Prayer in Sacred Scripture

 

The following is a list of all the references to prayer in the Old and New Testaments (taken from The Orthodox Study Bible, Copyright (c) 2008 by St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology).

 

*Please see the note below regarding references in the Old Testament.

 

Prayer:

Genesis 24:27; Exodus 23:15; Leviticus 2:1; Leviticus 2:13; Leviticus 20:3-7; 1 Kingdoms (1 Samuel) 1:13; 1 Kingdoms (1 Samuel) 2:1; 1 Kingdoms (1 Samuel) 2:9; 1 Kingdoms (1 Samuel) 21:1-6; 3 Kingdoms (1 Kings) 8:20-9:9; 3 Kingdoms (1 Kings) 19:11; 3 Kingdoms (1 Kings) 19:12; 1 Chronicles 17:16; 1 Chronicles 29:10-12; 2 Chronicles 7:14-16; 2 Chronicles 30:1-21; 1 Ezra (2 Esdras) 8:68-92; Nehemiah 3:36; Nehemiah 9:1-38; Tobit 3:11-17; Tobit 8:2-4; Tobit 12:8-14; Tobit 13:1; Esther Introduction; Esther 2:12; Esther 4:17; 2 Maccabees Introduction; 2 Maccabees 10:38; 2 Maccabees 12:42-45; 2 Maccabees 13:12; 3 Maccabees Introduction; 3 Maccabees 1:16-2:1; 3 Maccabees 6:1; Job 9:15; Proverbs 25:4; Wisdom of Sirach 7:10; Wisdom of Sirach 7:11; Wisdom of Sirach 23:1-6; Wisdom of Sirach 35:13-36:4; Wisdom of Sirach 38:9-11; Wisdom of Sirach 39:14; Wisdom of Sirach 48:1-5; Joel 1:19; Jonah 2:3-10; Jonah 3:5-9; Zechariah 1:12; Zechariah 1:13; Isaiah 26:20; Isaiah 26:21; Isaiah 29:13; Isaiah 30:31-33; Isaiah 46:10; Isaiah 58:9; Isaiah 63:15; Jeremiah 10:20-11:13; Jeremiah 15:19-21; Baruch 2:14; Baruch 2:15; Lamentations of Jeremiah 5:19-22; Daniel 3:25-50; Luke Introduction; John 14:13-17; John 16:26-28; Romans 8:26; 1 Timothy 2:8

Intercessory Prayer:

Joshua 7:6-15; 1 Kingdoms (1 Samuel)7:8; 1 Kingdoms (1 Samuel) 23:9; 1 Kingdoms (1 Samuel) 30:7; 3 Kingdoms (1 Kings) 13:6; 4 Kingdoms (2 Kings) 6:17; 4 Kingdoms (2 Kings) 20:11; Nehemiah 1:4-11; Nehemiah 2:4-5; 2 Maccabees 3:20; Job 42:7-9; Psalms Introduction; Psalm 15, Psalm 24; Psalm 25; Psalm 37; Psalm 54; Psalm 100; Psalm 101; Wisdom of Solomon 18:20-25; Isaiah 65:3-8; Jeremiah 15:1; Baruch 1:11-15; Baruch 3:4; Daniel 9:3-5; Luke 16:27-31; Luke 23:34; John 2:3-5; John 16:26-28; John 17:1-26; Acts 12:5; Ephesians 1:15-23; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-27; 1 Timothy 2:1; 1 Timothy 2:2; Philemon 1-7; James 5:16-18; 1 Peter 2:9

 

Jesus' Practice of Prayer:

Mark 1:35

 

Jesus' Teaching on Prayer:

Leviticus 25:1; Psalm 1; Psalm 69; Obadiah 15-18; Matthew 6:5-8; Luke 11:1-8

 

Liturgical Prayer:

2 Maccabees 14:35; 2 Maccabees 14:36; Psalms Introduction and Throughout; Daniel 3:26-45; Acts 2:42; Acts 3:1; Acts 4:24-30; Acts 10:3; Acts 10:9; 1 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:15-23

 

Perseverance in Prayer:

Matthew 26:41; Luke 18:1; Philippians 4:4; Philippians 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 

 

Power of Prayer:

Exodus 14:21; Exodus 17:11; 4 Kingdoms (2 Kings) 4:32-35; 4 Kingdoms (2 Kings) 20:1-6; Matthew 21:21

 

* There are differences between the Jewish Bible and the Christian Old Testament, as well as among the Christian Old Testaments. Below, is a primer on this subject.

 

Jewish

24 books, 3 divisions

  • Pentateuch or The Law (5 books): Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

  • The Prophets (8 books; order, not chronology)

    • Former Prophets: Joshua, Judges, Samuel (1 and 2), Kings (1 and 2)

    • Latter Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the Twelve (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi)

  • The Writings (11 books): Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, Chronicles (1 and 2)

 

Protestant Old Testament

39 books that follow the Hebrew text in content, but the books are rearranged in sequence and division.

 

Orthodox and Catholic Old Testaments

46 books that contain the 39 rearranged books plus 7 others formed from the following 15 books or pieces of books:

 

  • Tobit, Judith, additions to Esther and Daniel, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, The Letter of Jeremiah, The Prayer of Azariah, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, 1 & 2 Maccabees

  • Orthodox also include: 1 & 2 Esdras, The Prayer of Manasseh, 3 & 4 Maccabees and Psalm 151.

What accounts for the difference is that the Orthodox and Catholics use the Septuagint, which is a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures completed about a century before Christ. The name comes from the tradition that it was the work of 70 or 72 translators. This was the accepted Old Testament compilation for over 1,200 years, and is still in use by Orthodox and Catholics. 

 

The Septuagint includes the entirety of the Hebrew Bible, as well as writings from the intertestamental period, which is the time between the last Old Testament book in the 5th century BC and the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 AD. Protestants call these writings Apocryphal; Orthodox and Catholics call them Deuterocanonical.