10 Things to Pray When You Don’t Know What to Pray

Sometimes it’s not clear how we should pray. We know we need to pray, but it’s not always obvious what we should be praying about.

For those who are new to their faith, prayer can seem intimidating and overwhelming.

  • How do I talk to God?
  • Are there things I’m supposed to say?
  • Are there things I shouldn’t say?

For those who have been in a relationship with the Lord for years, prayer can still be challenging. It can get repetitive, feel useless, or seem to lose its power.

So what do we do when we need new things to pray?
How we can we re-energize our prayer lives?

Here are 10 things to pray when you don’t know what to pray:

1. Praise God for who He is

Pick an attribute of God and thank Him for it. Look for verses in your Bible that highlight that aspect of His character and pray through the Scripture. Praying the Scriptures is one of the absolute best ways to pray, especially when we don’t know exactly what to pray for or how to pray. Praising Him can help prepare our hearts and minds for further prayer, to be transparent before Him and to hear from Him.

2. Thank God for His provisions

Think of ways the Lord has specifically provided for you in the past week and thank Him for those things. Think outside the box and thank Him for the things that you take for granted in life. So often we enter prayer with a mindset of sharing with God our needs and desires, but keep in mind that our Heavenly Father loves to hear our gratitude for all the ways He has blessed us already.

3. Ask Him to speak to you clearly

Pour your heart out to the Lord and ask Him that you’d be able to distinguish His voice when He’s directing you to do something.

4. Ask God to bring things to mind for you to pray about

Quiet your heart and ask the Lord to bring anything or anyone to mind that He would have you pray about. We tell ourselves that we’ll pray about things all the time that we forget about, and it’s amazing how the Lord will bring things to mind and prioritize how we should pray when we ask. 

5. Pray that God would bring any unconfessed sin and unforgiveness in your heart to mind

Scripture says that it is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4) and that others will know we are Christians by our love (John 13:35). Pray that God will reveal any unconfessed sin that you need to repent of, and anyone whom you need to forgive that is standing in the way of you fully loving others. I find that talking with God at the end of each day specifically often highlights my bad attitudes, careless words, and the wrong motives of my heart. When you talk with the Lord about these things openly, it’s very hard to justify the reasons why you’re allowing these sins to creep into your life, and it’s been a game changer for me in my own walk with the Lord.

6. Pray that you would be able to know His will

The Lord created you with a plan and a purpose for your life. Ask Him to make the plan for that day clear to you. God longs for our hearts to be quickened to the desires of His spirit, and we enjoy peace and contentment when we walk according to His will for our lives.

7. Ask Him to help you obey Him joyfully

I read once that obedience is God’s love language. The Lord loves joyful obedience from His children, but we often walk in fear, rebellion, and distrust, because we have a natural desire to be in control of our own lives. But if we can remember that He is perfectly loving, good, and wise, then we won’t be able to help but obey Him joyfully.

8. Pray for courage to be a light where you are

Without God’s strength and direction, it’s difficult to stand strong against spiritual attack and to shine bright to the glory of God. We live in very dark times, and we are called to be a light in dark places. Pray that God will infuse you with courage to let your light shine, so that you can have a positive impact for the kingdom in your area of influence.

9. Pray for unity and love to be increased among God’s people

In John 17:11, we find Jesus praying that His disciples will be one, just as He and the Father are one. We can pray for the same. No matter what we’re facing in life that might seem confusing, praying for the unity of the brethren is an excellent way to pray as Jesus prayed and to help keep our focus on Christ—not on our circumstances.

10. Pray and ask God to mature you in wisdom and faith

It can be very easy to become complacent when things are going well, or to focus on our struggle rather than our growth when difficulties befall us. It takes wisdom to discern truth, and I don’t think I’ve ever met a believer who feels like they have more than enough faith. So when we don’t know how else to pray, we can pray for increased wisdom and faith—not only for ourselves but also for the Body of Christ.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. | Ephesians 6:18

There are so many other things that you could pray when you don’t know what to pray, but hopefully this will give you a place to start. I’m sure that once you start, God will bring other things to mind.

I’d love to hear other things you pray for when you aren’t sure what to pray in the comments below.

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