40 Essential Things to Pray For (Prayer List Ideas, Needs, and Suggestions)

Wondering what to pray about? Here are some of my best tips and a big list of things to pray for in any season, which can be helpful for individuals or prayer meetings.

Be sure to also check out the printable version of this list in my collection of resources for email subscribers.

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Do you ever feel like you’re missing something when it comes to prayer? I don’t know about you, but it seems like many people do it more naturally than I do.

You probably relate if you sit down to pray and about five seconds later your mind wanders because:

  • Life is distracting.
  • You’re overwhelmed. 
  • You don’t know what to say.

And it can be rather nerve-wracking whenever it’s your turn to pray in a group!

Friend, you’re not alone. I’ve had so many people tell me that this is how they feel.

But here’s the truth: we all start somewhere, and we all have something to learn. We are spiritual beings so prayer is natural, yet it is not necessarily something we just know how to do.

If prayer is your struggle, don’t feel bad about it! I found it helpful to study some of Jesus’ fundamental teachings on the subject (he had quite a lot to say!), which I put together into seven days of prayer prompts.

Beyond that, I’ve put together a list of things to pray for when your mind is simply drawing a blank. I’ve also included some scriptures for reference.

Related: How to Pray When You Feel Overwhelmed

Discover 40 essential things to pray for - perfect for finding inspiration and prayer list ideas. Never wonder what to pray about again!

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What Should I Pray For? 6 Types of Prayers

Before I dive into the list of things to pray for, I want to clarify that there are many ways to pray.

In English, when we think of the word “prayer,” we often associate it with presenting requests to God and asking him for help. While that’s not wrong (as we’ll explore below), it’s not the whole story.

Here are a few prayer suggestions as you consider what we should pray for and about.

1. Reflective Prayers

In Hebrew, the word for prayer, hitpallel, comes from a verb that means “to judge oneself.” Keep that in mind when you read through the Psalms! Prayer can be a time to reflect on your heart and talk about it with God.

In these types of prayers, you can pour out ALL of your emotions in safety, including grief, anger, and lament.

Related: How to Pray About Anxiety and Actually Find Peace

2. Prayers of Praise

Sometimes it does the heart good to simply praise God in prayer.

You could spend the rest of your life just praying many of the Psalms of praise and other passages of scripture. Well-known hymns like The Doxology are other ways you can lift up prayers of praise.

3. Prayers of Thanksgiving

Gratitude is scientifically proven to have multiple psychological benefits. No wonder the Bible tells us to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18). You can be thankful about virtually anything in your daily prayers.

4. Prayer Requests

I don’t know about you, but I’ve made some pretty silly prayer requests. But Jesus does say, “Just ask!” (see Matthew 7:7–12). It usually isn’t hard to come up with requests, but see the prayer list ideas below if you need suggestions.

5. Prayers About the Kingdom of God

The Lord’s Prayer says “Your kingdom come, your will be done.” There are a lot of ways to pray about that! Consider the ways that God is working in the world around us and how you can partner with him.

6. Prayers for People in Your Life

This might be the easiest thing to pray for, but sometimes it’s also easy to forget! I keep a running list of many of the people in my life that I can refer to whenever I wonder what I should pray for.

Related: How to Pray When You Just Can’t Focus

40 Things to Pray About (Prayer List Ideas)

Get the printable download of this list in my collection of free resources for email subscribers!

40 Prayer List Ideas

As you consider things to pray for, remember that this is not simply a list of requests; these prayer suggestions are conversation-starters.

These are things you can pray for every day on your own, and they are also helpful topics to consider at prayer meetings.

  1. Confession of your sins (1 John 1:9)
  2. Asking for forgiveness (Matthew 6:12)
  3. Forgiveness of others (Matthew 6:12)
  4. Asking for a pure heart (Psalm 51:10)
  5. Your honest feelings about your circumstances (Jeremiah 9:19–21)
  6. God’s love for you (Psalm 52:8)
  7. God’s goodness (Psalm 145:7)
  8. God’s holiness (Psalm 29:2)
  9. What God’s done in your life and others’ (Psalm 9:1)
  10. God’s Word (Psalm 119)
  11. Creation (Psalm 19)
  12. Your work (Colossians 3:23)
  13. Freedom (Luke 4:16–19)
  14. Things that make you smile or laugh (Psalm 68:3)
  15. Gratitude for your trials (James 1:2–4)
  16. Things you’re worried or anxious about (Matthew 6:25–34, Philippians 4:6)
  17. Your basic needs (Matthew 6:11)
  18. Your craziest dreams (Mark 11:23)
  19. To increase your faith (Luke 17:5)
  20. Wisdom (James 1:5)
  21. Spiritual strength (Ephesians 6:10–17)
  22. The government and world leaders (Romans 13:1–6)
  23. Church leaders (Hebrews 13:7)
  24. Worldwide and local missions (Ephesians 6:18–20)
  25. Peace, justice and righteousness (Amos 5:24)
  26. The impoverished and suffering (Psalm 74:21)
  27. The persecuted
  28. The church (global and local) and/or ministries you are a part of
  29. Your spouse and your marriage relationship
  30. Your kids (their faith, their trials, their education, their relationships…)
  31. Your parents
  32. Friends who are believers, near and far
  33. Friends who are not believers
  34. Coworkers
  35. Neighbors
  36. Siblings
  37. Your enemies (Matthew 5:44)
  38. Your extended family
  39. Your kids’ teachers and caregivers
  40. The city/community you live in

I feel like I need to get busy! This is not an exhaustive list of things to pray for, but hopefully it should give you a great start!

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Related: How to Read the Bible When You Feel Stuck

If you found these tips helpful, you might also like my printable prayer journal, Teach Me to Pray, which walks you through four weeks of biblical prayer prompts.

Do you struggle to find things to pray for? What would you add to these prayer suggestions?

Hey, I'm Gina!

Gina M Poirier

I’m a wife and mom of five, with kids ages toddler to teenager. I’m created in the image of God, made whole in Jesus. In this online space, I help others overcome the overwhelm all of us face when navigating this messy, beautiful journey we call life. Want to join us?

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2 Comments

  1. bokamoso

    it is really helpful.

    Reply
  2. Jan Simmons

    Awesome

    Reply

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