Prayer Warriors in the Bible and What We Can Learn From Them

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Scripture is full of God’s people who prayed fervently, and we have a lot to learn from their examples.

You won’t come across the exact phrase “prayer warrior” in the Bible, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t exist!

From Genesis to Revelation, we have a window into powerful and personal encounters when God’s prayer warriors poured out their hearts to God and He moved mightily in response.

God still moves in powerful and personal ways in response to our prayers today!

The Bible tells us the prayer of a righteous person avails much, (See James 5:16), but I don’t think we’ll ever fully comprehend the great power of prayer on this side of heaven. 

Thankfully we don’t need to intellectualize every facet of prayer or understand its tremendous power in order to:

  • Enter into the Lord’s presence and pour out our hearts to Him.
  • Behold God’s power unleashed through prayer.
  • Hear from God in a way that renews our minds, softens our hearts, and transforms our lives.
  • Call on the name of Jesus at any moment, in the midst of any circumstance, and know that He hears us.

God forbid we ever reduce our privilege of prayer with the Most High God to something we have to do or a task to put on our to-do list.

Not one person mentioned in this post would consider their prayer time something to write down on a to-do list or regard it as something they had to do, I can guarantee you that!

I’m asking the Lord Jesus to use this post to spark a fresh desire, passion, and zeal in us to pray because we GET to… not because we have to.

Let’s begin with an understanding of why the term “prayer warrior” is used.

Put on the Full Armor of God

Spiritual battles necessitate spiritual weapons.

Every follower of Jesus is engaged in spiritual warfare. Thankfully, God has equipped His people for battle against the schemes of the devil and powers of darkness, and Paul tells us exactly how in Ephesians 6:10-17:

“Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, and the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with a readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.”

For an in-depth look at the whole armor of God, its purpose and function, Spiritual Warfare Prayer Points will be helpful to you. For in-depth instruction on how to effectively wield the sword of the spirit in the midst of spiritual battle, Powerful Prayers to Break Spiritual Strongholds will be helpful.

  • We’re in the midst of a spiritual war. 
  • Our battle is not against flesh and blood. 
  • Our enemy seeks to steal, kill, and destroy.
  • The stakes are high in a spiritual battle… 

So yes, prayer warrior is an absolutely appropriate and accurate description.

Followers of Jesus are ambassadors in Christ, and we’re called to be more than conquerors in Christ!

Prayer plays a crucial role in warfare, and we should not take it lightly.

My preference when I study Scripture is to dive deep into one small section of Scripture rather than skimming the surface of any text; I’d really love to take each example below and pick it apart in depth, but for our purposes today, I trimmed my content.

As you read about each person from God’s Word in this post, keep the following in mind:

  • Each person was imperfect, just like you and me. They didn’t always get things right. They made mistakes. They didn’t always say or do the right thing. Sometimes we tend to put Biblical characters on a pedestal; while their testimonies are admirable, they don’t belong on a pedestal! Our Lord alone belongs on a pedestal!
  • We have the advantage of the entire Scripture in print. We know how each individual’s story unfolds when we enter into their situations on the pages of the Word of God, but they didn’t know what their future held! They put one sandal in front of the other in faith, trust, and dependence on the Lord in the midst of their situations – just as we must do today.
  • There were multiple instances from the people’s lives in this post that I could have chosen to demonstrate that they were prayer warriors, so keep in mind the sampling below is just that – a sliver of their rich prayer lives in their daily walk with the Lord.
open Bible on top of flowers

Examples of prayer warriors from the Bible


My heart always skips a beat when I read the encounter when the Lord appeared to Moses in a burning bush. 

It’s a fascinating exchange as the Lord revealed Himself and called Moses to serve Him. 

I encourage you to take time to read Exodus 3-4 and revel in the details of this passage.

The Lord revealed Himself in powerful, personal, and astonishing ways to Moses in their dialog.

  • Moses understood exactly what God was calling him to do.
  • The Lord assured Moses that He equipped him with all he needed to move forward in obedience.
  • The power of God was demonstrated to Moses as the Lord provided him with miraculous signs to establish His authority. (For example, turning his staff into a snake. Ex. 4:2-3)
  • The Lord also provided Moses with assurance when he expressed concern over his own insecurities and inadequacies because he was “slow of speech and tongue”. (Ex. 410)..

 Brace yourself as you read Moses’ response to the Lord: 

“Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” (Ex. 4:13)

Can you relate to Moses? 

