1 Thessalonians 5:17 says,” to pray without ceasing.” But what things should we praying for ?
We naturally pray for ourselves, family, and friends; but is that where our prayer list should end?
Are there specific people, qualities or attributes that we should pray for?
After doing a little Bible study I found 10 things mentioned in the Bible that we should pray for.
10 Things to Pray For in 2021
4 Attributes We Should Pray For
Are you thinking about starting a business? Buying a new house? Having marital problems?
Ask God to give you wisdom.
In 1 Kings 3, God came to Solomon in a dream and asked him what he wanted from God.
Solomon could have asked for anything, instead, he asked God for wisdom and understanding.
And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. At Gibeon, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” And Solomon said,…Give your servant, therefore, an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”1 Kings 3:4-6,9
In today’s society, many people have a lot of knowledge, but they lack wisdom.
Think about it? You can Google anything on the internet and learn about it, but that doesn’t mean you will be able to apply what you’ve learned.
When we pray to God and seek Him for wisdom, he will give us the knowledge and deeper understanding we need.
If you read further in the passage you find out that not only did God bless Solomon with knowledge and wisdom. He also blessed him with riches and honor.
When we seek Godly wisdom and understanding his blessings will flow freely for his people.
2. Spiritual Discernment
For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.Matt 24:24
We should always pray for a spirit of discernment.
The bible warns us that in the last days there will be false prophets and false messiahs whose goal will be to deceive not just sinners, but even the people of God.
We also come across this warning about the enemy,” And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:14
As Christians, we need to be able to distinguish what is biblical truth and what is a lie.
If the enemy can masquerade as an angel of light that means that he can easily deceive those of us that are not wary of his schemes.
3. A Clean Heart
For out of the heart come evil thoughts–murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.Matt 15:19
Because we are imperfect human beings, we sin daily. We should be asking God to cleanse our hearts from all wickedness.
You may be saying to yourself, I don’t do any of those things so my heart is clean. Have you ever gossiped? Told a “white” lie? Refused to forgive someone?
I know I have been guilty of these things and they are considered sin in the sight of God.
The very act of saying you have not sinned or claimed that you are sinless is a sin (1 John 1:8).
King David prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me“ (Psalm 51:10). He also prayed for God to forgive him for his unintentional errors (Ps 19: 12).
We need to have our hearts and minds renewed daily if we want to live a life pleasing and acceptable to God.
4. To Overcome Temptation
How many of us struggle with temptations?
Temptations are not just limited to what we would consider “big” sins (sleeping around, stealing, etc).
How many of us struggle with our weight because we are tempted to overeat? Or we’re in debt because we’ve been tempted to buy something we don’t need?
…led us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.Matt 6:13
In the model prayer, Jesus prays that we will not be led into temptation and for us to be delivered from evil.
All Christians are subject to temptation. James says that we are all lured away by our own evil desires (1:14).
We can not and should not depend on our own power to deal with the enemy.
We may resist the temptation for a little while but eventually, we will give in if we don’t humble and submit ourselves to God.
6 Types of People To Pray For
5. The Lost (Non-Christians)
We should be praying for those that do not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. It is our duty as Christians to pray for our lost family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc.
Even when it seems like they will never come to Christ, we must not give up on them. If you have unsaved loved ones pray Acts 26:18 over them.
To open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’Acts 26:18
Have faith and trust God for their salvation.
Somebody somewhere was praying for you to come to Christ so don’t give up hope!
6.Government & World Leaders
If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that the leaders in our government desperately need our prayers. It doesn’t matter if you like or dislike the members of your government.
As believers, we should constantly be praying for our World leaders.
We may not agree with everything that they do or say, but we are still called to pray for them.
First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered on behalf of all men for kings and all those in authority, so that we may lead tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity.1 Tim 2:1-2, emphasis mine
We are called to pray for ALL men.
We can not pick and choose who we pray for, if they are in power it is because God has allowed them to be there for the time being to fulfill God’s purpose and plan.
We should pray that God will:
- Bring them to the saving knowledge of Christ.
- Give them wisdom in running the government.
- Surround them with wise counsel.
- Give them a heart to serve the people.
You can read this book by Derrick Prince to learn more about praying for our government.
When I was younger, the church that we went to used to have a sick and shut-in list posted in the church program.
At the time I didn’t understand the purpose of this, but as I got older, I came across James 5:14.
Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:..James 5:14
If anyone is sick, then we should pray for them whether you’re an elder or not.
We should not only pray for their healing but for:
- Strength to endure,
- Increased faith,
- Comfort and
Not only should we pray for them, but we should also be willing to send them a word of encouragement.
They will appreciate your kinds words and visits to the hospital or their homes.
8.Ministers of the Gospel
Church leaders have it tough. Speaking as a PK (preacher’s kid) and a church leader I can tell you that we need your prayers!
I’ll dig into this topic more in October during pastor appreciation month.
Your church leadership needs your prayers. That includes anybody that leads: youth ministers, choir directors, ushers, board members, etc.
In Romans, the Apostle Pauls asks the church to pray for him.
I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea and that the contribution I take to Jerusalem may be favorably received by the Lord’s people there… “Romans 15:30-31
This is not the only place in the bible that Paul asks for prayer, he also asks the body of Christ to pray for him in (Eph 6:19-20, Col 4:2,4, 2 Thess 3:1).
If the Apostle Paul needed the body of Christ to pray for him how much more do our own church leaders need the body of Christ to cover them in prayer.
We should pray for:
- Their safety and protection.
- That they are humble and submitted to God.
- For wisdom in leading God’s people and their families.
- A heart to serve God’s people.
- Courage to preach and teach the gospel of Christ.
- Ability to resist temptation.
Over the past year we have seen many prominent church leaders walk away from the faith for various reason. It is our job to uplift and pray for these men and women of God. Not to judge and condemn them.
If you’re interested in ways you can pray for your Pastor in this season I recommend these books:
9.Fellow Christian’s (Body of Christ)
We should be praying for the body of Christ as a whole and for individuals. Remember the church is not a building, but a people.
People that are spread out all over the world made up of different nationalities, ethnic groups, languages, and denominations.
Christians all over the world are going through hardships and various struggles daily.
The Apostle Peter reminds us to
Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.1 Peter 5:9
We must continue to lift each other up in prayer.
10.Those in Prison for the Gospel
In the US sharing the gospel is not a criminal offense, yet.
However, there are many missionaries that go to other parts of the world were preaching the gospel is punishable by imprisonment or even death.
We need to cover our missionaries in prayer and that those who are in prison will be:
- Kept safe from unbelievers.
- Freed from their captivity.
- Courage to continue preaching the gospel even behind bars.
I’m reminded of the story of Paul and Silas praying and singing praises to God in jail.
The earth shook and the jail doors wore opened and their shackles fell off, but they didn’t escape.
Instead, they lead the jailer and his family to Christ. You can read that story in Acts 4:16-40.
While I’m sure our missionaries don’t want to be imprisoned, I’m sure that they also desire to be like Paul and Silas drawing people to Christ even behind bars.
You can read this book to learn how to pray for missionaries around the world.
Pray without ceasing my friends.
There is always something, someone, or some group of people that we can and should be praying for.
Take time out to pray for an attribute and a group of people today.
Your prayers are important and needed in the kingdom and for the body of Christ.
Download a free copy of my prayer journal to help you remember to pray for others this year.
Now it’s your turn.
What group or attribute will you pray for this week? Is there anything else you would add to this list? Share it with me in the comments section.
As always, keep Jesus in the center of everything you do.
Your sister in Christ,
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