What to Pray

What to Pray Hero Image What to Pray Hero Image

After discussing the questions of why we should pray and how to pray, the obvious follow-up would be what to pray.

However, the problem with the question of “What should I pray?” is that the answer is so broad. You can talk to God about anything.

Because you can pray about anything, there’s really no way to list everything to pray for. But if you are looking for ideas of what to pray, below is a (very incomplete) list of things from Scripture that you can pray about. Beside prayers for all believers, it includes some things that are specific to particular roles or life stages. Every person will fit in multiple categories; for example, you can be a daughter, wife, mother, leader, and church member all at the same time.

Again, to be very clear: this is far from being a complete list. There are many, many other things you can pray. But if you don’t know where to start—or if you have started, but would like to expand or vary what you pray for—this list can provide some ideas.

What to Pray as a Believer

  • Pray to praise God for who He is (Psalm 150:1-2).
  • Pray for God to be glorified (Psalm 115:1).
  • Pray to thank God for all He has done (Psalm 9:1).
  • Pray that you would love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-40).
  • Pray that you would seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33).
  • Pray that you would trust in the Lord with all your heart and not rely on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6).
  • Pray that you would not grow weary of doing good (Galatians 6:9).
  • Pray that you would not seek the approval of man (Galatians 1:10).
  • Pray that you would not be selfish, but instead humbly consider the interests of others (Philippians 2:3-4).
  • Pray that you would endure and escape from temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).
  • Pray that you would live wisely, making the best use of the time you have (Ephesians 5:15-16).
  • Pray to confess sin (Matthew 6:12).
  • Pray to ask for what you need (Matthew 6:11).
  • Pray for wisdom (James 1:5).
  • Pray for knowledge and discernment (Philippians 1:9–10).
  • Pray for greater faith (Mark 9:24).
  • Pray for people in positions of leadership (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
  • Pray for unbelievers to be saved (Romans 10:1).
  • Pray for the spread of the gospel (2 Thessalonians 3:1).
  • Pray for opportunities to share the gospel (Colossians 4:3-4).
  • Pray for opportunities to disciple others (2 Timothy 2:2).

What to Pray as a Single Adult

  • Pray for contentment in every circumstance (Philippians 4:11-13).
  • Pray that you would use this life stage to fully focus on the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:32).
  • Pray that you would make the most of this season, and every season (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
  • Pray for help in guarding your heart (Proverbs 4:23).
  • Pray that you would delight yourself in the Lord, and that He would give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).
  • Pray that you would not judge others based on appearances (1 Samuel 16:7).
  • Pray that you would flee from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18).
  • Pray that you would set a good example in how you live your life (1 Timothy 4:12).

What to Pray as a Wife

  • Pray that you would be a blessing to your husband (Proverbs 31:10-12).
  • Pray that you would know how to best help your husband (Genesis 2:18).
  • Pray for help in submitting to your husband’s leadership (Ephesians 5:22-24).
  • Pray that your husband would learn from your good example (1 Peter 3:1-2).
  • Pray that you would focus more on developing internal character than external beauty (1 Peter 3:3-4).

What to Pray as a Husband

  • Pray that you would be faithful in both your actions and your heart (Proverbs 20:6).
  • Pray that you would honor and understand your wife (1 Peter 3:7).
  • Pray that you would selflessly love and serve your wife (Ephesians 5:25).
  • Pray that you would be gentle with your wife (Colossians 3:19).
  • Pray that you would properly encourage and praise your wife (Proverbs 31:28-29).

What to Pray as a Father or Mother

  • Pray that you would see your children as a blessing and a gift from God (Psalm 127:3-5).
  • Pray that you would train your children well (Proverbs 22:6).
  • Pray that you would diligently teach them God’s Word (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
  • Pray that you would provide a good example for your children to follow (Proverbs 20:7).
  • Pray that you would be wise in how you discipline your children (Hebrews 12:7-11).
  • Pray that you would not provoke your children to anger in how you discipline them (Ephesians 6:4).
  • Pray that your children would grow to be wise and righteous (Proverbs 23:24).
  • Pray that your children would have wise friends and avoid foolish companions who would lead them into harm (Proverbs 13:20).

What to Pray as a Son or Daughter

  • Pray that you would properly honor and obey your parents (Ephesians 6:1-3).
  • Pray that you would listen to and learn from your parents (Proverbs 6:20-22).
  • Pray that you would willingly accept and learn from loving discipline (Proverbs 12:1).
  • Pray that you would walk in the truth (3 John 1:4).
  • Pray that you would be able and willing to care for elderly parents (1 Timothy 5:4).

What to Pray as a Worker or Employee

  • Pray that you would work heartily, as if you were working for the Lord rather than for other people (Colossians 3:22-24).
  • Pray that you would work diligently (Proverbs 10:4).
  • Pray that you would be skillful in your work (Proverbs 22:29).
  • Pray that you would be faithful and trustworthy in any role you’ve been given (Luke 16:10).
  • Pray that you would not chase after wealth but would instead be content with what you have (Hebrews 13:5).
  • Pray that you would trust in God’s provision enough to rest from your work (Exodus 34:21).

What to Pray as a Leader or Employer

  • Pray that you would be a servant to those you lead (Mark 10:42-45).
  • Pray that you would treat others the way you would want to be treated (Matthew 7:12).
  • Pray that you would treat everyone justly and fairly (Colossians 4:1).
  • Pray that you would not withhold good from others (Proverbs 3:27).
  • Pray that you would pay employees fairly and not try to enrich yourself (Jeremiah 22:13).
  • Pray that you would provide an example worth following (Hebrews 13:7).

What to Pray as a Member of the Church

  • Pray that we would abide in Christ and be fully surrendered to the Spirit (John 15:5).
  • Pray that we would walk in the light and have authentic fellowship with one another (1 John 1:7).
  • Pray that we would courageously stand on the truth and proclaim the gospel (Romans 1:16-17).
  • Pray that we would fully deploy our lives for God’s glory and the advancement of the gospel (1 Corinthians 10:31).
  • Pray that we would be known for our love (John 13:35).
  • Pray that we would show hospitality to everyone (1 Peter 4:9).
  • Pray that we would continually encourage each other and stir each other up to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24-25).
  • Pray that we would each use our gifts to serve others (1 Peter 4:10).
  • Pray that we would have unity and peace with each other (Ephesians 4:2-3).
  • Pray for the physical and spiritual health of others (James 5:14–15).
  • Pray that God would add to the number of those being saved (Acts 2:47).

God answers prayer, though sometimes His answer might be “No,” or simply “Not yet.” There are times when we might pray with wrong motives (James 4:3) or pray something that is against God’s good and perfect will (1 John 5:14). In such cases, it is better that God does not grant our requests, because He knows what is best. We can trust that God knows what He is doing. He is able to do more than we ask for or can even imagine (Ephesians 3:20), and He works in all things for our good (Romans 8:28), if we love and trust Him.