What are the Different Types of Prayer?

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people (1 Tim. 2:1 ESV)

Types of prayer showing praying hands

Paul’s instruction to Timothy above teaches us that there are different types of prayer. He lists supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving. This is not an exhaustive list as we can add the prayer of worship and praise. However, we understand from the record that there are different types of prayer.

You will spontaneously pray the different forms of prayer as the situation demands. When you are in need of anything from the Lord, you will pray and ask for what you need. That is a prayer of petition or what is called supplications above. When you are praying on behalf of someone else, that is the prayer of intercession. There are different types of prayer for different situations, and these are not mutually exclusive. In fact, a single prayer session can include all the different kinds of prayer. The Apostle Paul instructs above to employ various forms of prayer for all men.

James gives us an exciting application of the use of the different kinds of prayer as the situation demands in James 5 below:
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. (Jas. 5:13-14 ESV)
There are different types of prayer, and we can use one or more kinds as the situation demands. There are no rules or prayer guides from heaven.The Spirit will guide you!


What is the difference between the prayer of supplication, intercession, and thanksgiving? Why is prayer necessary for every believer?


Allow the Spirit to help you integrate all the types of prayer as He leads you in specific situations. Receive the prayer variety basket from heaven and some flavors to your prayer life!


Ask the Spirit to help you grow in every form of prayer in your life.

Recommended Read: Jesus’ Prayer Life

Foundational Read: What is a Daily Devotional?

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