How To Pray When You Don’t Know What To Pray

How many times have you sat there wanting to pray knowing that you need an answer to something but not knowing how to pray or for the matter what to pray? How many times have you just felt like you needed an answer to some prayer, but you do not know exactly where to start? If you are new to my blog then I want to tell you that I believe in a relationship with God meaning that our prayers do not have to be something that we just say in a ritualistic manner but it should be a real conversation with God. Click my blog here to read more about that.

The Bible specifically says this about prayer.

And when you pray, do not heap up phrases (multiply words, repeating the same ones over and over) as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard for their much speaking. Matthew 6:7

Instead when we pray, not only do we want our prayers to be heard but we want them to be answered.  And Jesus gave us great instruction on exactly what we should pray when we do not know what to pray and that is known as the Lord’s prayer. NOW. You can say the Lord’s prayer over and over again but what I have learned is that often times if you get into the routine of saying a prayer the exact same way over and over again it tends to lose meaning and now you are just repeating it without really putting any intent behind it.

This is why I am going to teach you how to pray when you do not know what to pray. Since we know that Jesus told us to pray the Lord’s prayer when we don’t know what to pray, we can do that BUT we can also make the Lord’s prayer more personal to us. Meaning that by understanding what the Lord’s prayer means we can tailor the prayer to our own needs. In case you are confused about what I am talking about let us go ahead and get into it shall we so that I can better explain.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one
Matthew 6: 10-13

In my youth, I repeated this prayer several times but when you read this prayer think to yourself do you repeat it or do you digest on what it really means and what you are praying.  If you do, then good for you. You did a lot better than me because I would just repeat this prayer and then go about my business thinking it was good enough. But then I started to break it down and understand it so that when I said it I knew the intention behind what Jesus wanted us to pray and I could apply it to my life. Above is the NIV version and we break down the Lord’s prayer so you can make it into your own I will be using the AMP (click my affiliate link here to get a great amplified Bible that I use).


Understanding how to pray and what to pray by understanding the Lord’s Prayer

Here is the Lord’s prayer in the amplified. And underneath each verse, I will break it down for you and tell you how to come up with your own. Before finally giving you an example of how to put it all together.

Our Father, who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.

First, acknowledge God as the father and is greatness. The definition of hallowed is made holy; consecrated greatly revered and honored. Thus, the first line in your prayer can be a rendition of that, that feels natural to you.

Examples:

  • Father, I come before you today and bless your holy name
  • Glory be to the one and only true living God who is worthy to be praised

 

Your kingdom come, your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.

We know that heaven is perfect right and when God created the garden of Eden, He created it to be heaven on Earth that is until Adam and Eve jacked it up for us. BUT that does not mean that we stop praying for God’s kingdom and will to be done here on Earth as is in heaven like He intended. I have a video on what God intended us to have which you can watch below that can help you out with this.

But all in all, God intended for our lives to be perfect, for us to be blessed, and all the rest of it.  And heaven is perfect and streets of gold and no one is in poverty it is sheer perfection. Now we know we live on Earth so everything cannot be perfect, but you can still pray for it. In fact, that is exactly what this verse is telling you to do. For God’s will to be done in your life, in the world, in your children’s lives, in your home, or whatever it is that you want to pray for you are asking for God to rule over it and bring the blessings down just like it is in heaven.

Examples include:

  • Lord, I ask for your favor, blessings, and guidance just like it is in heaven.
  • Lord, I ask for you to be present in my life to watch over it and direct it, just like you do for the ones in heaven.
  • Lord, I ask to receive the blessings in my life here on Earth just like the ones that are stored up for me in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

Whenever I see this verse, I think of Matthew 6:25-34 which states:

Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

When God lead the Israelites out of Egypt he gave them Manna which was bread every single day to feed them while they were in the desert. And he told them not to keep the Manna overnight but to throw it away every day and in the morning, he would provide for them by giving them more manna AKA more daily bread. Exodus 16:15-35.  So, when you think of this verse it means that God will provide for you no matter what you are going through and that you do not need to worry about anything. So, if you are worried about money, food, a job, or whatever concerns you have then this would be a great place to state that.

