The scene is the garden of Gethsemane the evening before Jesus’ crucifixion. Jesus prays alone, sweating great drops of blood. He returns to His disciples and finds them sleeping. He admonishes Peter,

“What, could you not watch with me an hour? Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”(Matthew 26:40)

What could you not watch with me one hour?

What a piercing indictment!

Weakness in Prayer

Often I am like Peter. In my self-confidence, I’m not against praying, but I also don’t comprehend what is at stake nor the extent of my need. I can’t muster up enough energy or requests to pray 10 minutes, let alone an hour or more.

Both publicly and privately, we don’t pray because we don’t know what to pray. We are engaged in a balancing act of confidentially versus specific, effective prayers.

The Discipline of Prayer

Prayer is an exercise and discipline. Just like physical exercise, it is hard work, and rarely gets easier, and then only with practice. As we exercise we build strength and endurance. The same is true for prayer. The ability to pray comes from praying. The more we pray, the more we learn what and how to pray. We begin to find that the allotted time is not nearly enough to cover the multitude of needs around us.

The Bible contains the prayers and requests of David, Paul, Moses, Nehemiah and Jesus (among others). Reading and making notes of the prayers of men and women in the Bible primes our pump, giving ideas of specific requests to appropriate for the people and situations in our lives.

Biblical Prayer Requests

The following requests can be prayed for individuals and groups, in public and private prayers:

Changed Lives

Underlying all these requests is a desire for the glory of God, for the sanctification of believers, and for the salvation of unbelievers. So, imagine if we prayed these things for ourselves and others. How would our lives change? How would our world change?

Lord, teach us to pray.

Taken from

Bernadette Veenstra

Bernadette was saved at a young age and has been involved in assembly work for the past 20 years. She and her husband have 4 children and they have been home schooling for the past 8 years. She is an avid blogger and you can find her over at