How to Pray When You’re Not Sure How to Pray

Prayer. Easy or hard? Have you ever heard kids pray? They seem to have it down. There are times I envy their faith and simplicity!

But what about when it’s our turn to pray for something in our lives or the life of a someone else? And the words just don’t come. What do I do now?

I have good news for us! When we don’t know what to pray, God says He can even help with that.

Romans 8:26-27: 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. And the Father Who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.

That’s great to know! God’s not disappointed in me. And I can pray in my heart. But there are many times when our prayers need to be heard and shared. What can I pray to encourage others and myself?

Pray God’s promises.

Our Lord says that He is always with us, and He has promised to lead us through every life situation. God knows your need … and … has what you need. Praying is expressing my faith and hope in God.

The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. Psalm 23:1

Pray God’s peace.

Jesus walked on earth like we do. He understands that life is full of decisions (stresses) and worries. Our faithful God wants to exchange our pressures for His peace. Let God do His work in you so He can do something great for you. Learning to rest in Him is never wasted time. Praying is letting God be in control of my life.

He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams. Psalm 23:2

Pray (for) God’s strength.

Sometimes life can suck us dry. Nothing is outside of God’s power. Bad night’s sleep? Ask Him for the energy to get through your daily responsibilities. A heavy heart? Know that He can lift your spirit. Praying is knowing that our loving Lord will help us to achieve His best in us.

He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name. Psalm 23:3

Pray God’s comfort.

Even when our hurt is so deep and our fears are so high, what a welcome relief God’s care is. He is our Healer. Prayer is trusting that God will carry me beyond any disappointment, any despair.

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for You are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. Psalm 23:4

Pray God’s purpose.

God’s plan overcomes our hopelessness. Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees, and we sure don’t know the future. But God does and He watches over you wherever you go. Nothing that is happening to you is a surprise to God. Praying is accepting His wisdom to guide my every step.

You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Psalm 23:5

Pray for God’s next steps.

Isn’t it good to know that God can take any mess and make it His new message? Some people say that “God won’t give you more than you can handle,” but the real truth is that God won’t give you more than HE can handle. You are not alone. The Lord is committed to you. Praying is believing God good is ahead in my life.

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:6

Pastor Jud Wilhite says: Where do you need to lean in to God and allow Him to lead you? He hasn’t abandoned you. He is with you, and He is for you, no matter what this world throws at you. Praying is knowing that God has something better than what I could ever do. Don’t miss what He wants to do in you and through you!

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He Who promised is faithful [Hebrews 10.23, NASB]

Oh, and by the way, if you have young kids or grandkids at home … pray with them. You’ll learn a lot!

For other Bible promises, read Matthew 11:28-30; Psalms 29,121,139; Philippians 4:6-7; Isaiah 26:3; 2 Corinthians 1:3-11; Ephesians 3:14-21.

You can get prayer and pray for others on our Hope Nation Prayer Wall.

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July 19, 2020 7:47 pm

I really like this article on prayer. I especially like the section on pray for next steps. What an awesome reminder that God is in control of our lives and nothing is impossible for Him.

Deborah Hynds
Deborah Hynds
March 4, 2022 1:26 pm

I needed to hear this today. I have problems praying out loud. Pray

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