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Topical Scripture [P11a]

Scripture / Parables Section | Topical Scripture: Alphabetical | Categorized

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Topical Scripture

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So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore to him in this undertaking. The servant then took ten of his master's camels, and bearing all kinds of gifts from his master, he made his way to the city of Nahor in Aram Naharaim. Near evening, at the time when women go out to draw water, he made the camels kneel by the well outside the city. Then he prayed: "LORD, God of my master Abraham, let it turn out favorably for me today and thus deal graciously with my master Abraham. While I stand here at the spring and the daughters of the townsmen are coming out to draw water, if I say to a girl, 'Please lower your jug, that I may drink,' and she answers, 'Take a drink, and let me give water to your camels, too,' let her be the one whom you have decided upon for your servant Isaac. In this way I shall know that you have dealt graciously with my master." He had scarcely finished these words when Rebekah (who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Abraham's brother Nahor) came out with a jug on her shoulder. [GEN 24:9-15]

God heard her prayer; she conceived and bore a fifth son to Jacob. [Taken from GEN 30:17]

Then God remembered Rachel; he heard her prayer and made her fruitful. She conceived and bore a son, and she said, "God has removed my disgrace." So she named him Joseph, meaning, "May the LORD add another son to this one for me!" [GEN 30:22-24]

Then he prayed: "O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac! You told me, O LORD, 'Go back to the land of your birth, and I will be good to you.' I am unworthy of all the acts of kindness that you have loyally performed for your servant: although I crossed the Jordan here with nothing but my staff, I have now grown into two companies. Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau! Otherwise I fear that when he comes he will strike me down and slay the mothers and children. You yourself said, 'I will be very good to you, and I will make your descendants like the sands of the sea, which are too numerous to count.'" [GEN 32:10-13]

The LORD then told Moses, "Say to Aaron: Stretch out your hand and your staff over the streams and canals and pools, to make frogs overrun the land of Egypt." Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. But the magicians did the same by their magic arts. They, too, made frogs overrun the land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, "Pray the LORD to remove the frogs from me and my subjects, and I will let the people go to offer sacrifice to the LORD." Moses answered Pharaoh, "Do me the favor of appointing the time when I am to pray for you and your servants and your subjects, that the frogs may be taken away from you and your houses and be left only in the river." "Tomorrow," said Pharaoh. Then Moses replied, "It shall be as you have said, so that you may learn that there is none like the LORD, our God." [EX 8:1-6]

"Well, then," said Pharaoh, "I will let you go to offer sacrifice to the LORD, your God, in the desert, provided that you do not go too far away and that you pray for me." Moses answered, "As soon as I leave your presence I will pray to the LORD that the flies may depart tomorrow from Pharaoh and his servants and his subjects. Pharaoh, however, must not play false again by refusing to let the people go to offer sacrifice to the LORD." When Moses left Pharaoh's presence, he prayed to the LORD; and the LORD did as Moses had asked. He removed the flies from Pharaoh and his servants and subjects. Not one remained. But once more Pharaoh became obdurate and would not let the people go. [EX 8:24-28]

Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said to them, "I have sinned again! The LORD is just; it is I and my subjects who are at fault. Pray to the LORD, for we have had enough of God's thunder and hail. Then I will let you go; you need stay no longer." Moses replied, "As soon as I leave the city I will extend my hands to the LORD; the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail. Thus you shall learn that the earth is the LORD'S." [EX 9:27-29]

Hastily Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, "I have sinned against the LORD, your God, and against you. But now, do forgive me my sin once more, and pray the LORD, your God, to take at least this deadly pest from me." When Moses left the presence of Pharaoh, he prayed to the LORD, and the LORD changed the wind to a very strong west wind, which took up the locusts and hurled them into the Red Sea. But though not a single locust remained within the confines of Egypt, the LORD made Pharaoh obstinate, and he would not let the Israelites go. [EX 10:16-20]

Now the people complained in the hearing of the LORD; and when he heard it his wrath flared up so that the fire of the LORD burned among them and consumed the outskirts of the camp. But when the people cried out to Moses, he prayed to the LORD and the fire died out. [NUM 11:1-2]

Then Moses cried to the LORD, "Please, not this! Pray, heal her!" But the LORD answered Moses, "Suppose her father had spit in her face, would she not hide in shame for seven days? Let her be confined outside the camp for seven days; only then may she be brought back." So Miriam was confined outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not start out again until she was brought back. After that the people set out from Hazeroth and encamped in the desert of Paran. [NUM 12:13-16]

Later, when the LORD heeded Israel's prayer and delivered up the Canaanites, they doomed them and their cities. Hence that place was named Hormah. [NUM 21:3]

In punishment the LORD sent among the people saraph serpents, which bit the people so that many of them died. Then the people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you. Pray the LORD to take the serpents from us." So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses, "Make a saraph and mount it on a pole, and if anyone who has been bitten looks at it, he will recover." Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole, and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he recovered. [NUM 21:6-9]

