October 17: “What Am I Supposed to Pray For?”

4 Minute Read + Scripture readings


Jeremiah 30:1–31:26
1 Timothy 2:1-15
Psalm 87:1-7
Proverbs 25:18-19


1 Timothy 2:1 (CSB): First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone,


Prayer is an interesting Christian discipline. While we are action-oriented and feel compelled to get up and do something, God often calls us to spend time on our knees (at least figuratively) in communication with Him.

If there is any notion in our minds that prayer is a passive practice, it is only because we have not experienced the power of prayer and the power of a God who hears and answers prayer. Prayer is the means by which we enter the very Throne Room of Heaven and talk with the God of all Creation about whatever is on our heart. Oftentimes, Heaven is moved by our prayers (Psalm 50:15; etc.) and refuses to act when we don’t pray (James 4:2).

Well, what are we to pray about? Simply look at our Verse for Today for some of the topics that can occupy our prayer time.

“… petitions …”

There is nobody that fits outside the scope of these words. So, pray for your family. Pray for your co-workers and peers. Pray for your neighbors. Pray for the leaders in your church and those leading your city and nation. This list could go on and on.

“… prayers …”

Whoever you are praying for, ask that God would help them. Ask that God would give them things like strength, courage, wisdom, patience, and whatever else is necessary.

“… intercessions …”

Maybe they are praying for themselves. Maybe they aren’t. But, you can pray for them on their behalf. Maybe you will never, ever have direct contact with them but you can have contact with the very Throne Room of Heaven and bless them from a distance with your prayers.

“… and thanksgiving be made for everyone …”

Thankfulness is a huge theme in the New Testament. Over and over we are reminded to be thankful in all things. So, when we read these words, we aren’t surprised that we are to be thankful for the folks we are praying for. Maybe we can express our gratitude to God for their good qualities. Or, maybe we can express our gratitude to God for what He is doing and will do in their lives. Whoever they are and whatever they are like, find a reason to be thankful for them.

So, Christian, pray for everyone. In fact, why not spend the next few moments lifting up some specific people in prayer.


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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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