Have you ever felt like you don’t pray enough? You want to pray, but somehow, time slips by and you just never pray. Partly because you really aren’t sure about prayer. And partly because you don’t feel spiritual enough to believe God will hear and answer your prayers.
One day, when asking the Lord to help me grow in my prayer life, He instructed me to daily call out names in prayer – beginning with my family and close friends.
At first, I could swim every day at 7:30, so prayed as I swam laps. That door closed, but the Lord opened a different door. Habits help me be faithful, so I ground each morning, sipping hot water as I pray through my list of people. Over the years, it has increased to include orphans, hurting people I have met, ministries, and countries.
“The fashioning of an intercessor, begins not so much with a burden to pray, as with a burden to love.” -Dick Eastman
How to Get Started With Daily Prayer
The important thing about prayer is you have to begin!
Decide to set aside a specific time to meet with the Lord and intercede for others.
Jesus said, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Step 1: Begin praying for those in your Jerusalem:
A good principle is to begin at home. Pray for those you know and love – your family, neighbors, pastor & his wife, and friends. Add those you work and worship with.
Step 2: Then in Judea:
After you pray for loved ones, pray for current needs in your county, city, and state. Pray for God’s will to be done in your country.
Step 3: Lift your eyes to Samaria:
The Lord set the standard high. “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matt 5:44).
You and I are called to pray for people who don’t like us or rub us the wrong way.
It is never easy to pray for individuals, groups, political parties or countries we disagree with or don’t like. Look at the person or people as individuals God created in His own image.
Lay aside labels that divide. See them as individuals of great value who Jesus died for.
Step 4: And then the uttermost parts of the world:
What people group do you pray for? What country is daily in your prayers? Do you pray for a missionary or a national believer? Those are all excellent things to do.
For example, Ukraine is on our hearts because of the terrible war.
Did you know many different ethnic groups live in Ukraine? Check out this great resource to pray for unreached peoples in Ukraine.
- Because of the war, many of these people have suffered and been displaced.
- Pray the powers of darkness raging against this people be bound in Jesus’ name.
- Ask the Lord to confuse the plans of the enemy by bringing blessing in the place of the horrors of war.
- Ask in the name of Jesus for refugees to receive hospitality from lovers of Jesus.
- Pray God will make known the glorious riches of this mystery – which is Christ in them; that He may become their hope of glory. (Col 1:27)
- Pray for peace.
What Should I Pray About?
Rather than prayer being a litany of health requests or complaints, let us pray for others according to Scriptural principles. When you pray, believe God will bring health to their very core.
It is fun to pray for a person and over time, see them transformed by the Spirit of God!
Use these few sample prayers I’ve adapted from Scripture to help you pray into the lives of those God lays on your heart. As you gain practice, search the Scriptures to use in your prayers. God’s word is powerful.
I pray my family may abound in love, growing in knowledge and all judgment to approve what is excellent. Enable them to be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, daily filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11 KJV)
May the God of peace sanctify my pastor wholly. Lord, may his whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
Father, help them do all things without murmuring and complaining, becoming blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, and shining as lights in the world. (Philippians 2:14-15)
Enable him to humble himself under the mighty hand of God, casting his cares upon Jesus who cares for him. (1 Peter 5:6-7)
Lord help her be sober, vigilant, and aware the adversary as a roaring lion walks about to devour her. Help her resist the enemy, and stand strong in the faith. May she experience your sufficiency in her need. (1 Peter 5:5-10)
“May the God of hope fill her with all joy and peace in believing, that she may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Father, I ask in Jesus’ name for my family and friends to be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. May they walk worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him, becoming fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God. Teach them to wait on you; strengthen them with all might, according to your glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy. May they give thanks, Father, for you have qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. Deliver them from the power of darkness, conveying them into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:9-14)
May those I pray for come to know Jesus, the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto his death, that you be glorified. (Philippians 3:10)
Do Not Lose Hope
As you wage war in the heavenlies, remember He who called you is Faithful and True.
The heart of intercession is the longing to see the redemptive love of God be shed upon men, women, and children.
Pray on dear one. Pray on. Your prayers have eternal value.