"When I had come down again from the blazing, fiery mountain, with the two tablets of the covenant in both my hands, I saw how you had sinned against the LORD, your God: you had already turned aside from the way which the LORD had pointed out to you by making for yourselves a molten calf! Raising the two tablets with both hands I threw them from me and broke them before your eyes. Then, as before, I lay prostrate before the LORD for forty days and forty nights without eating or drinking, because of all the sin you had committed in the sight of the LORD and the evil you had done to provoke him. For I dreaded the fierce anger of the LORD against you: his wrath would destroy you. Yet once again the LORD listened to me. With Aaron, too, the LORD was deeply angry, and would have killed him had I not prayed for him also at that time. Then, taking the calf, the sinful object you had made, and fusing it with fire, I ground it down to powder as fine as dust, which I threw into the wadi that went down the mountainside. At Taberah, at Massah, and at Kibroth-hattaavah likewise, you provoked the LORD to anger. And when he sent you up from Kadesh-barnea to take possession of the land he was giving you, you rebelled against this command of the LORD, your God, and would not trust or obey him. Ever since I have known you, you have been rebels against the LORD. Those forty days, then, and forty nights, I lay prostrate before the LORD, because he had threatened to destroy you. This was my prayer to him: O Lord GOD, destroy not your people, the heritage which your majesty has ransomed and brought out of Egypt with your strong hand. Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Look not upon the stubbornness of this people nor upon their wickedness and sin, lest the people from whose land you have brought us say, 'The LORD was not able to bring them into the land he promised them'; or 'Out of hatred for them, he brought them out to slay them in the desert.' They are, after all, your people and your heritage, whom you have brought out by your great power and with your outstretched arm." [DEUT 9:15-29]

Joshua, together with the elders of Israel, rent his garments and lay prostrate before the ark of the LORD until evening; and they threw dust on their heads. "Alas, O Lord GOD," Joshua prayed, "why did you ever allow this people to pass over the Jordan, delivering us into the power of the Amorites, that they might destroy us? Would that we had been content to dwell on the other side of the Jordan. Pray, Lord, what can I say, now that Israel has turned its back to its enemies? When the Canaanites and the other inhabitants of the land hear of it, they will close in around us and efface our name from the earth. What will you do for your great name?" [JOSH 7:6-9]

While they fled before Israel along the descent from Beth-horon, the LORD hurled great stones from the sky above them all the way to Azekah, killing many. More died from these hailstones than the Israelites slew with the sword. On this day, when the LORD delivered up the Amorites to the Israelites, Joshua prayed to the LORD, and said in the presence of Israel: Stand still, O sun, at Gibeon, O moon, in the valley of Aijalon! And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, while the nation took vengeance on its foes. Is this not recorded in the Book of Jashar? The sun halted in the middle of the sky; not for a whole day did it resume its swift course. Never before or since was there a day like this, when the LORD obeyed the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel. [JOSH 10:11-14]

He answered him, "If I find favor with you, give me a sign that you are speaking with me. Do not depart from here, I pray you, until I come back to you and bring out my offering and set it before you." He answered, "I will await your return." [JUDG 6:17-18]

Manoah then prayed to the LORD. "O LORD, I beseech you," he said, "may the man of God whom you sent, return to us to teach us what to do for the boy who will be born." God heard the prayer of Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman as she was sitting in the field. [Taken from JUDG 13:8-9]

Hannah rose after one such meal at Shiloh, and presented herself before the LORD; at the time, Eli the priest was sitting on a chair near the doorpost of the LORD'S temple. In her bitterness she prayed to the LORD, weeping copiously, and she made a vow, promising: "O LORD of hosts, if you look with pity on the misery of your handmaid, if you remember me and do not forget me, if you give your handmaid a male child, I will give him to the LORD for as long as he lives; neither wine nor liquor shall he drink, and no razor shall ever touch his head." As she remained long at prayer before the LORD, Eli watched her mouth, for Hannah was praying silently; though her lips were moving, her voice could not be heard. Eli, thinking her drunk, said to her, "How long will you make a drunken show of yourself? Sober up from your wine!" "It isn't that, my lord," Hannah answered. "I am an unhappy woman. I have had neither wine nor liquor; I was only pouring out my troubles to the LORD. Do not think your handmaid a ne'er-do-well; my prayer has been prompted by my deep sorrow and misery." Eli said, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him." She replied, "Think kindly of your maidservant," and left. She went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband, and no longer appeared downcast. Early the next morning they worshiped before the LORD, and then returned to their home in Ramah. When Elkanah had relations with his wife Hannah, the LORD remembered her. She conceived, and at the end of her term bore a son whom she called Samuel, since she had asked the LORD for him. [1SAM 1:9-20]

Hannah, his mother, approached Eli and said: "Pardon, my lord! As you live my lord, I am the woman who stood near you here, praying to the LORD. I prayed for this child, and the LORD granted my request. Now I, in turn, give him to the LORD; as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the LORD." [Taken from 1SAM 1:25-28]

