What to Pray for: Looking at the Psalms
Written by: Weston Schnetz
Have you ever struggled with knowing what to pray for? Or maybe even wondering how to pray in the first place? Like any relationship, there are times when it can be hard to know what to say to God, which often leads to a long laundry list of wants or simply not praying at all.
I think we all have gone through this, or are currently in it. For me, it can be hard to remember to pray while being constantly distracted throughout my day. Sometimes we can go for days without even acknowledging our Creator and Savior.
My goal in this is to give three types of prayers we can always have prepared for times when we may struggle knowing what to say. These three prayers can and should be prayed every day. There won’t come a day when they will be quenched of their necessity. Sometimes it’s just starting the conversation that is hard, and having a place to start can help guide your prayers. The more you pray, the easier it will become and the greater impact it will have on your life.
Pray with Adoration
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
There is always a reason to bring praise and adoration to God! Not a day goes by that He is not worthy of all the praise we have to give. It is important for this to always be on our minds; for not a day goes by that we likewise are unworthy before Him, yet He has chosen to save us. By daily going to God in adoration, we will always be reminded of His goodness and our need for Him. If nothing else, praise God daily for revealing His glory by means of saving you in your trespasses and sins.
— Also see Psalm 19:5 —
Pray against Sin
Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! Do not let my heart incline to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds in company with men who work iniquity, and let me not eat of their delicacies!
One of the best things you can do with your sin is acknowledge it before God in prayer. There is no truly hiding it and we know that God is “faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). But we should not only acknowledge and ask for forgiveness for past sins, but pray for the future as well. We are hit daily with all types of temptation and should, thus, be praying daily for the strength and wisdom to navigate life. God has given us the ability to do so. When we are consistently going to God for help, He will grant it. It’s much easier to withstand temptation and remember the heart of God when we are frequently talking with Him and asking for wisdom.
— Also see Psalm 32:5-7 —
Pray for Evangelism
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!
When we think about the graciousness of God and the forgiveness that He has shown us, it should drive us to share it. Although this is something that often does not come naturally and can be difficult to do, the message of the gospel is too great to be held back by our emotions! We come in contact with people every single day. People who need to hear of the saving power of God. Pray for the strength and opportunity to share that message and spread that saving power across the nations so that others may also come to adore God and be cleansed from all unrighteousness. Our prayer should be for God to be praised by all people and for us to have the ability to play a part in making that happen. I find that when this is the desire of my heart and I pray to this end, the opportunities seem to reveal themselves. We just have to be willing to seek after God and ask for the strength to proclaim the message.
Hopefully through these three simple daily prayers you may gain a heart of continual prayer and grow in the grace of our God. Prayer is not something reserved for the high and mighty, it is a way for you to relationally reach out to God. God has spoken to us through His words. This is our way to speak back–to thank, praise, confess, ask, plead, and simply commune with God. So take the time, whether in the morning, at work, while driving, before eating, while showering, or whenever it may be, to daily lift up a prayer to God. Start with these three prayers and go from there.