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What Do You Pray For?

“Let us… come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

As you think about life and the New Year, what important events await you? What guid­ance do you long for about your future, for your health or job, or for your marriage? The Gospels share an important lesson about how Jesus prepared for each season of His life on earth. He prayed before important events and about important decisions.

Your ministry merits prayer—Jesus’ baptism marked the beginning of His public ministry. How did He approach this momentous occasion? By offering up His first recorded prayer:

“When all the people were baptized … Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended” (Luke 3:21-22).

The work God has given you is your ministry (see 1 Corinthians 12:7, 11, 18). Whether it is caring for an aging parent, raising your children, mentoring young women, or shining His light in your office … your ministry merits— and requires—your prayers.

Your relationships need prayer—Jesus chose 12 people as His inner circle of friends, leaders given special authority to deliver His message to the world. How did Jesus choose His apostles? By seeking God for an answer:

“He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day… He chose twelve whom He also named apostles” (Luke 6:12-13).

Jesus shows the importance of praying when we need to make decisions about relationships. This is a good reminder when we long for godly sisters-in-Christ, need direction about difficult friendships, or seek wisdom regarding our spouse.

Your hardships require prayer—As Jesus’ time on earth was coming to a close, He knew His death on the cross was ahead of Him. He went with the disciples to the Garden of Geth­semane … His usual place of prayer, to pray. Though His impending crucifixion would be excruciatingly painful, the Lord’s anguish had little to do with fear of the physical tor­ture. His soul was in agony because of the cup of divine judgment against sin He would soon drink. How did Jesus handle this horrendous situation?

“He … fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me'” (Matthew 26:39). As He continued to pray, His prayers changed. They began to reflect the powerful strength of His resolve: “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done” (verse 42).

You and I will never experience anything like Jesus did as He prepared for and endured His death on a cross. But we will suffer in this lifetime—physical and emotional pain, a lack in our lives, trying relationships, challenging circumstances, and more! To pre­pare for and endure life’s challenges, we must follow Jesus’ habit of prayer that teaches us how to tap into God’s power and grace, too.


Dear Lord, it is amazing that we can “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Please help me make consistent and powerful prayer a regular part of my life. Amen.


In Knowing God Through Prayer by Jim George, he shares the keys to meaningful communion with God. We could all benefit from some guidance on how to pray with more fervor and faithfulness. And there are no better prayer mentors than the men and women of the Bible. They talked with God and touched His heart. Get to know them through this great resource!


Is my first response to trouble and hardship to pray?


We are at the start of a New Year. Three-hundred and sixty-five days, 12 months, 8,760 hours filled with new highs, new lows, new joys, and new fears. Cover each one in prayer!

Read What Do You Pray For? on Elizabeth & Jim George.

Jim and Elizabeth George

Jim and Elizabeth George are bestselling authors and national speakers dedicated to helping people live a life after God’s own heart. Together, they have written over 150 books with more than 14 million copies sold around the world. For over 35 years, the teachings and steadfast example of Elizabeth and Jim have helped countless men and women:

  • Simplify life by focusing on God’s priorities.
  • Appreciate God’s Word and apply it to everyday situations.
  • Respond to circumstances with confidence by seeing yourself through God’s loving eyes.
  • Increase closeness in marriage by serving and honoring each other.
  • Powerfully shape the hearts of children and teenagers.
  • Enjoy greater intimacy with God.

Learn more about Jim and Elizabeth George here.

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