Prayer in the Psalms

The following is a list of a few of the types of Prayer in the Psalms.  For each one, I have a definition and examples, as well as bullet points for application.  Go through these and try having a prayer time based on these themes.  You will be uplifted!

The Prayer of Thanksgiving

Thanking God for what He has done

Psalm 100:4; Psalm 78 recounts and thanks God for what he has done for Israel—though they strayed

  • List things you are thankful for and pray through
  • Thankfulness A-Z
  • One/two things per day of week

 The Prayer of Examen

This is the prayer for God to search us and cause greater trust in him and greater purity.  It is for him to take an exam of our heart and soul and refine us so that we may trust in him in greater ways.

Psalm 139:23-24

Psalm 26:2 “Prove me O Lord and try me, test my heart and my mind.”

Psalm 19:14

  • Be quiet before God and think back on week
  • List things that you need to trust God for and pray over these

The Prayer of Repentance

The sorrow for sin and the desire to turn from evil and back to God in heart, mind, and actions

Psalm 32:1-7;

Psalm 51 Cleanse me (1-7)  Restore me (8-12)  Use me (13-19)  (Wiersbe)

Sorrow—(3-6)    Turn back to God (10)

The Prayer of Distress

Pouring out frustration to God. Being real with him, bringing your anxiety and hurts

When you feel alone, abandoned, when God seems to not be hearing you or acting

Psalm 88

Psalm 13  (often ending in assurance and trust)—this seems to be mostly the pattern when crying out

Ps 22:1-5

  • Journal out your frustrations (helped me!)
  • Connect your frustrations with statement of truth or verses
  • Pray with a trusted friend, pour out hearts together

The Prayer of Illumination

Asking God to fill the soul with desire for His word.  Prayer for understanding and insight into the depths of God’s word, ways, laws, commandments.  Ultimately the Spirit gives this.

Psalm 119 is full of this desire for God to give insight and fill the soul.

(18)—show me wonder

(105)—illuminate my path

(14-16)—delight, fix eyes, not forget

  • Pray this quickly before a sermon or bible reading time

The Prayer of Salvation

Asking God to act on one’s behalf to save, work, be victorious, be mighty on one’s behalf.  Prayer for God’s salvation from enemies.  Prayer for God to execute his righteous judgment against those who oppose him and his people.  This often connected with trust and hope in God.

Psalm 31:1-5

Psalm 56:1-4

Psalm 71:1-3

The Prayer of Waiting

Asking God to give you patience and trust in the midst of waiting on him.

Ps 62:5-8

Ps 27:13-14

Ps 130:5-6

  • List those things you are waiting for and pray over them
  • Ask God to give you patience and trust/joy in him in the midst of waiting

The Prayer of Adoration

Praising God for who He is

Adoration is the yearning of the heart to worship, honor, magnify, and bless God for who he is (Foster)

Psalm 145, Psalm 103

Being overwhelmed with who God is

  • His covenant love Hesed, faithfulness—“his love endures forever” Psalm 136  26x
  • His holiness—Ps 95:9; 99:9
  • His salvation—40:1-3
  • Pray through a Psalm of adoration
  • List God’s characteristics and praise him for them
  • Praise of the day (Mon-Tues…)

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