Samuel then gave orders, "Gather all Israel to Mizpah, that I may pray to the LORD for you." [1SAM 7:5]

Samuel was displeased when they asked for a king to judge them. He prayed to the LORD, however, who said in answer: "Grant the people's every request. It is not you they reject, they are rejecting me as their king. As they have treated me constantly from the day I brought them up from Egypt to this day, deserting me and worshiping strange gods, so do they treat you too. Now grant their request; but at the same time, warn them solemnly and inform them of the rights of the king who will rule them." [1SAM 8:6-9]

They said to Samuel, "Pray to the LORD your God for us, your servants, that we may not die for having added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king." "Do not fear," Samuel answered them. "It is true you have committed all this evil; still, you must not turn from the LORD, but must worship him with your whole heart. Do not turn to meaningless idols which can neither profit nor save; they are nothing. For the sake of his own great name the LORD will not abandon his people, since the LORD himself chose to make you his people. As for me, far be it from me to sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you and to teach you the good and right way. But you must fear the LORD and worship him faithfully with your whole heart; keep in mind the great things he has done among you. If instead you continue to do evil, both you and your king shall perish." [1SAM 12:19-25]

It is you, LORD of hosts, God of Israel, who said in a revelation to your servant, 'I will build a house for you.' Therefore your servant now finds the courage to make this prayer to you. [2SAM 7:27]

Look kindly on the prayer and petition of your servant, O LORD, my God, and listen to the cry of supplication which I, your servant, utter before you this day. May your eyes watch night and day over this temple, the place where you have decreed you shall be honored; may you heed the prayer which I, your servant, offer in this place. Listen to the petitions of your servant and of your people Israel which they offer in this place. Listen from your heavenly dwelling and grant pardon. [Taken from 1KGS 8:28-30]

"If your people Israel sin against you and are defeated by an enemy, and if then they return to you, praise your name, pray to you, and entreat you in this temple, listen in heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them back to the land you gave their fathers. If the sky is closed, so that there is no rain, because they have sinned against you and you afflict them, and if then they repent of their sin, and pray, and praise your name in this place, listen in heaven and forgive the sin of your servant and of your people Israel, teaching them the right way to live and sending rain upon this land of yours which you have given to your people as their heritage. If there is famine in the land or pestilence; or if blight comes, or mildew, or a locust swarm, or devouring insects; if an enemy of your people besieges them in one of their cities; whatever plague or sickness there may be, if then any one (of your entire people Israel) has remorse of conscience and offers some prayer or petition, stretching out his hands toward this temple, listen from your heavenly dwelling place and forgive. You who alone know the hearts of all men, render to each one of them according to his conduct; knowing their hearts, so treat them that they may fear you as long as they live on the land you gave our fathers. To the foreigner, likewise, who is not of your people Israel, but comes from a distant land to honor you (since men will learn of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this temple, listen from your heavenly dwelling. Do all that the foreigner asks of you, that all the peoples of the earth may know your name, may fear you as do your people Israel, and may acknowledge that this temple which I have built is dedicated to your honor. Whatever the direction in which you may send your people forth to war against their enemies, if they pray to you, O LORD, toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built in your honor, listen in heaven to their prayer and petition, and defend their cause." [Taken from 1KGS 8:33-45]

When Solomon finished offering this entire prayer of petition to the LORD, he rose from before the altar of the LORD, where he had been kneeling with his hands outstretched toward heaven. He stood and blessed the whole community of Israel, saying in a loud voice: "Blessed be the LORD who has given rest to his people Israel, just as he promised. Not a single word has gone unfulfilled of the entire generous promise he made through his servant Moses. May the LORD, our God, be with us as he was with our fathers and may he not forsake us nor cast us off. May he draw our hearts to himself, that we may follow him in everything and keep the commands, statutes, and ordinances which he enjoined on our fathers. May this prayer I have offered to the LORD, our God, be present to him day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and of his people Israel as each day requires, that all the peoples of the earth may know the LORD is God and there is no other. You must be wholly devoted to the LORD, our God, observing his statutes and keeping his commandments, as on this day." [1KGS 8:54-61]

The LORD said to him: "I have heard the prayer of petition which you offered in my presence. I have consecrated this temple which you have built; I confer my name upon it forever, and my eyes and my heart shall be there always." [Taken from 1KGS 9:3]

He called out to the LORD: "O LORD, my God, will you afflict even the widow with whom I am staying by killing her son?" Then he stretched himself out upon the child three times and called out to the LORD: "O LORD, my God, let the life breath return to the body of this child." The LORD heard the prayer of Elijah; the life breath returned to the child's body and he revived. Taking the child, Elijah brought him down into the house from the upper room and gave him to his mother. "See!" Elijah said to her, "your son is alive." "Now indeed I know that you are a man of God," the woman replied to Elijah. "The word of the LORD comes truly from your mouth." [1KGS 17:20-24]

