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007: How do I pray?

How can we pray for our lost friends and family? What should we ask for our Christian brothers and sisters? Should we pray for ourselves? We can freely ask God anything. Special words or phrases do not strengthen our prayers. But on a practical level, the Bible gives us wonderful examples of prayers for the lost, Christians, and ourselves. Use the following verses to help you know what to pray for.

Prayers for non-Christian: ... my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.” (Romans 10:1)
  • “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” Ezekiel 36:25-27
  • “… The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.” Acts 16:14
  • See also: Ezekiel 11:19-20; Deuteronomy 30:6, and 2 Timothy 2:25-26.

Prayers for Christians: “... always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.” (Colossians 4:12)
  • “… that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19
  • “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” Colossians 1:9-12
  • See also: Ephesians 1:17-19, Philippians 1:9-11, 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13, 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17, and Hebrews 13:20-21.

Prayers for yourself: “Brothers, pray for us.” (1 Thessalonians 5:25)
  • “… praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” Ephesians 6:18-20
  • "Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.” Colossians 4:2-4