What Do People Pray for in the New Testament (Part 3)

This is the third and final part of the list I made of New Testament prayers and teachings on prayer. The sheer volume of references should astound us. God’s people are a people of prayer. There are no exceptions. My prayer is that, if you read these three lists, you’ll reevaluate what you pray for and be strengthened in your resolve to be a person of prayer, both on your own and with your church. This list includes prayers for the church and prayers for others outside of the church.


Prayer for Church Leadership 

  1. Jesus prays before choosing the 12 disciples (Lk. 6:12).
  2. Disciples pray that God would show them which person to replace Judas (Acts 1:24).
  3. Apostles laid hands on Stephen and others and prayed for them (Acts 6:6).
  4. The church prayed for Saul and Barnabas and sent them off (Acts 13:3).
  5. Paul and Barnabas prayed and fasted as they chose elders in each church (Acts 14:23).

Prayer for God’s People

  1. Be alert and always keep on praying for the Lord’s people (Eph. 6:18).
  2. We thank God for you (the Colossians) because we have heard of your faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven (Col. 1:3-5).
  3. Since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you (Col. 1:9).
  4. Paul thanks God for the Thessalonians, and continually mentions them in his prayers (1 Thess. 1:2).
  5. Paul thanks God for the Thessalonians because they accepted the word of God as the word of God (1 Thess. 2:13).
  6. Paul thanks God for the Thessalonians because of the joy they experience together (1 Thess. 3:9).
  7. Paul thanks God for Philemon and the church in his home because of their love for all his people and faith in the Lord Jesus (Philem. 4-5).
  8. Paul prays that their partnership would be effective for deepening their understanding of the good things they share for the sake of Christ (Philem. 6).

Prayer to Receive/Have the Holy Spirit 

  1. Prayed for new believers to receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:15).
  2. Paul prays continuously for the Ephesians, that the Father to give them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so they may know him better (Eph. 1:17).
  3. Paul prays that God would strengthen the Ephesians with power through his Spirit in their inner being so that Christ may dwell in their hearts through faith (Eph. 3:16).
  4. Pray in the Spirit on all occasions and with all kinds of prayers (Eph. 6:18).

Prayer for Unity 

  1. Jesus prays for future believers to be one just as he and the Father are one (Jn. 17:20, 22). This means Jesus in them and the Father in him.

Prayer for Wisdom

  1. Paul prays for the Ephesians to have eyes enlightened so they might know the hope to which God has called them (Eph. 1:18).
  2. We ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives (Col. 1:9).
  3. Those who lack wisdom should ask God who gives it generously (Jam. 1:5-6).

Prayer for Conversion and Spiritual Formation 

  1. Paul prays for Agrippa and others to become what he is after Agrippa asks if he could be made a Christian (Acts 26:29).
  2. Paul thanks God that although the Romans used to be slaves to sin, they have come to obey from their heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed their allegiance (Rom. 6:17).
  3. Paul prays that the Israelites would be saved (Rom. 10:1).
  4. Our prayer is that you would be fully restored (2 Cor. 13:9).
  5. Paul prays that the Ephesians who are rooted and established in love would have power to grasp how great God’s love is, that they might be filled to the measure of the fullness of God (Eph. 3:17-18).
  6. Paul thanks God for the Philippians and knows that he who began a good work in them will carry it on to completion (Phil. 1:3-6).
  7. Paul prays that the Philippians’ love would abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight so they might discern what is best and be pure and blameless on the day of the Christ (Phil. 1:9-10).
    Paul prays for wisdom so that the Colossians may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might (Col. 1:10-11).
  8. Paul prays for the Thessalonians that God would make them worthy of his calling (2 Thess. 1:11).

Prayer for Evangelism 

  1. Jesus tells us to ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers (Matt. 10:38; Lk. 10:2).
  2. Jesus prays the disciples would be sanctified by the truth as they are sent out into the world (Jn. 17:17-18).
  3. Paul asks for prayers that when he speaks, words will be given to him so he will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel (Eph. 6:19-20).
  4. Pray for Paul and his companions, that God would open a door for their message, so they may proclaim the mystery of Christ, and that Paul might proclaim it boldly (Col. 4:3-4).
  5. Paul asks the Thessalonians to pray that the message of the Lord would spread quickly and be honored (2 Thess. 3:1).

Prayer for Interpretation of Tongues 

  1. Those who speak in tongues should pray that they might also interpret (1 Cor. 14:13). We pray with our spirit but also with understanding.


  1. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all (2 Cor. 13:14).
  2. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen. (Gal. 6:18).
  3. May the God of peace sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thess. 5:23).


Prayer for Enemies 

  1. Pray for enemies and those who persecute you (Matt. 5:44; Lk. 6:28).

Prayer for Little Children

  1. Jesus prayed for the little children (Matt. 19:13).

Prayer For Others’ Faith in Temptation 

  1. Jesus prays that Peter’s faith will not fail, knowing Satan wants to sift him like wheat (Lk. 22:31-32).

Prayer for Earthly Authorities 

  1. Paul asks that prayer and petitions be made for kings and those in authority (1 Tim. 2:1-2).

Posted on November 10, 2016, in prayer and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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