12 Types of Prayer

If you're like me, you've struggled with prayer. But I believe for the Christian, prayer isn't supposed to be the hard work. The hard work was already done by Jesus to make us approved and accepted by God. Now we get to relax in the river of grace and enjoy God.

Prayer is a means to do that. But what if our prayer lives become an obstacle to swimming in grace, enjoying God?

That's why I got so excited when I started noticing different types of prayer in the Bible.

For example, in the letters of Apostle Paul, he's exceedingly thankful:

“I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you” (Romans 1:8).
“I always thank God for you” (1 Corinthians 1:4).
“I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers” (Ephesians 1:16).

Of the thirteen letters by Paul, he expresses thanks in ten of them. But if you read other biblical writers, they don’t sound the same.

King David offers praise:

“O LORD, our LORD, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens” (Psalm 8:1).
"The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge” (Psalm 18:2).
"Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (Psalm 103:1–2).

Joshua prays God’s Word. His instructions for bringing the Israelites to the Promised Land were:

"Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you maybe be careful to do everything written in it." (Joshua 1:8)

Like I said, I was so excited! In the end, I noticed 12 different types of prayer. Each different in its effect and approach. Each different in its appeal. Each a different way to connect with God.

Imagine that! A rich spread of prayer laid out for us to pick up and partake. What did this mean?

  • There are lots of possibilities for prayer.
  • We don't have to try to copy other people.
  • We can find our own strengths in prayer.
  • Prayer doesn't have to be the hard work.

Here are 12 prayer types so you can begin to find your prayer strengths. We'll unpack each one in future posts. For now, get acquainted with the 12:


Definition: Multiple believers agreeing on earth with what heaven is saying
Bible character: Acts church
Key Verse: Matthew 18:19-20


Definition: Acknowledging your sin to God, and then celebrating the forgiveness you have received
Bible character: David
Key Verse: Psalm 51:2-3



Definition: Spending time with God in an activity that is not traditionally sacred or prayerful
Bible character: Adam and Eve
Key Verse: Genesis 3:8



Definition: God leading you to pray for the needs of a person, place, or cause
Bible character: Anna
Key Verse: Luke 2:37



Definition: Sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening for him
Bible character: Mary of Bethany
Key Verse: Psalm 46:10


Definition: Seeing a need and praying for it
Bible character: Leper and centurion
Key Verse: Luke 11:9



Definition: Declaring the truth about who God is, what he has done, or what he has promised to do
Bible character: Peter
Key Verse: Psalm 150:6


Praying the Bible

Definition: Praying the words of the Bible as your prayer
Bible character: Joshua
Key Verse: Joshua 1:8

Praying in Tongues

Definition: Praying in a personal spiritual language that edifies you and your relationship with God
Bible character: Paul
Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 14:14



Definition: Receiving a message from God for someone else
Bible character: Jeremiah
Key Verse: Jeremiah 1:7



Definition: Offering thanks to God
Bible character: Paul
Key Verse: 1 Thessalonians 5:18


Definition: Confronting the kingdom of Satan with the weapons of God’s kingdom
Bible character: The seventy-two others
Key Verse: Ephesians 6:12

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