By Becky Weber, Crosswalk.com
Have you ever had something you have wanted to ask God for, but not known exactly how to pray? It can be intimidating to know how to ask the Lord for things that we need, but that is exactly what he wants us to do. He wants to hear from his children, and even though he already knows what we need, it is good for us to learn to communicate with him on a regular basis.
When we pray and ask God to fulfill any needs that we have, it is called a prayer of petition. As believers, we should realize that we are dependent on God for everything. It is important to learn how we should ask the Lord for the needs that we have, and even the needs that others have as well.
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What Is a Prayer of Petition?
Prayer is a way that we are able to communicate with God, and a petition is making a request of some sort. So then a prayer of petition is communicating with God and asking him for something. The requests that we bring to him can be for ourselves, as well as for others. It is not something that we demand that God do for us, but we humbly approach him in prayer after we acknowledge who he is and thank and praise him for that.
A prayer of petition can be for a variety of things, there is no one specific thing it is supposed to be for. We can ask for God to give us strength for the day ahead, and we can ask him to help us remember that he is always with us. When you have a financial need, you can ask the Lord to provide for you, or you can ask him for wisdom in a certain area of your life. If you know a friend or a family member that has a need, you can ask for those things too.
When we do ask for something from the Lord, there is no guarantee the answer will be what we want. His ways are always higher than our ways, and we may not understand what his purpose is in any situation. We can be sure that he is faithful though, and that any answer we receive will be for his glory, and in our best interest.
How Do You Pray a Prayer of Petition with the Right Heart?
When presenting our requests to the Lord, it is important to make sure that we do it with the right heart and attitude. We can learn a lot from Jesus, for what it looks like to pray like this.
In Matthew 6:9-11, Jesus is teaching the disciples how to pray. He tells them that when they start praying, first they should say, “Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy,” which shows reverence, and an attitude of praise and thankfulness toward God for who he is. He goes on after that and says, “May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” We should pray in alignment with the purposes of God and surrender to his will. Then Jesus says, “Give us today the food we need,” then when we have the right heart, we should submit our requests to God. From this passage, Jesus gives us a good sense of what our prayer life should look like. When we make it a practice to praise and thank the Lord for who he is, then submit ourselves to him, we are able to be in the right mindset to ask.
Here are 6 powerful and biblical prayers of petition:
1. Prayer of Petition for My Family
Thank you for being in control, and that we can trust you with all things. Help me to remember that you have my best interests in mind, including for my family. I lift up each member of my family to you. Would you give them confidence in the fact that you are with them every moment of the day? Help them know how much you love them. Give them wisdom and strength for their day. Help them know they can rely on you for everything. Ultimately, would they learn to walk with you, and grow in their relationship with you? I trust you that they are completely in your hands. Amen.
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2. Prayer of Petition for My Fear and Anxiety
You are the one that is completely in control of everything, and there is nothing that happens without you having knowledge of it. Help me trust that about you. I am struggling with fear and anxiety. Please help me hand it over to you. I lay each one of my fears down, and anything that I am anxious about at your feet. Whenever I pick it up again, remind me to give it back to you again. My fear and anxiety have no control over me anymore because you have set me free. Give me strength to live that out. Amen.
3. Prayer of Petition for My Needs
Thank you that we are reminded in Philippians 4:19 by Paul that you“will meet all our needs according to the riches of your glory in Christ Jesus.” It is easy to get overwhelmed when we look at all we need on a daily basis. Even when we doubt, you prove yourself faithful. Help us bring each one of our needs to you, and trust that you will provide. You know what we need even, more than we do. Thank you for that assurance. Amen.
4. Prayer of Petition for My Friends
Thank you for the gift of friendship and that you created us for community. Let each one of my friends know that you are with them today in whatever they are doing. If there is a specific need they have right now, would you meet that need in your perfect way? Help my friends to know how special they are, and how much you love them. Grow their relationship with you and bring it to a deeper place. Teach us how to be better friends to each other, like you would want us to be. I pray that the world will see you through our friendship. Amen.
5. Prayer for My Attitude
Thank you that we have everlasting hope in you. There is nowhere else that we can go to find our complete worth, other than in you. Help me be aware of when my attitude is not helpful for me and others. It is so easy to get discouraged when things don’t go the way I want them to, or when things get hard. I am so grateful that you don’t require perfection from me, and that I can come to you with my worst. Help me fix my eyes on you so that I can keep things in perspective. Amen.
6. Prayer During My Suffering
I am so grateful that you understand exactly what we are feeling when we go through hard times. Thank you for being an example for us, of what it is like to suffer well. Even when we don’t understand why we have to live with pain and hardship, you give us the strength to make it through. You never leave us alone in our suffering. Help us remember that you will bring good out of every situation that we face. Amen.
Praying and submitting our requests to the Lord does not have to be something that is over-complicated. It should just be done when we have the right heart about it, and done with open hands to whatever God will do. He is a good and loving Father and wants what is best for us. So go ahead, tell him what is on your heart, and present those requests to him. He is faithful, and always provides what we need.
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