It seems like there are so many more things to be praying for today. Maybe it’s just that communication has improved and hearing prayer requests isn’t limited to a few minutes during the Sunday service.
It would be an easy thing to pray all day and not run out of people or situations to pray for. Our cities, our countries, our world needs prayer. Our families. Our friends, both the most intimate and the most casual. Our friend’s cousin’s brother-in-law. I remember once when I was younger, I made a list on the inside cover of my Bible of people I wanted to pray for. It was at least fifty people long.
How do you choose what to pray for? It’s an honest statement to say that there are only so many minutes and hours in the day we can spend in concentrated prayer. And of course, prayer is communication, so here’s hoping that a good amount of your time in prayer is spent listening and not talking.
So how do you choose what to pray for?
Here are some suggestions:
Pray for what and who you have authority and influence over. Praying for your spouse, your children, your subordinates at your job, your own home, and other areas that you have authority over is more effective than praying for your friend’s cousin’s brother-in-law. We are in a battle. Make sure to take care of your own front line.
Pray for what is important to those who are important to you. Besides being a method of change and interacting with God, prayer is encouraging to those who receive it. I have prayed over friends’ injuries and concerns, knowing that the knowing that someone is praying for them is almost as important as the praying itself.
Pray for what God tells you is important. Sometimes God stirs us up about something. I remember a few years ago finding out that someone I knew casually was ill. To be honest, most of the time, I pray for a person and then don’t return to it, but for some reason this time I felt compelled to pray for her regularly. Other times you might feel like you need to pray for someone without knowing why they need it. That’s the time to pray.
Pray when you tell someone you will. If someone asks you to pray for them, do it. Even better if you do it right that moment, with them. That way, you won’t forget to do it and because they get the extra blessing of eavesdropping on your conversation with God.
Do you find yourself overwhelmed by what needs prayed for? How do you choose what you are going to pray about?