I Don’t Know What To Pray!

PrayLike Paul

We’re going to take a bit of a detour today. Many times we find ourselves in  seemingly impossible situations.  We don’t understand. We don’t know anyway forward.  We can’t change the situation.   We really can’t see how or if God can change the situation.

We feel stuck.  We don’t know how to pray.

Several years ago I heard a message by Dr. Charles Stanley that addressed this exact situation.  It was titled What To Pray When You Don’t Know What To Pray. It revolutionized my prayer life.

Here is what Dr. Stanley said : When you don’t know what to pray like Paul prayed.

So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.  We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy,  always thanking the Father.  (Colossians 1:9-12 NLT)

Let’s say you have married children. Maybe their  marriages are messy?  Maybe they have lost their job & have lost hope? Maybe they have children that are ill?

There seem to be no options.  How do you as a mom or you as a dad pray for them ?

You pray:

  • that they would know God’s will
  • that they would live worthy of Him
  • that they would bear fruit
  • that they would grow in their knowledge of God
  • that they would find strength
  • that they would have endurance & patience
  • that they would recover their hope & their joy


That may seem much like a formula. It may seem impersonal.

Let’s look a little deeper at Paul’s situation as  he gave this advice to the  little church at Colossae in Turkey.

Paul was in prison in Rome, 900 miles away. There was no way he could communicate directly with them. The letter would take weeks if not months to reach them.

Paul would have no knowledge of the details of their lives.

All he could pray was a simple prayer pattern:

I pray that ……… would

  • know God’s will
  • live worthy of Him
  • bear fruit
  • grow in the knowledge of God
  • be strengthened
  • have endurance & patience
  • walk in great joy.

Judging from the rest of Paul’s letter we can see that the God continually answered Paul’s prayers.

Prayer Patterns For the 9-5 

Here’s an example of how I used another prayer pattern this morning. It’s called the Lord’s Prayer.

As I was praying the line: Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread , the name of a Facebook friend as well as the thought send her a text popped into my head.

My  text said: Your name popped into my head this morning as I was praying . Is there anything specific I can pray for you?

Within 2 minutes I had her response :  Yes, this has happened…………..  I  am …………………

I texted back a prayer specific to her need.  I can’t wait to see how God answered.

Your Turn 

Bring your impossible situation to Jesus today. Pray the lines of the prayer pattern that leap off the page for you.

You might be called to pray for someone else.

But I Believe

Jesus Wants You

To Pray It For Yourself

It might look like this :

  • Jesus, what is your will for me today in the midst of this impossible situation?
  • Jesus, I’m at the end of my rope. I need your……….
  • I’ve lost my joy. I’ve lost my hope. How do I get them back?

Listen For His Answers

Be sure to share your prayer experience with us at  admin@lindafode.com

Virtually yours


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One thought on “I Don’t Know What To Pray!

  1. This was a awesome writing! So practical and easy to pray!! God doesn’t always need our long prayers. He just wants us to come and rest in Him ! Maybe all we can get out is GOD HELP! We can be assured He is listening,He will answer and we can rest knowing He will take care of me!!