When I am at a loss for things to pray for people, I’ve found Wendell C. Hawley’s book “A Pastor Prays for his People” a massive help (Hawley was appointed pastor for prayer and visiting at the church pastored by R. Kent Hughes for 27 years).
I was praying one morning recently for a married couple in crisis and I turned to prayers for February. I settled on this one, which seemed so perfect for the situation I gave them both a copy of the prayer.
Glorious God, wonderful Saviour,
Thank you for your your steadfast love and mercy to us.
Thank you Lord Jesus for giving yourself as a ransom for many,
to bring us back to the loving presence our heavenly Father.
We turn to you, believing that you are more ready to hear than we are inclined to pray.
Your invitation to us holds no exclusions.
You have not limited our access to your presence to certain hours,
certain days, certain circumstances.
The apostle Peter assures us that God watches over his people and
hears their prayers.
Lord, we believe this to be true, and yet we are appalled at our neglect.
Facing overwhelming difficulties and reacting in desperation,
we have turned elsewhere in our need:
to friends, teachers, lawyers, government….
We’ve talked to anyone, anywhere, that we think might solve our problems.
All the while your Word should get our attention:
No good thing will God withhold from them that walk uprightly.
Lord, you are the best judge of what is good for us.
Forgive us for not believing this and help us to grasp this truth today.
Help each of us to pray:
“Lord, I want what you will give, and I don’t want what you would withhold.”
May all our wants be captured by that grid.
We are confident that you want to cleanse us of sin, giving us victory over
And with these removed, you will give us
as we wait upon you.
By your Holy Spirit help us to walk uprightly
before our families, our co-workers, our neighbours, the watching world.
May there no be in us any crooked dealing:
no dishonesty, no hypocrisy, no deceit.
The walk of uprightness is the way to heavenly wealth-
wealth so large as to include every good thing.
May we hunger and thirst for righteousness.
May we walk uprightly and receive “good things” from the Lord today.