What do I pray for? I’ve examined my concept of God. I accept that God loves me, wants me to love him, and rewards those who seek Him. I’ve discussed belief. Now, what do I pray for, or what should I pray for? Before I give my answer, my opinion of course, to this matter, lets return to my concept of God, here emphasis cannot be stressed enough. When I pray, I stand in the presence of God. This mindset itself answers many prayers.
Most days I use a set of passages to prepare for a day of prayer. The passages that I use to remind me of my relationship with God, his nature, how he sees me, and how my prayers fit within this frame can be found here: Passages to Begin Prayer. Several appear in the previous post about prayer: What is Your Concept of God?
A tendency to compartmentalize life, organizing life around the secular and religious, or worse “mine” and His, creates unnecessary confusion in life and works against a state of abiding in Him. If I want to move toward abiding, continue reading. I admit this post and most of the others I’ve written on prayer are to remind me to stand before God asking like a child feeling utterly empty handed but trustingly desperate, only able to do so because of the cross.
What Do I Pray For? Everything
So, to continue, what do I pray for? Simple. Everything. Yes, pray for everything on my heart, everything that troubles me, everything I feel critical toward, everything that causes me anxiety, everything that I think I need, everything that angers me, everything that causes me joy. Everything. All of it. When I have the thought, ‘what do I pray for?’ I should take it all to God. Even the question, “what do I pray for?” Let Him help me sort out and see the really important. Let Him teach me and help me align who I am with who he wants me to become. Regular prayer enables me to submit my will to abiding in Him and transformation.
This, when I practice regularly, enables me to discover and allow the Spirit to burn away all that isn’t essential to my relationship with God. Of course I have material needs. God will take care of those things. First he wants me to love and want him more than all things. When I understand that I have that in Jesus Christ, much becomes very clear.
Sometimes in very dark and painfully emotional places reaching out to Him seems impossible to articulate. Pray for help. Breathe, hold out the knot of pain and ask for his help. It isn’t necessary that I breakdown the complexities of the knot. He will cut through it. Sometimes I need to pray just be able to utter a prayer. As long as something weighs heavily upon me in despair or desire, I need to keep it in prayer.
Outcomes and Considerations:
- If what I ask deviates from his will for me, I’ll receive clarity. If I continue, he will teach me his will and what he wants me to see and learn.
- The timing aligns with my maturing as a disciple or the other circumstances and people that need to align. I mustn’t give up. I must keep praying.
- If what I want interferes with his plan and intentions for others. I will pray for wisdom and ask how I can help serve his will.
- Sometimes for the answer to prayer, God must remove a whole mountain range not just my personal mountain. I will continue and pray for patience, understanding, and direction.
- Frequently, I don’t recognize the answer because I focus too much on the method or the how or a very narrow specific outcome. I’ll ask for the ability to recognize his answer when it comes, and ask him to help me let go of narrow specific expectations, open myself to his will, and expect possibly something better.
- Slowly, steadily, surely I will become more honest with God and myself. Often for me to see prayer answered and to have a sense of peace, I must go through a long period of stripping away delusions about myself.
So if someone asks me, what do I pray for or what should I pray for. I tell them, everything. Take it all to God.
What I Pray for Defines my Relationship with God and My Relationship with God Defines what I Pray for
My relationship with God defines the all encompassing purpose of prayer. Whatever I pray for myself or others, I ‘pray through it.’ Band aids on the problem, a temporary solution, or just an answer to the immediate need depend too much on the wisdom of man rather than the power of God. Praying though means letting go of common sense or the wisdom of man and depending on God’s miraculous power. Make sure “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” – 1 Corinthians 2:5 KJV
If I seek just a band aid and then I probably won’t receive an answer. Prayer does not work like magic for me to use in order to get what I want, so I can go along and continue doing what I want holding on to “mine.” Often prayer means transformation to fulfill God’s given purpose. Always prayer will change me, so that even if my life seems the same, I will see it differently.
There may be some sin in my life that needs confession and repentance. I may not see it at first. Praying the General Confession can help as a starting point to make me aware of something blocking my relationship with God. Deep seated delusions and misconceptions can also be revealed in Christian meditation especially if hidden under layers of fear. See Christian Meditation.
Prayer means moving forward in my relationship with God. The immediate pressing need or circumstance wakes me up. I need to pay attention and step on the stone, to the next one, and the next. I must ask for the lesson. Speak Lord. The relationship and moving beyond the immediate teaches me the real function of prayer. I will pray for my need and the needs of others as related to praying through the immediate and moving closer to God. Oswald Chambers calls this ‘praying through.’
Remember the passage some call God’s phone number: “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” – Jeremiah 33:3 KJV