I can.

Moses was:

  • Called by God.
  • Equipped by God.
  • Heard from God.
  • Understood the Lord’s message.

Despite the above, Moses remained focused on himself, his struggles, insecurities, and shortcomings.

Moses did move forward in obedience to the Lord while maintaining an honest, open dialogue with the Lord for the entire length of His life as he served Him.

Lesson from Moses:  We can take all of our shortcomings and apprehensions to the Lord. As we obey and serve Him we can be honest as we pour out our heart to Him – including our concerns.

When God calls us, he equips us. We need to lean in and trust it is HIM working in us, despite our shortcomings.

King David

David is characterized as, “A man’s after God’s own heart.”

I don’t know about you, but that’s a person whose prayer life I want to learn about and emulate.

There are so many beautiful examples of David’s prayers in Scripture, but the one I want to highlight in this post is when he wanted to build a temple for the Lord. 

Scripture tells us David’s motive and intentions were pure in his desire to build the temple, and he sincerely wanted to build this to the glory of God. (1 Kings 8:18)

The Lord said no to David’s request. 

His son, Solomon (who wasn’t even born at the time) was the one God would call to build the temple.

There are a lot of awesome things God planned for David to do in His name and for His glory, but building the temple wasn’t one of them.

God’s “no” wasn’t a rejection, but a redirection, and David’s immediate response was to pray. 

Rather than running away from the Lord in anger, resentment, or bitterness, he ran TO HIM in humility, trust, and a heart willing to accept God’s plan. His prayer reeks of gratitude and is recorded in 2 Samuel 7:18-29; I encourage you to read it in its entirety.

Lesson from David: When our motives are pure, we can ask God to serve Him in any specific way, but we must have a heart ready and willing to yield to His answer.

Rather than focusing on God’s no, David chose to focus on God’s yeses in the ways He was called to serve the Lord.

When God says no, we have a choice in how we respond. We can become obstinate and retreat from Him, or we can submit to Him and trust He always has our best interest in mind. 

God does not say no to us to be mean. We must choose to believe that He’s not rejecting us, but redirecting us both for our good and His glory. 


Solomon was David’s son – the man the Lord appointed to build His temple.

When Solomon was in Gibeon, the King of Kings appeared to him in a dream and asked him the unimaginable, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

I don’t know about you, but when I read this statement, I have to stop and reflect on the magnitude of this moment. 

Referring to himself as “your servant” and “a little child”, Solomon responded in humility.

Solomons’s response: “Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?” (1 Kings 3:9)

The adjective “understanding” in the Greek literally means “to hear, listen to, obey”. That gives us insight into Solomon’s motives and desires. He earnestly wanted to hear and obey God as he ruled as king.

God would grant his request – and then some!

Solomon is the wisest man who ever lived. 

“The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have you asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for – both riches and honor – so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.” (1 Kings 3:10-14)

When asked for whatever he wanted, his request was God-centered, not self-centered. 

The Lord’s response was to bless Solomon with wisdom – and blessings beyond.

Lesson from Solomon: Isn’t it interesting that God promised things to Solomon that he knew would be regarded as a blessing from him? God mentioned things like long life, wealth, and honor – things that you and I would consider a blessing today. 

I can’t help but think of Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

I’m challenged by Solomon to have God-centered prayer requests that seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and trust the Lord will take care of everything else.


I’m so thankful that the Lord invites us to come to Him as we are – no need to clean up our act, minimize our struggles, or try and act as though we have it all together before we come to Him.

In worship… and in bitterness of soul.

Hannah models both types of prayer for us in 1 Samuel 1 when she poured out her heart in bitterness of soul and in 1 Samuel 2 with an overflow of praise.

I’m always moved by Hannah’s prayer in deep anguish when she prayed so fervently that her mouth was moving, but no words came out. Eli actually accused her of being drunk to which she replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord.” (1 Sam. 1:15)

Lesson from Hannah: God invites us to pour out our soul to Him in prayer. We need not hold back with restraint.

It’s also noteworthy that Hannah was so focused on the Lord in her prayer that she didn’t care how she appeared to others around her, like Eli.

Our prayers are always for an audience of One.



Jonah was a man of prayer, and the entire book of Jonah testifies to this truth.

The incident I’d like to mention now is in Jonah 2:1, ” From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.”

Jonah’s obedience to the Lord was not instant. In fact, he initially ran in the complete opposite direction in response to the Lord calling him to preach repentance to the people of Nineveh.