Elijah was afraid and fled for his life, going to Beer-sheba of Judah. He left his servant there and went a day's journey into the desert, until he came to a broom tree and sat beneath it. He prayed for death: "This is enough, O LORD! Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers." He lay down and fell asleep under the broom tree, but then an angel touched him and ordered him to get up and eat. [1KGS 19:3-5]

When Elisha reached the house, he found the boy lying dead. He went in, closed the door on them both, and prayed to the LORD. Then he lay upon the child on the bed, placing his mouth upon the child's mouth, his eyes upon the eyes, and his hands upon the hands. As Elisha stretched himself over the child, the body became warm. He arose, paced up and down the room, and then once more lay down upon the boy, who now sneezed seven times and opened his eyes. Elisha summoned Gehazi and said, "Call the Shunammite." She came at his call, and Elisha said to her, "Take your son." She came in and fell at his feet in gratitude; then she took her son and left the room. [2KGS 4:32-37]

Early the next morning, when the attendant of the man of God arose and went out, he saw the force with its horses and chariots surrounding the city. "Alas!" he said to Elisha. "What shall we do, my lord?" "Do not be afraid," Elisha answered. "Our side outnumbers theirs." Then he prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes, that he may see." And the LORD opened the eyes of the servant, so that he saw the mountainside filled with horses and fiery chariots around Elisha. When the Arameans came down to get him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, "Strike this people blind, I pray you." And in answer to the prophet's prayer the LORD struck them blind. Then Elisha said to them: "This is the wrong road, and this is the wrong city. Follow me! I will take you to the man you want." And he led them to Samaria. When they entered Samaria, Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open their eyes that they may see." The LORD opened their eyes, and they saw that they were inside Samaria. [2KGS 6:15-20]

"Thus says Hezekiah: 'This is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace. Children are at the point of birth, but there is no strength to bring them forth. Perhaps the LORD, your God, will hear all the words of the commander, whom his master, the king of Assyria, sent to taunt the living God, and will rebuke him for the words which the LORD, your God, has heard. So send up a prayer for the remnant that is here.'" [2KGS 19:3-4]

Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; then he went up to the temple of the LORD, and spreading it out before him, he prayed in the LORD'S presence: "O LORD, God of Israel, enthroned upon the cherubim! You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made the heavens and the earth. Incline your ear, O LORD, and listen! Open your eyes, O LORD, and see! Hear the words of Sennacherib which he sent to taunt the living God. Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, and cast their gods into the fire; they destroyed them because they were not gods, but the work of human hands, wood and stone. Therefore, O LORD, our God, save us from the power of this man, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, O LORD, are God." Then Isaiah, son of Amoz, sent this message to Hezekiah: "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, in answer to your prayer for help against Sennacherib, king of Assyria: I have listened!" [Taken from 2KGS 19:14-20]

In those days, when Hezekiah was mortally ill, the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, came and said to him: "Thus says the LORD: 'Put your house in order, for you are about to die; you shall not recover.'" He turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD: "O LORD, remember how faithfully and wholeheartedly I conducted myself in your presence, doing what was pleasing to you!" And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Before Isaiah had left the central courtyard, the word of the LORD came to him: "Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people: 'Thus says the LORD, the God of your forefather David: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you. In three days you shall go up to the LORD'S temple; I will add fifteen years to your life. I will rescue you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; I will be a shield to this city for my own sake, and for the sake of my servant David.'" [2KGS 20:1-6]

Jabez was the most distinguished of the brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, "I bore him with pain." Jabez prayed to the God of Israel: "Oh, that you may truly bless me and extend my boundaries! Help me and make me free of misfortune, without pain!" And God granted his prayer. [1CHRON 4:9-10]

"Because you, O my God, have revealed to your servant that you will build him a house, your servant has made bold to pray before you. Since you, O LORD, are truly God and have promised this good thing to your servant, and since you have deigned to bless the house of your servant, so that it will remain forever - since it is you, O LORD, who blessed it, it is blessed forever." [1CHRON 17:25-27]

When David raised his eyes, he saw the angel of the LORD standing between earth and heaven, with a naked sword in his hand stretched out against Jerusalem. David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, prostrated themselves face to the ground, and David prayed to God: "Was it not I who ordered the census of the people? I am the one who sinned, I did this wicked thing. But these sheep, what have they done? O LORD, my God, strike me and my father's family, but do not afflict your people with this plague!" [1CHRON 21:16-17]

Then David blessed the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, praying in these words: "Blessed may you be, O LORD, God of Israel our father, from eternity to eternity. Yours, O LORD, are grandeur and power, majesty, splendor, and glory. For all in heaven and on earth is yours; yours, O LORD, is the sovereignty; you are exalted as head over all. Riches and honor are from you, and you have dominion over all. In your hand are power and might; it is yours to give grandeur and strength to all. Therefore, our God, we give you thanks and we praise the majesty of your name." [Taken from 1CHRON 29:10-13]

