Prayers of the New Testament

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Prayers of the New Testament is one of the highly respected LifeGuide Bible Study Guides published by InterVarsity Press, a companion to Prayers of the Old Testament. This study guide may be used by individuals or groups.

"I wrote these study guides because the prayers in the Bible have shaped and nurtured my own prayer life so profoundly." —Lynne Baab

From the introduction to Prayers of the New Testament:
A group of young adults gathers late on a Sunday night in a cathedral. They fill the pews, sprawl on the floor and sit with their backs against the enormous pillars that hold up the ornate ceiling. They are waiting to begin compline (pronounced “COM-plin”), a simple worship service with only a few psalms and prayers, a Scripture reading, and a hymn. The huge cathedral organ will ring out with Bach’s glorious tones at the end of the service.

Christians have been participating in compline services for more than a thousand years. A brief prayer from Luke 2 is part of the service. It's a vivid prayer that comes from the heart of an old man, Simeon, who had been watching for God’s salvation. When the infant Jesus is brought to the temple, Simeon is filled with certainty that here, at last, is God's salvation for the whole earth. With great joy, Simeon realizes he can now die at peace because of this baby’s birth.

Simeon's prayer is only three verses long, but it has been repeated throughout many centuries in the compline service. Numerous other prayers in the New Testament have also held a similar significant place of honor among Christians in many settings and over many years, such as Mary's prayer, Jesus' high priestly prayer and Paul’s prayers in his letters.

In this guide, you are invited to study eight prayers in the New Testament that contain beautiful language and deep thoughts, evoking God’s character and attributes with rich metaphors and powerful images.

Table of Contents

  1. A Prayer of Mary: Praising the Mighty One Luke 1:39-56
  2. Prayers of Simeon and Anna: Telling God What We See Luke 2:22-38
  3. A Prayer of Jesus: Praying for Christian Unity John 17:1-26
  4. A Prayer of Jesus: Submitting to God’s Will Matthew 26:36-46
  5. A Prayer of Peter: Discussion with God Acts 10:1-33
  6. A Prayer of Paul: Becoming Rooted in God’s Love Ephesians 3:7-21
  7. A Prayer of Paul: Asking God for Wisdom Colossians 1:1-14
  8. John’s Vision: Praying with Our Bodies Revelation 1:9-20