times when we will come before God in prayer, and the Holy Spirit will convict us of something we did or said.
And other times, you know you need to go before God and repent.
This would be a prayer of confession and repentance.
Prayer of Dedication or Consecration
The prayer of dedication is when we go before the Lord and dedicate ourselves to Him or dedicate someone/something to Him.
Hannah in 1 Samuel 1-2 is a prime example of Hannah praying for a breakthrough (supplication) and offering her first child to the Lord (dedication).
We also see this when Jesus was in the Garden Praying:
He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” – Matthew 26:39
And Samson prayed for the Lord to remember Him:
Then Samson called to the Lord, saying, “O Lord God, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!” – Judges 16:28
Prayer of Imprecation
Now, this is the kind of prayer that most of us are not familiar with. The prayer of imprecation (curse) is seen in psalms when the righteous would pray for judgement and wrath to fall upon the unjust. We see this in Psalm 7, 55, and 69.
I don’t believe that was ever God’s heart. And we see that in the gospels when Jesus rebuked the disciples…
And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” 55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. – Luke 9:54-55
God has called us to love our enemies and to bless them. We are not called to curse them in prayer or to ask for God’s wrath to be poured out on them.
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
What about the Prayer of Worship?
There are some who say there is a prayer of worship. Having studied worship and the difference between worship and praise. I don’t really believe that.
I personally believe worship is worship. It goes with prayer, just like fasting, or praise does.
When we go to church and sing songs, clap our hands, or even dance that’s not praying. Those are a from of praise and worship.
The Types of Prayer in the Bible PDF
Here is a handy dandy PDF you can download and print. Keep it as a resource as you study more on the types of prayers in the Bible. Just fill out the form below!
I hope you have enjoyed this post and that you have learned something new with these different kinds of prayer. Feel free to leave me a comment below and share what God is doing in your life!
Melissa is a passionate minister, speaker and an ongoing learner of the Bible. She has been involved in church and vocational ministry for over 18 years. And is the founder of Think About Such Things. She has the heart to equip the saints by helping them get into the Word of God and fall more in love with Jesus. She also enjoys family, cooking, and reading.
She has spoken in churches in California, Oregon, Texas, and Mexico and has been featured in Guidepost Magazine and All Recipes Magazine. Read More…