Look kindly on the prayer and petition of your servant, O LORD, my God, and listen to the cry of supplication your servant makes before you. May your eyes watch day and night over this temple, the place where you have decreed you shall be honored; may you heed the prayer which I your servant offer toward this place. [Taken from 2CHRON 6:19-20]

The LORD appeared to Solomon during the night and said to him: "I have heard your prayer, and I have chosen this place for my house of sacrifice. If I close heaven so that there is no rain, if I command the locust to devour the land, if I send pestilence among my people, and if my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my presence and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land. Now my eyes shall be open and my ears attentive to the prayer of this place. And now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever; my eyes and my heart also shall be there always." [Taken from 2CHRON 7:12-16]

Asa went out to meet him and set himself in battle array in the valley of Zephathah, near Mareshah. Asa called upon the LORD, his God, praying: "O LORD, there is none like you to help the powerless against the strong. Help us, O LORD, our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. You are the LORD, our God; let no man prevail against you." And so the LORD defeated the Ethiopians before Asa and Judah, and they fled. [2CHRON 14:9-11]

The greater part of the people, in fact, chiefly from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves. Nevertheless they ate the Passover, contrary to the prescription; for Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, "May the LORD, who is good, grant pardon to everyone who has resolved to seek God, the LORD, the God of his fathers, though he be not clean as holiness requires." The LORD heard Hezekiah and spared the people. [2CHRON 30:18-20]

There was great rejoicing in Jerusalem, for since the days of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel, there had not been the like in the city. Then the levitical priests rose and blessed the people; their voice was heard and their prayer reached heaven, God's holy dwelling. [2CHRON 30:26-27]

In a loud voice they shouted in the Judean language to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to frighten and terrify them so that they might capture their city. They spoke of the God of Israel as though he were one of the gods of the other peoples of the earth, a work of human hands. But because of this, King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah, son of Amos, prayed and called out to heaven. Then the LORD sent an angel, who destroyed every valiant warrior, leader and commander in the camp of the Assyrian king, so that he had to return shamefaced to his own country. And when he entered the temple of his god, some of his own offspring struck him down there with the sword. Thus the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib, king of Assyria, as from every other power; he gave them rest on every side. Many brought gifts for the LORD to Jerusalem and costly objects for King Hezekiah of Judah, who thereafter was exalted in the eyes of all the nations. [2CHRON 32:18-23]

In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. He prayed to the LORD, who answered him by giving him a sign. Hezekiah, however, did not then discharge his debt of gratitude, for he had become proud. Therefore anger descended upon him and upon Judah and Jerusalem. But then Hezekiah humbled himself for his pride - both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and therefore the LORD did not vent his anger on them during the time of Hezekiah. [2CHRON 32:24-26]

Therefore the LORD brought against them the army commanders of the Assyrian king; they took Manasseh with hooks, shackled him with chains, and transported him to Babylon. In this distress, he began to appease the LORD, his God. He humbled himself abjectly before the God of his fathers and prayed to him. The LORD let himself be won over: he heard his prayer and restored him to his kingdom in Jerusalem. Then Manasseh understood that the LORD is indeed God. [2CHRON 33:11-13]

The rest of the acts of Manasseh, his prayer to his God, and the words of the seers who spoke to him in the name of the LORD, the God of Israel, can be found written in the chronicles of the kings of Israel. His prayer and how his supplication was heard, all his sins and his infidelity, the sites where he built high places and erected sacred poles and carved images before he humbled himself, all can be found written down in the history of his seers. [2CHRON 33:18-19]

Then I proclaimed a fast, there by the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God to petition from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our possessions. For I would have been ashamed to ask the king for troops and horsemen to protect us against enemies along the way, since we had said to the king, "The favoring hand of our God is upon all who seek him, but his mighty wrath is against all who forsake him." So we fasted, and prayed to our God for this, and our petition was granted. [EZRA 8:21-23]

While Ezra prayed and acknowledged their guilt, weeping and prostrate before the house of God, a very large assembly of Israelites gathered about him, men, women, and children; and the people wept profusely. [EZRA 10:1]

The words of Nehemiah, the son of Hacaliah. In the month Chislev of the twentieth year, I was in the citadel of Susa when Hanani, one of my brothers, came with other men from Judah. I asked them about the Jews, the remnant preserved after the captivity, and about Jerusalem, and they answered me: "The survivors of the captivity there in the province are in great distress and under reproach. Also, the wall of Jerusalem lies breached, and its gates have been gutted with fire." When I heard this report, I began to weep and continued mourning for several days; I fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. I prayed: "O LORD, God of heaven, great and awesome God, you who preserve your covenant of mercy toward those who love you and keep your commandments, may your ear be attentive, and your eyes open, to heed the prayer which I, your servant, now offer in your presence day and night for your servants the Israelites, confessing the sins which we of Israel have committed against you, I and my father's house included. Grievously have we offended you, not keeping the commandments, the statutes, and the ordinances which you committed to your servant Moses. But remember, I pray, the promise which you gave through Moses, your servant, when you said: 'Should you prove faithless, I will scatter you among the nations; but should you return to me and carefully keep my commandments, even though your outcasts have been driven to the farthest corner of the world, I will gather them from there, and bring them back to the place which I have chosen as the dwelling place for my name.' They are your servants, your people, whom you freed by your great might and your strong hand. O Lord, may your ear be attentive to my prayer and that of all your willing servants who revere your name. Grant success to your servant this day, and let him find favor with this man"-for I was cupbearer to the king. [NEH 1:1-11]

