The Prayer of Jabez (1 Chronicles 4:10)
When the author of Chronicles dutifully provides us with a list of Judah’s descendants, he can’t help but stop himself. Right in the midst of all these names, he comes to Jabez, a man he wants us to notice, a man of true honor. If you’ve ever felt like you’ve caused pain or if you’ve ever wanted to believe that God can do more than you can ask or imagine, this prayer is for you:
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day 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 evil.”
Jonah’s Prayer for Salvation (Jonah 2:2–9)
We may never be swallowed by a great fish, but we can still experience the shame and regret that Jonah felt after he ran from God. The prophet’s plea to the Father provides a poignant scaffolding for our own prayers of repentance. And remember that God heard and answered this humble, honest prayer:
and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
and you listened to my cry.
into the very heart of the seas,
and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
swept over me.
from your sight;
yet I will look again
toward your holy temple.’
the deep surrounded me;
seaweed was wrapped around my head.
the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, Lord my God,
brought my life up from the pit.
I remembered you, Lord,
and my prayer rose to you,
to your holy temple.
turn away from God’s love for them.
will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”
How many rise up against me!
“God will not deliver him.”
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
and he answers me from his holy mountain.
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
assail me on every side.
Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.
May your blessing be on your people.
Hannah’s Prayer of Praise (1 Samuel 2:1–10)
When Hannah received the child she begged God for, her first instinct is to praise the One who provided. She wants to thank Him for His greatness and His deliverance. Too often we pray before receiving, but then forget to pray after God answers. Let this prayer guide you in thanks:
“My heart exults in the Lord;
my horn is exalted in the Lord.
My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in your salvation.
for there is none besides you;
there is no rock like our God.
Talk no more so very proudly,
let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
and by him actions are weighed.
The bows of the mighty are broken,
but the feeble bind on strength.
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.
The barren has borne seven,
but she who has many children is forlorn.
The Lord kills and brings to life;
he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
he brings low and he exalts.
He raises up the poor from the dust;
he lifts the needy from the ash heap
to make them sit with princes
and inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,
and on them he has set the world.
but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness,
for not by might shall a man prevail.
The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces;
against them he will thunder in heaven.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;
he will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.”