In the social media world the words “I’m praying for you” are used for everything from job hunting to being in a car accident to going into surgery to doing well on a test. Prayer requests at church meetings and Bible studies often focus on health and personal safety.
One of the greatest things one Christian can do for another is to pray for them, but what should we pray? Prayer is personal communication with God, so what should we say to God on behalf of another Christian? What would God want us to request?
What we need to know about prayer is described and modeled in the Bible. Here are some examples we can follow in our own prayer time, beginning with the Master of Prayer.
“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” Matthew 5:44
“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” Matthew 6:5-9
“Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38
“Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 14:13-14
“ Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called His disciples toHimself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles.” Luke 6:12-13
“Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. So He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: 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.” Luke 11:1-4
“When He came to the place, He said to them, ‘Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Luke 22:40
“And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may siftyou as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Luke 22:31-32
“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:15-17
“I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” John 17:14-16
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” John 17:20-23
Jesus was a true Prayer Warrior. He prayed every day, often for hours at a time. Prayer to Christ was spiritual fuel – filled with supernatural power. He prayed for His disciples and for those who would believe on His Word through the disciples.
Jesus was focused on doing the most important thing – fulfilling His Father’s Will. He made it abundantly clear to His followers that He had come from Heaven for the express purpose of doing just that.
“ All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:38-40
That was His prayer in the Garden before His arrest – “nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42) Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.” He made it very personal and told His disciples that “whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:50)
May we follow Jesus’ example in both prayer and commitment to do the will of God.