What to Pray When You Don't Know What to Pray


When we face difficult circumstances and painful life situations in our life sometimes people just don’t know how to pray.   Instead of letting the battles we are facing put out the fire of prayer we need to pray and not give up.

Here are five things to pray when you don’t know what to pray -

 1. Pray a Prayer of Praise 

Some times a prayer of praise is the most powerful prayer we can pray.  There are great prayers of praise written in the scriptures that we can use.  I like to use these in my prayer time.

I will praise the Lord at all times.   I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the Lord;   let all who are helpless take heart.Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;  let us exalt his name together.I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;  no shadow of shame will darken their faces. In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles. For the angel of the Lord is a guard;  he surrounds and defends all who fear him. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. 10 Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,  but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing. (Psalm 34)
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High. It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening, accompanied by a ten-stringed instrument, a harp, and the melody of a lyre. You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done. O Lord, what great works you do! And how deep are your thoughts. Only a simpleton would not know, and only a fool would not understand this: Though the wicked sprout like weeds and evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever. But you, O Lord, will be exalted forever. Your enemies, Lord, will surely perish;   all evildoers will be scattered. 10 But you have made me as strong as a wild ox. You have anointed me with the finest oil. (Psalm 92)
I will exalt you, my God and King,   and praise your name forever and ever. I will praise you every day;   yes, I will praise you forever. 3 Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure his greatness. 4 Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power. I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles. Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue; I will proclaim your greatness. Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness;  they will sing with joy about your righteousness. 8 The Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. 9 The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation. 10 All of your works will thank you, Lord, and your faithful followers will praise you. (Psalm 145)

2. Pray for Someone Else 

Don’t get stuck on your own fears and problems.  Take your focus and pray for those you know who need God’s help.  This would be a great time to pray for others who are facing similar problems that you are having.

We tend to have great empathy for people who are going through the same issues we are going through, whether it’s financial problems, disease or relationship problems.  “We can feel their pain.”

3. Ask Someone to Pray for You 

You will be amazed, when you reach out to some genuine friends, how people will step up to the request and genuinely take your situation on in prayer.

4. Read Prayers or Promises from the Bible Out Loud

The Bible shows us the powerful prayers of others or the promises that believers have relied on with great results.

The Lord is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,  so why should I tremble?When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.  3 Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid.  Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident. The one thing I ask of the Lord   the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,  delighting in the Lord’s perfections   and meditating in his Temple.  5 For he will conceal me there when troubles come;  he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock. Then I will hold my head high above my enemies who surround me.  At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,   singing and praising the Lord with music.  7 Hear me as I pray, O Lord.  Be merciful and answer me! My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”    And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”  9 Do not turn your back on me. Do not reject your servant in anger. You have always been my helper. Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me, O God of my salvation!  10 Even if my father and mother abandon me,  the Lord will hold me close.  11 Teach me how to live, O Lord. Lead me along the right path,  for my enemies are waiting for me.  12 Do not let me fall into their hands.   For they accuse me of things I’ve never done;    with every breath they threaten me with violence.  13 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness  while I am here in the land of the living.  14 Wait patiently for the Lord.    Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.  (Psalm 27)
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High  will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;  he is my God, and I trust him. 3 For he will rescue you from every trap  and protect you from deadly disease.  4 He will cover you with his feathers.  He will shelter you with his wings.  His faithful promises are your armor and protection. 5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,  nor the arrow that flies in the day. 6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday.  7 Though a thousand fall at your side,  though ten thousand are dying around you,  these evils will not touch you.  8 Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished. 9 If you make the Lord your refuge,  if you make the Most High your shelter, 10 no evil will conquer you;  no plague will come near your home. 11 For he will order his angels  to protect you wherever you go. 12 They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. 13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;  you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet! 14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.  I will protect those who trust in my name. 15 When they call on me, I will answer;   I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. 16 I will reward them with a long life    and give them my salvation.” (Psalm 91)

5. Create a “Go-To” Prayer 

When times are good and you are feeling strong in your faith, take some time to compile a prayer that covers the needs people have in troubled time.  Jesus taught his disciples a model of prayer that we call, “The Lord’s Prayer.”  Write something similar for yourself.  Build a prayer that covers your trust in God, asks for His guidance about His will, wisdom, and peace and establishes your reliance on His protection and provision.  

Pray a prayer that reminds you that the Lord is your shepherd or guide and that

You trust Him because He can be trusted.

Grant MuirheadComment