Have you ever wondered how to pray for parents, children, friends, and pastors? Does it feel like you repeat the same things day after day and you are starting to sound like a worn out song stuck in constantly repeating loop? Here are seven things (one for each day of the week) that can be prayed for those you love and each can be expanded in a variety of ways.
- Pray for Hearts that are drawn into a love relationship with Christ. Ask the Lord to deepen your loved one’s appreciation for Jesus as the Son of God, fully human and fully divine. Ask that they have a greater awareness of the need for a Savior. Implore God to grow the desire to relate to Him in Christ. Ask the Lord to put a desire in them to pray and an earnest need to hear the voice of the Lord respond to their prayers. (see 2Cor. 13:14)
- Pray for a growing ability to discern the Voice of the Lord. Ask God to sharpen the sense of discernment between our own inner voice, the voice of the world and the devil and the true voice of the Good Shepherd. Jesus says that, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me” (Jn. 10:27). Pray for a growing ability to hear God and a growing desire to make time in the busyness of life to be still and know that God is God. (see Hos. 14:9, 1Cor. 2:14, Phil. 1:10)
- Pray for a deep love of the Word of God to permeate all of life. Closely tied to the ability to discern the voice of the Lord is an increasing love of the Word of God. Ask God to put within each of your loved ones a need for the Word of God. Ask him to lead each person on your heart into a study of the Scriptures this week that would transform them and change them. Pray that the Spirit reminds them of Biblical truth when it is needed and when it will keep them from sin. Pray for a mind able and willing to memorize the living Word of God. Ask for a spirit within them that is quick to repent at violations of the Word and is eager to walk in conformity to the will of God as revealed in the Bible. (see Ps. 119, 2Tim. 3:16-17)
- Pray that God would use them for good. There are so many things in this world that seek to use people for their own ends, simply to discard them on the other end. Pray that God will use them for Good and to affect holiness in our world. Ask God to allow them to serve others, to spread joy and peace, to help someone in need, to give sacrificially and generously. (Gen. 51:20, Ps. 34:14, Lk. 6:35)
- Pray for a freedom from worry and anxiety. Stress abounds in our modern, western world. People fret and agonize over financial concerns, employment concerns and relational concerns. Ask God to free them from worry and to grant them the peace that passes understanding. Beseech the Lord for the blessing of a life that trusts Him, even in the trials, and knows that the Loving, Sovereign Hand of God is upon them for good and not for harm. (see 1Pt. 5:7, Ps. 94:19)
- Pray for growth in the fruit of the Spirit. We are told in Scripture that the fruit of a life touched and indwelt by the Spirit of God is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There isn’t a person alive who couldn’t benefit from an increasing ability to practice each of these virtues. Ask God to bear the fruit of regeneration in the lives of your loved ones. Reflect on specific areas of life where these virtues would serve others. (see Gal. 5:22-23, 1Cor. 13:4-6)
- Pray for growth in holiness, righteousness and purity. Our God is a consuming fire. He is Holy and commands us to be holy too. Ask the Lord to increasingly separate the ones you love from everything that ensnares and keeps them from living in holiness, righteousness and purity. Ask him to place a desire within them, as well as empowering them, to flee the sins which so easily entangle. Ask the Lord for eyes to see the way out of each temptation and to make use of the exit door quickly and speedily. (see Lev. 11:44, 19:2, 20:26, Eph. 1:4. 1Pt. 1:15)
All seven of these items are evangelistic and discipleship oriented. Each of them can be prayed for our loved ones who are not walking with Christ by asking God to work in them the initial work of Grace, which saves. But these prayers are also discipleship oriented and can be prayed for those who have been walking with the Lord for years or decades, for we each need an increase in our conformity to the life of Christ. May these prayers, informed by the Scriptures, encourage your own soul and transform the lives of those for whom you pray.