Sometimes praying feels like throwing darts – with your eyes closed. You hurl some words heavenward and wonder if you’ve hit the bulls-eye of progress. You hope something sticks.
Lately, I’ve been thinking, I don’t want my words to just touch heaven, but I want them to move heaven’s power on my behalf. I want to pray knowing, all I am – needs all of Him . I want – what I throw up, to fall back down with such strength – God’s fingerprints, clearly, handled my every word. Even more, I want the Lord’s will to fall on earth, not because I am good (far from it), but because He is good, all good. And, more than enough.
What would happen if we prayed like Paul? God got me asking this question. So, I searched every prayer Paul prayed (below) to find the essence of God’s power held within his words. What I found were 12 categories of prayer. I hope they bless you as much as they did me!
1. GOD, I THANK YOU FOR OTHERS.
I ask you to fill them, and myself, with knowledge of your will, with wisdom and understanding. Even more, may I pursue others with love, through prayer, while building unity.
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – (Philippians 1:3–6)
“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.” – (Romans 1:8–10)
2. GOD, MAY OTHERS BE SAVED.
May they understand the fullness of your love.
“Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.” – (Romans 10:1)
“I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.” – (Philemon 5–7)
3. MAY YOUR NAME BE GLORIFIED.
May my life, and the lives of those around me, be filled to the measure of the fullness of God (through love, hope, power, strength, faith, grace and mercy).
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. – (Romans 12:12)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – (Phil. 4:6-7)
May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. – (1 Thess. 3:13)
4. ENCOURAGE OUR HEARTS, LORD GOD.
May the power of Jesus Christ continually fill with joy, grace, peace and hope, through the Holy Spirit.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – (Romans 15:13)
We have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. – (Colossians 1:9–14)
5. MAY OUR HEARTS BE IN CONTINUAL PRAYER.
May you open doors to our messages. May we proclaim Jesus. May we refresh others. May the mysteries of Lord Jesus Christ be open as we fearlessly convey the gospel.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. – (Colossians 4:2-4)
I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there, so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed. The God of peace be with you all. Amen. – (Romans 15:30-33)
Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. – (Ephesians 6:19-20)