The king asked me, "What is it, then, that you wish?" I prayed to the God of heaven and then answered the king: "If it please the king, and if your servant is deserving of your favor, send me to Judah, to the city of my ancestors' graves, to rebuild it." Then the king, and the queen seated beside him, asked me how long my journey would take and when I would return. I set a date that was acceptable to him, and the king agreed that I might go. [NEH 2:4-6]

When Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the restoration of the walls of Jerusalem was progressing - for the gaps were beginning to be closed up - they became extremely angry. Thereupon they all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and thus to throw us into confusion. We prayed to our God and posted a watch against them day and night for fear of what they might do. [NEH 4:1-3]

Grief-stricken in spirit, I groaned and wept aloud. Then with sobs I began to pray: "You are righteous, O Lord, and all your deeds are just; All your ways are mercy and truth; you are the judge of the world. And now, O Lord, may you be mindful of me, and look with favor upon me. Punish me not for my sins, nor for my inadvertent offenses, nor for those of my fathers. They sinned against you, and disobeyed your commandments. So you handed us over to plundering, exile, and death, till we were an object lesson, a byword, a reproach in all the nations among whom you scattered us. Yes, your judgments are many and true in dealing with me as my sins and those of my fathers deserve. For we have not kept your commandments, nor have we trodden the paths of truth before you. So now, deal with me as you please, and command my life breath to be taken from me, that I may go from the face of the earth into dust. It is better for me to die than to live, because I have heard insulting calumnies, and I am overwhelmed with grief. Lord, command me to be delivered from such anguish; let me go to the everlasting abode; Lord, refuse me not. For it is better for me to die than to endure so much misery in life, and to hear these insults!" [TOBIT 3:1-6]

That day she was deeply grieved in spirit. She went in tears to an upstairs room in her father's house with the intention of hanging herself. But she reconsidered, saying to herself: "No! People would level this insult against my father: 'You had only one beloved daughter, but she hanged herself because of ill fortune!' And thus would I cause my father in his old age to go down to the nether world laden with sorrow. It is far better for me not to hang myself, but to beg the Lord to have me die, so that I need no longer live to hear such insults." At that time, then, she spread out her hands, and facing the window, poured out this prayer: "Blessed are you, O Lord, merciful God! Forever blessed and honored is your holy name; may all your works forever bless you. And now, O Lord, to you I turn my face and raise my eyes. Bid me to depart from the earth, never again to hear such insults. You know, O Master, that I am innocent of any impure act with a man, And that I have never defiled my own name or my father's name in the land of my exile. I am my father's only daughter, and he has no other child to make his heir, Nor does he have a close kinsman or other relative whom I might bide my time to marry. I have already lost seven husbands; why then should I live any longer? But if it please you, Lord, not to slay me, look favorably upon me and have pity on me; never again let me hear these insults!" [TOBIT 3:10-15]

At that very time, the prayer of these two suppliants was heard in the glorious presence of Almighty God. So Raphael was sent to heal them both: to remove the cataracts from Tobit's eyes, so that he might again see God's sunlight; and to marry Raguel's daughter Sarah to Tobit's son Tobiah, and then drive the wicked demon Asmodeus from her. For Tobiah had the right to claim her before any other who might wish to marry her. In the very moment that Tobit returned from the courtyard to his house, Raguel's daughter Sarah came downstairs from her room. [TOBIT 3:16-17]

"As soon as the demon smells the odor they give off, he will flee and never again show himself near her. Then when you are about to have intercourse with her, both of you first rise up to pray. Beg the Lord of heaven to show you mercy and grant you deliverance. But do not be afraid, for she was set apart for you before the world existed. You will save her, and she will go with you. And I suppose that you will have children by her, who will take the place of brothers for you. So do not worry." When Tobiah heard Raphael say that she was his kinswoman, of his own family's lineage, he fell deeply in love with her, and his heart became set on her. [Taken from TOBIT 6:18]

When the girl's parents left the bedroom and closed the door behind them, Tobiah arose from bed and said to his wife, "My love, get up. Let us pray and beg our Lord to have mercy on us and to grant us deliverance." She got up, and they started to pray and beg that deliverance might be theirs. He began with these words: "Blessed are you, O God of our fathers; praised be your name forever and ever. Let the heavens and all your creation praise you forever." [Taken from TOBIT 8:4-5]

