Your prayers are powerful. Because of that power, you want to be sure you are praying in a way that aligns with God’s will.
That doesn’t mean you can only pray, “Thy will be done.” I know folks who feel most comfortable praying this way, and I understand it. I honor their desire to be careful in what they pray. But we can be more specific with our prayers, as long as we align these with God’s will. We need to ask God for a prayer strategy.
In Romans 8:26, God lets us know the Holy Spirit intercedes for us when we don’t know what to pray. He is there to guide us. God wants to direct our prayers. When we pray, we are inviting Him to do what He already desires and intends to do. So He knows how to lead our prayers.
That’s where we ask Him for a prayer strategy. It is the same thing as saying, “God, I am inviting You do to what You want to do. Please tell me what to invite. What do You want to do in this situation?”
In John 14:13-14, Jesus reveals a lot about how to ask according to His will. As you read those verses, expand your reading to all of John 14. Jesus reminds us that He is the way, the truth, and the life; that He works in us by our belief in Him, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, for God’s glory. He reminds us that if we keep His commandments, this is a sign of our love for Him. It is in this context that when we ask in His name, HE will accomplish what we ask.
So if we live by His will, then we will ask according to His will, and He will do what He already intends to do. That is what our prayers invite. And that is why, when we are living according to His will, we can ask Him for a prayer strategy, so we pray in alignment with Him. If we are living in alignment with Him, we will have peace that we are praying in alignment with Him. The Holy Spirit will prompt us if our prayers are off base. The more sensitive we become to His Spirit, the more we can feel this and change course.
The prayer strategy God gives us will always line up with His Word and His nature. That’s the best way we can check to be sure we’re hearing from God.
If you feel uncertain of how to pray in a situation, begin to pray God’s Word. John 3:16 is a great verse to pray in any situation. For “the world,” substitute the name of the person you are praying for. Psalm 1 is also a great Bible passage to pray for someone, claiming that God has created that person to be that tree planted by water bringing forth fruit. Psalm 139:14 is also a great verse to pray for everyone.
As you start to pray God’s Word, and attune your heart to His, you will begin to sense other Bible verses to pray.
And you can always pray by inviting God to come and do what He desires to do in any situation: “Lord, come and do what You intend to do.” That is the same as praying, “Thy will be done,” but it is a very active way to invite Him, and this will help you begin to move your prayers in rhythm with His heart.
What are your favorite Bible verses to pray? For what kinds of situations?
Has God given you a prayer strategy where you had peace that it was from God? Did you have a situation where you weren’t sure? How did you resolve it and find peace?