Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians 4:6).
“‘In everything’ — not simply when our house is on fire or when our beloved spouse and children are gravely ill, but even in the smallest matters of life. We are to take everything to God — little things, very little things, even what the world calls trivial. Yes, we are to take everything, living all day long in holy fellowship with our heavenly Father and precious Lord Jesus.”*
*L.B. Cowman, Streams in the Desert, p.386.
Use Scripture to guide your prayers for the specific needs of your friends.
For example, for someone struggling with emotional pain, you can pray like this:
You are the God of all comfort! Comfort my friend in her affliction, so she can comfort others (from 2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
“Nothing pleases God more than praise as a part of our prayer life, and nothing blesses someone who prays as much as the praise that is offered.”*
It is good to praise the Lord (Psalm 92:1).
*Henry Cowman as quoted in Streams in the Desert, p.299.
Due to circumstances beyond his control, a winsome young man has found himself in a disappointing job. Day after day he enters a prison-like gray cubicle. He doesn’t see sunshine. Or clouds.
He struggled with depression. Until now. Every morning he enters his cubicle and pauses to imagine Jesus. Sitting there. Waiting for him.
He is finding joy.
The Lord has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).”
The blessings of relationship, success, provision, and health are common themes of my prayers. So when I read this, I paused to think. “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered (Psalm 32:1).”
If forgiveness were our only blessing, that would be enough.
David’s prayer began: “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me (Psalm 13:1)?”
Though he still waited for God to answer, his prayer ended: “I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me (Psalm 13:5-6).
Pray with cheerful expectation.
The heavens declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1).
We can too. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all peoples (1 Chronicles 16:24).