Prayer and fasting are good, but better than either is almsgiving accompanied by righteousness. A little with righteousness is better than abundance with wickedness. It is better to give alms than to store up gold; for almsgiving saves one from death and expiates every sin. Those who regularly give alms shall enjoy a full life; but those habitually guilty of sin are their own worst enemies. [TOBIT 12:8-10]

"I will now tell you the whole truth; I will conceal nothing at all from you. I have already said to you, 'A king's secret it is prudent to keep, but the works of God are to be made known with due honor.' I can now tell you that when you, Tobit, and Sarah prayed, it was I who presented and read the record of your prayer before the Glory of the Lord; and I did the same thing when you used to bury the dead. When you did not hesitate to get up and leave your dinner in order to go and bury the dead, I was sent to put you to the test. At the same time, however, God commissioned me to heal you and your daughter-in-law Sarah. I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who enter and serve before the Glory of the Lord." Stricken with fear, the two men fell to the ground. [TOBIT 12:11-16]

Then Tobit composed this joyful prayer: Blessed be God who lives forever, because his kingdom lasts for all ages. For he scourges and then has mercy; he casts down to the depths of the nether world, and he brings up from the great abyss. No one can escape his hand. [Taken from TOBIT 13:1-2]

Then Uzziah said to her: "All that you have said was spoken with good sense, and no one can gainsay your words. Not today only is your wisdom made evident, but from your earliest years all the people have recognized your prudence, which corresponds to the worthy dispositions of your heart. The people, however, were so tortured with thirst that they forced us to speak to them as we did, and to bind ourselves by an oath that we cannot break. But now, God-fearing woman that you are, pray for us that the Lord may send rain to fill up our cisterns, lest we be weakened still further." Then Judith said to them: "Listen to me! I will do something that will go down from generation to generation among the descendants of our race." [JDTH 8:28-32]

Judith threw herself down prostrate, with ashes strewn upon her head, and wearing nothing over her sackcloth. While the incense was being offered in the temple of God in Jerusalem that evening, Judith prayed to the Lord with a loud voice [Taken from JDTH 9:1]

"Please, please, God of my forefather, God of the heritage of Israel, Lord of heaven and earth, Creator of the waters, King of all you have created, hear my prayer! Let my guileful speech bring wound and wale on those who have planned dire things against your covenant, your holy temple, Mount Zion, and the homes your children have inherited. Let your whole nation and all the tribes know clearly that you are the god of all power and might, and that there is no other who protects the people of Israel but you alone." [Taken from JDTH 9:12-14]

Then the servants of Holofernes led her into the tent, where she slept till midnight. In the night watch just before dawn, she rose and sent this message to Holofernes, "Give orders, my lord, to let your handmaid go out for prayer." So Holofernes ordered his bodyguard not to hinder her. Thus she stayed in the camp three days. Each night she went out to the ravine of Bethulia, where she washed herself at the spring of the camp. After bathing, she besought the Lord, the God of Israel, to direct her way for the triumph of his people. Then she returned purified to the tent, and remained there until her food was brought to her toward evening. [JDTH 12:5-9]

Judith was left alone in the tent with Holofernes, who lay prostrate on his bed, for he was sodden with wine. She had ordered her maid to stand outside the bedroom and wait, as on the other days, for her to come out; she said she would be going out for her prayer. To Bagoas she had said this also. When all had departed, and no one, small or great, was left in the bedroom, Judith stood by Holofernes' bed and said within herself: "O Lord, God of all might, in this hour look graciously on my undertaking for the exaltation of Jerusalem; now is the time for aiding your heritage and for carrying out my design to shatter the enemies who have risen against us." [JDTH 13:2-5]

Recalling all that the Lord had done, he prayed to him and said: "O Lord God, almighty King, all things are in your power, and there is no one to oppose you in your will to save Israel. You made heaven and earth and every wonderful thing under the heavens. You are Lord of all, and there is no one who can resist you, Lord. You know all things. You know, O Lord, that it was not out of insolence or pride or desire for fame that I acted thus in not bowing down to the proud Haman. Gladly would I have kissed the soles of his feet for the salvation of Israel. But I acted as I did so as not to place the honor of man above that of God. I will not bow down to anyone but you, my Lord. It is not out of pride that I am acting thus. And now, Lord God, King, God of Abraham, spare your people, for our enemies plan our ruin and are bent upon destroying the inheritance that was yours from the beginning. Do not spurn your portion, which you redeemed for yourself out of Egypt. Hear my prayer; have pity on your inheritance and turn our sorrow into joy: thus we shall live to sing praise to your name, O Lord. Do not silence those who praise you." All Israel, too, cried out with all their strength, for death was staring them in the face. [ESTH C:1-11]

Then she prayed to the Lord, the God of Israel, saying: "My Lord, our King, you alone are God. Help me, who am alone and have no help but you, for I am taking my life in my hand." [Taken from ESTH C:14-15]

