Samuel – 1 Samuel 7:5-6 – ‘And Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the LORD for you.” So they gathered together at Mizpah, drew water, and poured it out before the LORD. And they fasted that day, and said there, “We have sinned against the LORD.” And Samuel judged the children of Israel at Mizpah.’

The prayers we find Samuel praying in this chapter are in the midst of an incredible time of repentance for the nation of Israel. The leadership of the nation before Samuel had gone incredibly bad, with Hophni and Phinehas, the sons of Eli committing all kinds of wicked acts when supposedly acting as priests for the people. (more…)

Samson – Judges 16:28 – ‘Then Samson called to the LORD, saying, “O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!”’

The end of Samson’s life once again displays to an even greater extent the principles that have been on show his whole life – our God is more than willing to use some of the biggest failures to do His work and accomplish His purposes, and most importantly He will always display His glory above anyone else’s. Not only that but there is an abundance of grace for those same failures to cry out to God in their time of need and see Him answer in incredible ways. (more…)

Samson – Judges 15:18-19 – ‘Then he became very thirsty; so he cried out to the LORD and said, “You have given this great deliverance by the hand of Your servant; and now shall I die of thirst and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?” So God split the hollow place that is in Lehi, and water came out, and he drank; and his spirit returned, and he revived.’

Samson is just an incredible character – he is so clearly a testimony to the fact that God can use anyone to accomplish His purposes. On a number of occasions in his life Samson does things that he just shouldn’t be doing – they are sinful at worst, and otherwise foolish, and yet God still chose him to be the one to judge, and bring deliverance to His people from the Philistines. (more…)

Peter – Acts 9:40 – ‘But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.’

What a simple and yet powerful prayer that Peter prays here – we don’t even know the content of the prayer, and yet this simple act of faith on Peter’s part led to an entire region being affected by the gospel. (more…)

Paul – 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 – ‘And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.’

This prayer that Paul speaks to the Corinthian church about is the kind of prayer that I’m sure many people don’t like hearing anything about – unanswered prayer. (more…)