Orchestrated by the Sovereign Hand of our God, Jonah found himself in the belly of a whale where he he prayed to the Lord.

Lesson from Jonah: Our physical surroundings, the extent of our perilous situation, or regardless of how hopeless a situation may appear, we can lift our eyes to the Lord, bow our hearts before him, and know that he hears us every time we pray.

John the Baptist

John was devoted to prayer. 

He prepared in the desert for his ministry, where he no doubt drew close to the Lord. 

I’m always challenged by Paul’s words recorded in John 3:30,

“He must become greater, I must become less.”

John poured his life into serving the Lord and desired to glorify Him alone.

Lesson from John the Baptist: The sin of pride easily ensnares us. It’s easy to become preoccupied with self-interest, self-esteem, self-interest, self-help, self-seeking ambitions, self-serving goals, and self-esteem issues.

Self, self, self.

We need to die to self and surrender to the authority of the Holy Spirit.

To strive to lead a life full of praise and prayer. 

Not to be confused with the unattainable goal of perfection – wholehearted devotion and authenticity that seeks to glorify our God, not ourselves is what God desires.


Immediately after the description of the armor of God, Paul said these words about prayer, 

“And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all of the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly as I should.”

Paul encourages us to pray:

  • On all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. 
  • For himself… That the Lord would enable Him to proclaim the gospel fearlessly.

Do you know where Paul was when he wrote these words?

In prison.

Paul’s prayers from prison did not:

  • Include a plea for his freedom. 
  • Include a desire for His name to be cleared of false accusations. 
  • Request that measures be taken to increase his comfort while under arrest. 

Lesson from Paul: This man of God emphasized the importance of heartfelt prayer integrated throughout his life. Like the other prayer warriors we’ve mentioned, his focus was not on himself, but on the Lord. When he did ask for prayer for himself, it was regarding his testimony being effective for Christ.

He also emphasized praying on behalf of others, or intercessory prayer. Paul’s words encourage me to be intentional in praying for others. 

Paul’s focus was firmly fixed on Jesus, and he integrated praise and prayer throughout his life as documented in the New Testament as he strived to live his life all for God’s glory.

Mary, mother of Jesus

Mary’s world was turned upside down when an angel announced God’s plan for her life.

After this encounter, Mary traveled to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist. Immediately after she heard Mary’s voice, Elizabeth prophesied and exclaimed, “Why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby and my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her” (Lk. 1:43-45)

Mary immediately burst into a spontaneous prayer of worship which begins with the words, “My soul glorifies the Lord”. (Lk. 1:46).

Her prayer drips with humility and submission to God’s will, way, and plan. 

Lesson from Mary: Spontaneous prayer of praise from a humble heart in submission to the will of God is a beautiful expression of worship. Mary rested in the peace of God in the midst of circumstances that eluded her ability to understand or comprehend.

Pin 8 Prayer Warriors from the Bible

Jesus Christ

Jesus is so much more than just the greatest example of a prayer warrior.

Our Lord Christ Jesus was fully God and fully human when He walked the Earth and He modeled the importance and significance of prayer perfectly for us. 

  • Jesus often withdrew to be alone to spend time with His heavenly Father in prayer.
  • Jesus prayed for Himself. His disciples. Future believers – which includes you and me, and is recorded in John 17.
  • When His arrest was near He prayed to His Father God in the Garden of Gethsemane so intensely His “sweat was like drops of blood”. (Lk. 22:44)
  • He prayed when He was dying on the cross. 
  • He intercedes for you and me today, as sits at the right hand of God. Isn’t that absolutely amazing?! We serve ourselves well to remind ourselves of this often. (Rom. 8:34).
  • Jesus prayed for Jerusalem. (Lk. 19:41-44)

 I’d like to close with a quote from David Jeremiah:

“Prayer is the conductor that keeps our focus on God – the One who can do exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or imagine. Prayer changes our lives and motivates us to live each day in the presence and with the power of Almighty God. Get focused on him. And never forget: Prayer changes things!”

The Prayer Warriors in God’s Word modeled the best ways to integrate prayer into daily life, and we can follow their examples.

Articles related to Prayer Warriors in the Bible:

Spiritual Warfare Prayer Points With Scripture for Battle

Praise and Prayer: A Lifestyle of Worship to God

12 Prayers to Get Closer to God

Lesson on Prayer for Adult Sunday School

FREE Prayer Journal Template

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