The Bible is filled with powerful prayers that believers can learn from and pray themselves in their Christian life. Remember prayer isn’t magic and won’t “make” God do anything. But God does hear and answer the sincere prayers of His children. So don’t be afraid to pray big prayers over your life!
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7 Most Powerful Prayers in the Bible
These are some of the greatest prayers in Scripture–big requests that demonstrate big faith in God’s plan and trust in His steadfast love and faithful presence in His children’s lives. These are different types of prayers, some demonstrate strong faith in the face of a difficult situation or times of trouble. Others show a desire for the things God desires for His children–blessings, a personal relationship with Him, a spirit of wisdom.
Jabez’s Prayer for Blessing
Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked. 1 Chronicles 4:10
The prayer of Jabez became a worldwide phenomenon when Bruce Wilkerson wrote a devotional book in 2000 on the power of prayer using this short, little known prayer as a framework to bring God’s blessings and expansion to the believer’s life.
Although Jabez’s prayer is a powerful one it would serve believers to remember that a prayer for God’s blessing isn’t a magic wand to wave and get whatever we want. God’s blessings in our lives may not be material goods like He granted Jabez, but more often are spiritual blessings as shown in the apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, -Ephesians 1:3
Hannah’s Prayer of Desperation
And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” -1 Samuel 1:11
Hannah was with her family on their annual trip to the tabernacle to worship God, there she brought the pain of her infertility to God and asked Him to give her a son. God answered Hannah’s prayer affirmatively.
The Scripture says “The LORD remembered Hannah”–not that He had ever forgotten her–but her heartfelt prayer drew His attention and care in a fresh way. Hannah had a son who grew up to be the great prophet Samuel and she dedicated him back to the Lord for his whole life, just like she promised.
David’s Prayer of Repentance
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51:1-2; 10-12
This is a portion of a longer prayer David prayed confessing his sin of murder and adultery and deception to God. I think sometimes we underestimate the power of a confessing prayer–where we get honest before God about our wrongs and the high price we pay when we love sin more than we love God.
David acknowledges his sins, asks for God’s forgiveness, and requests God’s presence and God’s guidance to remain constant in his life. David’s ability to take responsibility for his sin and his sorrow over it show he truly is a man after God’s own heart. (Acts 13:22)
Solomon’s Prayer for Wisdom
And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. -1 Kings 3:7-10
Solomon, David’s son, when he became king was given a chance to ask God for anything–and he chose wisely to ask God for “a receptive heart” (CSB) or “an obedient heart” (HCSB) or “a God-listening heart” (MSG) or “an understanding heart” (NLT) so that he could govern his people wisely. This was a fantastic request and one that God was happy to answer!
Asking for God’s wisdom in human relationships, work and life is a powerful prayer for a Christian to pray often over their life.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. -James 1:5
Hezekiah’s Prayer for Deliverance
And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Give ear, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God…Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God.” -2 Kings 19:15-16;19
Hezekiah’s prayer for deliverance from the Assyrian kings shows he knows God’s great power and kindness to the people of Israel. It’s okay to pray big prayers against opposition in our lives, especially spiritual opposition. Hezekiah’s prayer is also focused on God’s character, renown, and power.
The Worship Prayer of Daniel
And Daniel said: “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him. I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors: You have given me wisdom and power: you have made known to me what we asked of you, you have made known to us the dream of the king.”
Daniel writes a beautiful and powerful worship prayer to God for giving him wisdom and power. This is a great prayer to pray acknowledging God working on our behalf when things go our way and retaining humility about our own contributions to our “success”. We see this concept in a couple places in the New Testament as well.
- For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. -Romans 11:36
- Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. -James 1:17
Jonah’s Prayer of Humility
From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said: “In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry. You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me…When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord. -Jonah 2:1-3; 7-9
The prayer of Jonah is a humble prayer of contrition and acknowledgement of God’s salvation and control over every part of the world (even big fish!). After Jonah showed his submission to the call God had on his life through this prayer, God delivered him from the belly of the fish and reset him on his mission–to share God’s call for repentance to the people of Nineveh.
Paul’s Prayer for Spiritual Power
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. -Ephesians 3:14-21
This prayer of the apostle Paul for the spiritual growth of the church at Ephesus is a powerful one to pray over yourself and for your children or for those you are spiritually mentoring. “Paul wants all believers to be able to access the spiritual power available to them”, according to the great evangelist Tony Evans in his Bible commentary.
I often pray pieces of this prayer for my kids right before bed as a blessing for them, but don’t be afraid to pray or write out this prayer for yourself as well!
Powerful prayers of Jesus
I feel like Jesus’ prayers belong in a whole different category–so I’ve included them that way! These powerful prayers of Jesus can give us encouragement and insight into growing our own prayer lives.
The Lord’s Prayer
This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. -Matthew 6:9-10
Jesus taught his disciples to pray using this prayer found in Matthew during the sermon on the mount and in Luke 11. It makes a great framework to develop our own prayers to God, our heavenly Father and is a powerful pray to speak and pray over our lives.
Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer
I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. -John 17:13-17
Jesus prayed this beautiful intercessory prayer for his disciples and all believers for all time just before He went to the cross. It is filled with encouraging truth and hope for God’s people as we live out our days on the earth. It’s filled with God’s deep love and purpose for His children.
Jesus’ Prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” -Matthew 26:39
Jesus prayed this desperate prayer in the garden of gethsemane right before He was arrested and taken to die. His honest struggle and prayer of surrender gives hope and peace to us as we pray honestly through our hard times and ultimately choose to surrender to the will of God.
More Prayer Resources to Grow Your Faith
- Top 15 Bible Verses About Prayer
- How to Pray + What to Say for Beginners
- Powerful Abundance Prayer and How It Works
- Prayers of Rest by Asheritah CiuCiu
- Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer
The good news is there are many powerful prayers in the Scriptures that you can start praying for your own lives and over those you love. Choose one or two of these prayers to pray everyday for 10 days. Set a reminder or alarm on your phone to help build consistency and invite God to work in your life through these prayers.