God wants His children to bring their prayer requests to Him. When we request something from God for ourselves, our prayers are considered petitions to God.  When are pray or request something on behalf of other people, our prayers are considered supplications, also known as intercessory prayers.

Prayers of supplication and petition are part of the spiritual battles all Christians must engage in. Paul encouraged Christians to take up the “full armor of God” and to remain alert and pray in the Spirit, “making supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:13-18). He taught Christians that to remain faithful in prayer is the key to ensuring that the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

In the New Testament, Jesus taught the disciples a prayer of supplication when He told them to ask God to give them their daily bread (Matthew 6:11).  It has been suggested that the best way to pray a prayer of supplication is to ask God for what you want, like a child would ask their Father – but end your request with, “Your will be done” and fully surrender to His will (Matthew 26:39). Jesus also teaches us not to give up on praying for our needs (Luke 18:1-8).  In the book of James, we find a balance: on the one hand, we don’t receive because we don’t ask; and on the other hand, we ask and don’t receive because we are thinking only of our fleshly desires (James 4:2-3).

The most crucial aspect of prayers of supplication and petition is having faith in the Lord. Children of God must have the Holy Spirit to intercede in their prayers on their behalf. Christians often do not know what or how to pray when we approach our Heavenly Father. He graciously sent His Spirit to intercede and pray for us and to interpret our prayers of supplication and petition. This is God’s way of leading and guiding His children in their prayer life as He sustains them before His mighty throne of grace (Romans 8:28).