On the third day, putting an end to her prayers, she took off her penitential garments and arrayed herself in her royal attire. In making her state appearance, after invoking the all-seeing God and savior, she took with her two maids; on the one she leaned gently for support, while the other followed her, bearing her train. She glowed with the perfection of her beauty and her countenance was as joyous as it was lovely, though her heart was shrunk with fear. [ESTH D:1-5]

Judas and his brothers saw that the situation had become critical now that armies were encamped within their territory; they knew of the orders which the king had given to destroy and utterly wipe out the people. So they said to one another, "Let us restore our people from their ruined estate, and fight for our people and our sanctuary!" The assembly gathered together to prepare for battle and to pray and implore mercy and compassion. Jerusalem was uninhabited, like a desert; not one of her children entered or came out. The sanctuary was trampled on, and foreigners were in the citadel; it was a habitation of Gentiles. Joy had disappeared from Jacob, and the flute and the harp were silent. Thus they assembled and went to Mizpah near Jerusalem, because there was formerly at Mizpah a place of prayer for Israel. That day they fasted and wore sackcloth; they sprinkled ashes on their heads and tore their clothes. [Taken from 1MACC 3:42-47]

Seeing that the army was strong, he prayed thus: "Blessed are you, O Savior of Israel, who broke the rush of the mighty one by the hand of your servant David and delivered the camp of the Philistines into the hand of Jonathan, the son of Saul, and his armor-bearer. Give this army into the hands of your people Israel; make them ashamed of their troops and their cavalry. Strike them with fear, weaken the boldness of their strength, and let them tremble at their own destruction. Strike them down by the sword of those who love you, that all who know your name may hymn your praise." Then they engaged in battle, and about five thousand of Lysias' men fell in hand-to-hand fighting. [1MACC 4:30-34]

When Judas perceived that the struggle had begun and that the noise of the battle was resounding to heaven with trumpet blasts and loud shouting, he said to the men of his army, "Fight for our kinsmen today." He came up behind them with three columns blowing their trumpets and shouting in prayer. When the army of Timothy realized that it was Maccabeus, they fell back before him, and he inflicted on them a crushing defeat. About eight thousand of their men fell that day. [1MACC 5:31-34]

The priests, however, went in and stood before the altar and the sanctuary. They wept and said: "You have chosen this house to bear your name, to be a house of prayer and petition for your people. Take revenge on this man and his army, and let them fall by the sword. Remember their blasphemies, and do not let them continue." Nicanor left Jerusalem and pitched his camp at Beth-horon, where the Syrian army joined him. But Judas camped in Adasa with three thousand men. Here Judas uttered this prayer: "When they who were sent by the king blasphemed, your angel went out and killed a hundred and eighty-five thousand of them. In the same way, crush this army before us today, and let the rest know that Nicanor spoke wickedly against your sanctuary; judge him according to his wickedness." The armies met in battle on the thirteenth day of the month Adar. Nicanor's army was crushed, and he himself was the first to fall in the battle. When his army saw that Nicanor was dead, they threw down their arms and fled. [1MACC 7:36-44]

All of Jonathan's men fled; no one stayed except the army commanders Mattathias, son of Absalom, and Judas, son of Chalphi. Jonathan tore his clothes, threw earth on his head, and prayed. Then he went back to the combat and so overwhelmed the enemy that they took to flight. [1MACC 11:70-72]

May he hear your prayers, and be reconciled to you, and never forsake you in time of adversity. [2MACC 1:5]

Even now we are praying for you here. [2MACC 1:6]

In the reign of Demetrius, the year one hundred and sixty-nine, we Jews wrote to you during the trouble and violence that overtook us in those years after Jason and his followers had revolted against the holy land and the kingdom, setting fire to the gatehouse and shedding innocent blood. But we prayed to the Lord, and our prayer was heard [Taken from 2MACC 1:7-8]

The prayer was as follows: "Lord, Lord God, creator of all things, awesome and strong, just and merciful, the only king and benefactor, who alone are gracious, just, almighty, and eternal, Israel's savior from all evil, who chose our forefathers and sanctified them: accept this sacrifice on behalf of all your people Israel and guard and sanctify your heritage. Gather together our scattered people, free those who are the slaves of the Gentiles, look kindly on those who are despised and detested, and let the Gentiles know that you are our God. Punish those who tyrannize over us and arrogantly mistreat us. Plant your people in your holy place, as Moses promised." Then the priests began to sing hymns. [2MACC 1:24-30]

When Jeremiah arrived there, he found a room in a cave in which he put the tent, the ark, and the altar of incense; then he blocked up the entrance. Some of those who followed him came up intending to mark the path, but they could not find it. When Jeremiah heard of this, he reproved them: "The place is to remain unknown until God gathers his people together again and shows them mercy. Then the Lord will disclose these things, and the glory of the Lord will be seen in the cloud, just as it appeared in the time of Moses and when Solomon prayed that the Place might be gloriously sanctified." [2MACC 2:5-8]

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