When we pray for other Christians, we don’t always know what we should pray for. Indeed, even when we hear people’s requests, we sometimes pray for too little. Think about it for a moment, when we pray, who are we praying to? We’re praying to God, the maker of everything. Therefore, when we pray, how and what should we pray for? 

In the Gospels, Jesus taught his disciples how to pray in what we call “The Lord’s Prayer.” However, the Lord’s prayer is the only example of how we can pray by providing us with the elements of prayer. When we consider how or what to pray for when we pray for others, one of the best ways to get ideas on what we can pray for comes from Paul’s letters. Look at what Paul wrote to the Colossians.

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and 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.

1 Colossians 1:9-11 (NIV)

In these three verses, what does Paul pray for? Let’s break them down and find out.

  • “Be filled with the knowledge of God’s will” (9).

This is a great thing to pray for. That we would all know God’s will. Notice, it’s not just knowing his will but being filled with understanding of God’s will. 

  • “Live a life worthy of the Lord” (10).

Living a life worthy of the Lord should be every Christian’s goal. Therefore, praying this for ourselves or another Christian is worth praying for.

  • “Please him in every way” (10).

This, too, is something we strive for as Believers. 

  • “Bear fruit” (10). 

We “measure” our Christian lives by the fruit we bear. I’m not talking about apples and oranges here. We want to see those things that reflect the fruits of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV).

  • “Growing in the knowledge of God” (10).

There’s being filled with the knowledge of God’s will and growing in it too. We want both. 

  • “Be strengthened with all power” (11).

As Christians, too often, we forget that we have the full power of the Holy Spirit within us. Indeed, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us, and we need to exercise it more instead of seeing ourselves as “victims” of the wind and waves.

  • “Have great endurance and patience” (11).

Too often, we try to use our power instead of the power of the Spirit, and when we try to do things with our strength, it’s easy to get tired. When we get tired, it’s easy to become impatient. Other times, we must endure whatever we’re going through, trusting that the Lord controls it. Whatever the case, praying for endurance, nay, great endurance, is something we all need, along with the patience to receive whatever the Lord has for us today.

If we never looked at another of Paul’s letters, these seven things he prays for in Colossians 1:9-11 give us valuable insight into how we can pray for other Christians. Indeed, when you think about it, praying that someone who doesn’t know the Lord would be filled with the knowledge of God means that they would be saved by that knowledge. In fact, everything mentioned here in Colossians 1:9-11 would be suitable for anyone, so this is an excellent prayer for Christians and non-Christians alike.

While we can pray “little prayers” asking for this or that thing to work out, we should be praying for much more. After all, if God can do “measurably more than all we ask or imagine,” (Eph. 3:20), we should be praying prayers that reflect a God who can do anything. 

Do you know the Lord? If you don’t know God, then know that God knows you and loves you. God doesn’t want anyone to perish but for everyone to come to repentance so they can spend eternity with him. If you want to know God and be saved from your sins, then pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I sincerely repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe you died on the cross and were buried, and God the Father raised you from the dead on the third day. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.