How to Pray When You Don’t Know What to Pray

This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.  1 John 5:14-15 

When I pray, I want my prayers to count, don’t you?  I want to know that I am praying for the things Jesus would ask for (that’s what it means to pray in His name) and not what I want.  I don’t know if God wants to heal a person, keep them alive, or deliver them from the trials they are facing. In fact, it frustrates me to figure out how to pray on their behalf, because I don’t know what God wants to do in their life.  So, rather than asking God for things that may or may not be in His will, I choose to pray God’s Word back to Him on their behalf.  Praying Scripture gives me confidence that I am asking for the things that Jesus would ask for.

Praying for my friends and family this morning, I prayed from Colossians 1:9-12

So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you.  We ask God to give you complete knowledge of His will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.  Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit.  All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.  We also pray that you will be strengthened with all His glorious power so that you will have all the endurance and patience you need.  May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. 

  • Lord, give ______________ complete knowledge of Your will.
  • God, please give ___________ spiritual wisdom and understanding.
  • Lord, help _____________to honor and please You.
  • Father, I pray for good fruit to be produced in _____________ life.
  • Father, I pray _____________ will grow as they learn to know You better and better.
  • I also pray that ____________ will be strengthened with all of Your glorious power.
  • Grace _____________ with endurance and patience.
  • Please fill ______________  with joy and thanksgiving to God the Father.

I have also found praying Scripture for myself, keeps me from focusing on “when is God going to answer my prayer?”  Instead, my focus is on praying for His will, hungering for more spiritual wisdom and understanding, honoring and pleasing Him while I wait on His answer, producing the fruit of the Spirit in my life, growing as I learn to know Him better and better, depending on His strength, growing in endurance and patience, asking Him to fill me with His joy and being thankful.  Whether or not God heals someone, allows them to live, or delivers them from the trial they are in, I believe, while they wait for His answer, He will do good work in their life, too.

2014.18.14 praying hands

4 thoughts on “How to Pray When You Don’t Know What to Pray

  1. Thanks Deborah. This is great wisdom you have shared with us. Praying the scriptures is always a wise thing to do. Also thanks for the examples you provided. I filled in the blanks with my daughter’s name. ❤️

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  2. Such a lovely post! I love the examples of prayer points you have given and the reminder that when we feel as though our prayers are/may be stabbing at the dark, we have the light of His Word that we can pray over ourselves and each other.


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