Now that we know Who to pray to and Who to pray for, the next questions are:
What things do we pray for?
It’s one thing to step up in front of a group and suddenly your mind goes blank; what a horrible feeling! But there is no reason for your mind to blank out with God. The Bible is full of examples on what to pray. So if we can’t think up a few things on our own we can follow the examples given to us until we feel more comfortable.
These verses are in no particular order. I used the NLT and NKJV. My own thoughts are in [brackets].
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.
[God provides a way for us to pray even when our minds cannot focus. That is how important prayer is for us.]
…for all believers everywhere.
[Can’t think of something to pray? Pray for believers everywhere.]
I pray that your love will overflow more and more and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.
[Pray for friends and loved ones, people who have just accepted Christ and new in the Christian walk.]
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other…
[It’s important to live in truth, in the light. Confessing your sins lifts a weight off your shoulder, there’s no reason to hide from the truth anymore, no reason to hide from God. Letting one other person know gives you an advantage over sin because suddenly it’s not just you fighting to overcome the sin on your own, it’s whoever you’ve confided in as well. They fight for you, support you, hold you accountable, and lift you up to God.]
Paul replied, “Whether quickly or not, I pray to God that both you and everyone here in this audience might become the same as I am, except for these chains.”
[Paul counted it all joy to suffer for Christ. He was saved, facing eternal life in heaven with God, and forgiven of his sins. This is what he prays for all, that they become like him.]
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
[No matter what translation or version of the Bible you choose, this prayer taught to the disciples by Jesus, covers pretty much everything. We pray to God, our Father. We offer up praise. We acknowledge His authority and respect His will. We ask for spiritual food and forgiveness and protection. Whenever you don’t know what to pray, you can pray this prayer as is or in your own words, tack on anything else that’s weighing you down. God is listening.]
“Pray that the LORD your God will show us what to do and where to go.”
[You can ask God to guide you. God will fill you with the words to say, the path to walk, and tasks for your hands.]
The Bible has a lot of examples of what to pray. There are no hard and fast rules here. Pour your heart out to God. You can’t screw it up. Not every prayer gets a “Yes” answer. Some are a “No” and some are “Not yet”. God knows what is in our hearts and because He sees the past, present, future all at the same time, He knows the right path for us to walk, always. He may not always keep up from harm, but we can be sure he will never leave us and that if harm is allowed, it has a purpose.
The start of any relationship is the first “hello”.
You can simply say, “Hi God, I’m here.”