"So many of my prayers for my children get in a rut. I pray the same thing day after day," a friend said.
When we don't know what to pray, we can borrow prayers from the Bible. God promises, "I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled" (Jeremiah 1:12). Because God personally sees that His Word accomplishes His desires, why not pray with our Bibles open? We can reverently quote His Word to Him, confident that it always achieves the purpose for which He sends it. (Isaiah 55:11)
On the surface, we might think Paul's prayers are rather general and wouldn't apply to those for whom we pray. On the contrary, Paul requested exactly what produces spiritual maturity. Who of us wouldn't want someone to pray that we'll be strengthened by His Spirit so Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith? (Ephesians 3:16-19) Frequently Paul requested that those for whom he prayed would grow in spiritual wisdom and understanding. Reflection upon Paul's requests enables us to see how shallow our requests often are.
Paul's prayers encourage us to offer requests we otherwise would not have considered. For instance, he prayed that the Corinthians would "not do anything wrong-our prayer is for your perfection" (2 Corinthians 13:7, 9). This is a precise prayer to regularly pray.
Paul assures us in Philippians 4:19 that God will supply all our needs according to His glorious riches in Christ. It is appropriate that we turn such promises into confident petitions: "Meet all his needs according to Your glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Praying scripture increases our trust, so that through "faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence" (Ephesians 3:12).
Dear Lord, thank You for giving Your words to guide me in praying.
"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know...what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe" (Ephesians 1:18, 19 NASB).