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A boy in Uganda with his hands held together in prayer

Bible verses on prayer

Sharing our favourite Bible verses about the power of prayer

Prayer is a conversation with God.

Sometimes you need to find quiet times you can have a chat with God wherever you are – in the car, at the supermarket, on the school run. This conversation is not one-sided, nor is it only available to certain people, As Romans 10:13 says “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

But how do we hear God's reply?

It's possible to feel closer to God in a variety of ways: reading the Bible, listening to Worship music, attending services online or spending time with your local church community. Sometimes you may need to find other, quiet times you can have a chat with God wherever you are – in the car, at the supermarket, on the school run.

Bible verses are from the New International Version unless otherwise stated.

How to pray

Who should pray?

When should we pray?

How should we pray?

How can I support World Vision through prayer?


How to pray

Let’s start with Jesus’ teaching on how to pray, found in Matthew 6: 5-15:

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 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."

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

A Kenyan Bible club praying together

Who should pray?

2 Chronicles 7:14

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

1 John 5:15

And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

Psalm 142 1-3

I cry aloud to the LORD;
I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy.
I pour out before him my complaint;
before him I tell my trouble.
When my spirit grows faint within me,
it is you who watch over my way.

Man praying

When should we pray?

Prayer is great when you’re in a crisis and you need to pour everything out to God. But it’s also great to share your everyday hopes, ideas and thanks with God throughout the day. 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Hser, from Myanmar, prays
Hser, from Myanmar, prays, "Dear Lord, I pray for COVID-19 pandemic to end. Have mercy on those who are affected by wars and conflicts and grant them your peace and joy. Amen."

How should we pray?

Ephesians 6:18

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.

James 5:13-16

Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

1 John 5:14

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

Pray with World Vision

We hope you have found these Bible verses inspiring and you can recall them next time you go to pray. As a Christian charity, we ask that you share a prayer for the world's most vulnerable children as well as your own prayers.

You can download a free prayer journal guide to write down inspiring Bible verses, read a devotion, and record of your prayers on the prayer journal sheets.

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