Originally written for Shepherd of the Ridge Lutheran Church, apply these ideas to your local context.
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When Jesus taught His disciples to pray (Luke 11:1-13), He gave a great list to begin with, and in the Lord’s Prayer, we find in many ways a summary of all those things we pray about, but as you set time aside to be with God in prayer, do you ever find yourself at a loss what to pray about?
Here at Shepherd of the Ridge, we have a list each week of specific people seeking others’ prayers for them. That’s a great place to start. Even if you don’t know the details of that person’s need, God does, and He will provide as that person needs.
But consider praying for those you might not normally pray for:
- Those who annoy you: (Matthew 5:44) But I tell you this: Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. Sometimes, “enemy” means that person who took 15 items into the 12 item checkout, or that person at work who just irritates you, or telemarketers. Pray that God would bless them with love and faith, and that He would give you opportunities to love those people.
- Terrorists: Speaking of loving our enemies, pray for those who’ve been fooled into thinking they’re doing God’s will by murder. Pray that God show them His love, that they may know His love, that His love would save them, and that they in turn would reach out to the world in love.
- Those farthest away from you & toughest to love: Think of those with whom you simply have nothing in common, those with tremendous needs that leave you feeling like you could never help them, and ask God for opportunities to help those you don’t think you could help.
- And if you’re brave, pray for faith. God often allows suffering to strengthen our faith, because it’s through those difficult times that we struggle the most and find ourselves running to God, whereas in times of abundance, we think we can do it ourselves.
Whom else can you pray for that you wouldn’t normally think of? God has given us love beyond our ability to comprehend, and we can share that love without fear of running out of love. Pray for opportunities to love. the wisdom to recognize those opportunities, and the courage to act on them.