Allaboutprayer.org outlines biblical prayers that we can say for other people.
Notice the varying topics of biblical prayers:
- Wisdom and power: Ephesians 1:18-19a (NLT) says, "I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope [God] has given to those [God] called—[God’s] holy people who are [God’s] rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe.”
- Strength and knowledge of God's love: Ephesians 3:16-19 (TNIV) says, "I pray that out of [God’s] glorious riches [God] may strengthen you with power through [the] Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
- Discernment: Philippians 1:9-11 (NKJV) says, " And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God."
- Spiritual understanding and knowing God's will: Colossians 1:9 (The Message) says, "Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven't stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to [God’s] will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works."
- Steadfastness: 2 Thessalonians 3:5 (NLT) says, "May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ."
When reading those biblical prayers, you may think, "I can't pray that fluently." When praying, do not worry about how your prayer is phrased. Our communication to God should be just as you would talk to your friends or family. Pray for others whenever you think of them (at work, home, doing chores, in the car). Soon, praying for others will become a part of your daily life!
Who should we pray for? We may already pray for our friends and family members. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 (The Message) says, "The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation." Who are some of the leaders we can pray for—in our government, schools, churches, and community outreach organizations?
Jesus also tells us in Matthew 5:44 (WE) to "Love your enemies. Ask God to do good to those who trouble you." How does it make you feel to be asked to pray for your enemies? Who are your enemies—those you argue with at work, those who promote hate and fear, those who stand for things you disagree with? How can you pray for them? What benefits could there be to praying for people whose actions or ideas make your blood boil?
Part of praying is broadening our perspective and opening our eyes to the people who God loves. My grandmother taught me to pray whenever I heard a siren. What other everyday events can we use to prompt us to pray for others—to look outside ourselves and see the people God sees?
Sometimes our prayers are filled with frustration. One thing we can ask God when we're angry or overwhelmed is "What is my part in this?" We can ask God to show us a way to react differently, intervene, or take further action.