First thing a student of the Bible should do on any given subject is to list out all the verses pertaining to ones subject of Biblical study. In this case we are studying on Prayer and all its term uses like pray, praying, prayeth etc… should be listed so we can see how these terms are used.
The different forms of the word pray are found 156 times in the Old Testament(OT) and 124 times in the New Testament (NT).
A word study is necessary in order to understand what prayer is all about, this would include the when, who, what, when, where, why, which and how questions (Read Post on the Seven Divine Tools for studying the Bible) as we go through verse by verse and explore how prayer and all it terms are used in Scriptures. Once done clear doctrine of prayer can be laid out for practice for Israel and by the church, the body of Christ the fulness of Him.
The verses that follow shall not have to much interpreted but are placed in order so that YOU the student of God’s word can read them through look up their context and learn from God’s word about prayer. My study on “Biblical Prayer” is a conclusion from my own study of this vast topic. I will post it after this Verse/word study to give you time to do some of your own work. Yes studying the Bible is hard work. But we would not be called a workman that needeth not be ashamed (2Tim2:15) if everything was spoon fed to us.
Pray – Found 83 times in scripture OT 42 NT 41 Present active verb
The term pray is found in scriptures more that 2000 times. However in the majority of its uses it means nothing more than “request or ask” i.e. “I pray thee”.
Gen 20:7 Now therefore restore the man [his] wife; for he [is] a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore [her] not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that [are] thine.
Gen 20:17 So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children.
First use of the word pray in the Bible is found in Genesis and it is concerning Abraham. Remember Abraham had told a half truth to Abimelech concerning Sarah but never the less God will at times hear the prayer of a sinner. Remember Abraham was said to be righteous because he believed God.
The first prayer is made to the One True God Almighty