Examples include:

  • Lord watch over me and care for all of my wants and needs and allow me to have no fear for today or the future.

And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors [letting go of both the wrong and the resentment].

This is why I love the amplified Bible because it specifies that this means to let go of any past wrongs or resentments that we have toward others and any wrongs that we have done to others. And since this verse specifies debt I also like to add that if you are facing and financial hardship that is keeping you in debt or you do not know how to pay that debt then you can specify that here. It is not sinful to ask for God to help you out regarding your debt.

Examples include:

  • Lord forgives those who have wronged me and forgive me if I have wrong anyone else.
  • Lord please give me the means and make provisions to help me pay off my debt and give me guidance on how I can do so.

And do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from evil.

Temptation can be many things. I remember one time when I was broke and I was picking my son up for school the kids had their backpacks lined up outside the door and a child’s backpack spilled over and money (a fair amount) was coming out of it. And I kept walking. It would have been tempting to take the money AKA steal from a child because I was in need. And even justify it. But stealing is wrong. That was a temptation. Temptation can be anything, it can be sex, it can be keeping you from committing adultery, from stealing, from drinking again, doing drugs, from cursing your boss out after she done got all your last nerves. Situations and people are placed in our life to get us to step out of the will of God.

It is important to recognize these things and to also not feed into them. So, to complete this prayer examples include:

  • Deliver me, Lord, from the temptation of (specify something specific).
  • Lord help me not be tempted by the negative things and people of this world and always allow me to act with grace and goodness whenever I am confronted by situations or people that seek to bring me down.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

If you really feel the need to tweak this you can but I feel it is rather self-explanatory. If you want to come up with something, then just remember to address what is in the sentence and do what feels natural to you.

Examples:

  • For you are and always will be the great I AM deserving of all the glory and praise. Amen.

Putting The Prayer All Together

how to pray when you don't know what to pray

Below is an example of how to pray when you don’t know what to pray. Of course, just as I have explained to you in the above section you can feel free to tweak and change what you need to according to your own situations and preferences.

How to Pray when you don’t know what to pray:

Glory be to the one and only true living God who is worthy to be praised
Lord, I ask to receive the blessings in my life here on Earth just like the ones that are stored up for me in heaven.
Please watch over me, care for all of my wants and needs; and allow me to have no fear for today or the future.
Lord, I ask you to forgive those who have wrong me and forgive me if I have wrong anyone else.
Lord help me not be tempted by the negative things and people of this world and always allow me to act with grace and goodness whenever I am confronted by situations or people that seek to bring me down.
You are and always will be the great I AM deserving of all the glory and praise. Amen.

Easy Right? I hope so and I hope that this blog helped you out to know how to pray when you don’t know what to pray and to also help guide and direct you to come up with your own prayer that is in accordance with the same way that Jesus directed us to pray. And if you know someone who may want to read this post then share it with them. 

 
Last but now least you may want to consider getting my e-book on spiritual fasting that will teach you everything you need to know about it to include how fasting enriches your prayer life. It’s only 99 cents. Click here to buy it.

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Sophia, I hope that you do not mind me being casual with how I am addressing you. You appear from your writing and your speaking, that although you are very intelligent and credentialed, to also be very down to earth. I do not usually write comments but had to in this instance. I just love your entire thing that you have going on. You have blessed me. I am 63 year old twice divorced female and a retired LCSW. I am an active follower of Christ who is my world. I love Him with all that I am. I am so happy that I accidently came across your page. I am enjoying the many articles and your take on various subjects. Keep sharing your light and the word. We/sisters and world needs it. God bless you.

    • Thanks so much for the lovely comment and of course I do not mind you calling me Sophia. How awesome to meet a fellow mental health professional.

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