The words for prayer in the Bible mean to ask. In studying prayer I found this shocking. Often people feel guilty about just asking God for things and not just talking to him. Asking is part of being a child of God. My sons often ask me things. In fact, that’s a majority of our conversations. Why? So glad you asked…
Words for prayer in the Bible
Hebrew– Palal (Genesis 20:7; Deuteronomy 9:20; Psalm 5:2; 1 Samuel 1:26)
Greek– aiteo (Mark 11:24; James 1:16)
Main meaning: To ask on behalf of another, intercede.
Related meaning: To ask or to demand.
This is the most common word for payer used in the Old Testament.
Hebrew– sha’al (1 Samuel 23:2; 30:8; 2 Samuel 2:1; Psalm 27:4; Psalm 122:6)
Greek– deomai (Luke 22:32; Romans 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 3:10)
Main meaning: To ask for guidance, inquire.
Related meaning: To ask.
This word is used when the one praying is in great need.
Hebrew– paga’ (Jeremiah 7:16; 27:18; Job 21:15)
Main meaning: To ask for grace.
This word is a highly emotional term in which one beseeches God.
Greek– proseuchomai (Romans 8:26; Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 1:9; 1 Timothy 2:8; Hebrews 13:18)
Main meaning: To pray, ask, beseech.
This word is the most common term for prayer in the New Testament.
The bottom line:
Though our talking to God should involve man different activities, like worship, thanksgiving and confession; prayer seems focused on one activity: asking. Next week we’ll look at the basics of prayer. I’m very grateful for the work Pastor Matthew invested in teaching men how to prayer. Much of these blogs comes from notes passed down from him.
Find a tool that works for you to record what you asked God for. Include three things: date, request, and how God answered.
If you have not already, seek out a prayer partner to work through this journey with.