Learning to pray for myself, my family, and others when I first came to know Christ looked much like a toddler trying to take her first steps. Growing up, I heard fancy prayers spoken at church and knew mine would never sound like that, but I kept wobbling along, taking hold of truths that kept me steady. Truths like how God listens for a humble heart, regardless of how they’re spoken (Psalm 10:17). I hope this truth helps to set you free, too, because God wants to use our prayers of petition for His glory.
What Is a Prayer of Petition?
A prayer of petition is any prayer that asks God for something. When we ask for wisdom, direction, healing, etc., we pray prayers of petition. It is the most common type of prayer, but there’s nothing common about how God’s power moves through them for our good and the good of others.
5 Prayers of Petition in the Bible
Powerful prayers of petition are shared throughout the Bible, helping us to follow their examples.
“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.” (John 17:13-15)
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” (Psalm 51:1-2)
“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)
“Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” I was cupbearer to the king.” (Nehemiah 1:11)
“At the time of the sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: ‘O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.’” (1 Kings 18:36)
5 Prayers of Petition for Times of Struggle
Heavenly Father, I feel under attack and misunderstood. Help me to remember that when I am persecuted, insulted, and lied about for the sake of righteousness, I am blessed. Help me to walk in victory, knowing You will give me the bravery and peace required to reflect Your love well to a world that does not know You. Amen (Matthew 5:10-12).
Heavenly Father, thank You for the joy and freedom that comes with the power of truth. I’m thankful that Jesus never sugar-coated difficult words. Instead, He told us we would not escape troubled days but that we didn’t have to fear. They will not overwhelm us because He has overcome the world! Knowing this brings peace to my soul in a way the world cannot comprehend. Thank You, Father. Amen (John 16:33).
Lord, though the trial itself doesn’t bring joy, knowing that You are using it to refine my faith gives it a greater purpose, and in this, I choose joy. You are teaching me what it means to persevere, bringing a maturity to my walk I may have never experienced otherwise. Give me wisdom as I walk through this difficult time. Hold me fast, Lord, helping me to keep my eyes on You as I refuse to doubt Your love and purpose for me. Amen (James 1:2-8).
Sovereign Lord, I find peace knowing that my thoughts are not Your thoughts, nor are Your ways mine. You know the beginning to the end and every detail in between. Nothing catches You off guard or escapes Your notice. Nothing. It’s hard to wrap my head around such knowledge, and I’m thankful for that because You alone are God, and in this, I find rest, gratitude, and much joy. Amen (Isaiah 55:8-9).
“Lord, I commit my failures and successes to your hands. I bring your healing to the people and the situations, the wrongs and the hurts of the past. Give me the courage, strength, and generosity to let go and move on, leave the past behind me, and live the present fully. Lead me always to be positive as I entrust the past to your mercy, the present to your love, and the future to your providence.” (Attributed to St. Augustine of Hippo)
5 Prayers of Petition for Healing
Heavenly Father, my thoughts are fearful, and my heart races when I consider what lies ahead, but You tell me not to fear because You are with me. I can lay down every “what if” and every doubt at Your feet, confident that Your strength will help and uphold me in the days and weeks to come. You are here, ever-present, and You are a good, good Father. Amen (Isaiah 41:10).
God, nothing is impossible with You! The same hand that brought creation into existence and parted the red sea so long ago holds the power to bring healing to this body. Heal me, and I will be healed. You are the One I praise! Amen (Jeremiah 17:14).
Heavenly Father, my thoughts tend to be timid and sometimes anxious. Paul reminded Timothy that Your Spirit did not make him timid but gave him power, love, and a sound mind. This truth resonates in my soul! Lord, bring healing to my mind as I seek to know You more and to remember Your Word, for it is through Your truth that I am set free. Amen (2 Timothy 1:7).
Lord, thank You for the doctors and other medical assistance You have provided for me. Your care and attention to detail are evident as they help me navigate the path back to good health. I am, however, mindful that it is ultimately You, Lord, who brings healing to this body, and I am forever grateful. Amen (Exodus 15:26).
Heavenly Father, take this broken heart of mine and bring healing in ways only You can. I trust You to light the path ahead one day at a time as I walk in Your strength and power. You are close, whether I see it or feel it, and in this, I rejoice. Amen (Psalm 147:2).
5 Prayers of Petition for Suffering Friends
Lord, I pray for my friends who are in a season of suffering. May Your Spirit help bring healing through Your Word, other believers, and even strangers. You alone know the deepest wounds in need of Your restoration power. May they receive it and give You much glory. Amen (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Heavenly Father, I don’t have to know all the “right” words to pray for my friends experiencing such great loss. It’s hard for me to comprehend that kind of suffering. But Your Spirit knows precisely how to pray on their behalf. Amen (Romans 8:26).
Lord, I pray for my friends who are paralyzed by hopelessness. Would you fill their minds with wisdom and discernment? Help them to focus on what lies ahead and not what is behind, confident that You have good plans that will bring a future and a hope. Crush every lie that seeks to diminish all You have for them. Amen (Jeremiah 29:11).
Heavenly Father, I pray You will fill my friends with joy and peace as they trust in You. Amen (Romans 15:13).
Lord, as my friends seek to walk in Your light through this difficult season, they are tested at every turn. The enemy desires to hijack their confidence in You, causing them to question Your love and purpose in this trial. I pray You will help them to grasp how wide and long and high and deep Your love is for them, filling them with peace and strength. Amen (Ephesians 3:18-19).
5 Ways to Strengthen Your Prayers of Petition
1. Continue to grow in the knowledge of God’s Word. Jesus used Scripture to combat Satan’s temptations in the wilderness (Matthew 4:11)/ When we know the Word and incorporate it into prayers of petitions, its living and active power is evident.
2. Stay in a right relationship with God. Confess sin quickly and receive its cleansing power. The prayers of a righteous person have great power as it is working (James 5:16).
3. Remain alert to ways we can pray for others. We may be the only person to pray for the snippy waitress, the quiet teenager, or the stranger in front of us in the grocery line.
4. Keep a prayer journal. Jotting down prayers for ourselves helps us to see God’s faithfulness, and keeping a similar list of those we’re praying for reminds us to remain faithful in praying for them.
5. Don’t be caught by surprise when the enemy tries to discourage or defeat us. We’re on the front line of the spiritual battle when we pray. Prayer is powerful because it is a direct connection to the living God (1 Peter 5:8-9).