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How To Pray When You Don't Have Words

How To Pray When You Don't Have Words By Wayne Gill

Some years ago I was facing a crisis.

I went for a drive and turned on Charles Stanley in the background.

Pastor Stanley taught me a principle I still use today. It's what to do when you don't know what or how to pray. For some of you this will be obvious. For others, it may be a breakthrough, as it was for me.

He taught that we should pray the scriptures when words won't come. He mentioned there were several great prayers already written out in the Bible. When you're at a loss for words, why not just pray those pre-written prayers over your situation?

He mentioned a few such prayers, but one prayer stuck out. It's Paul's prayer for the Colossian church (located at the time in modern-day Turkey).

Paul's prayer has several elements, and if you've ever attempted to pray at one time or another, I'm certain you've

touched on some of the same elements.

You should read the full text of the prayer. It occurs in Colossians 1:9-14. For extra homework, read the entire chapter and also the Book of Colossians. It's a short book.

But here is the prayer broken down to its elements. Pray these things for yourself and for others, with faith that God is listening, and will respond to your petitions.

Paul's Prayer

That you may be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work, and growing in the knowledge of God.

That you would be strengthened with all power, according to God's glorious might, so that you have great endurance and patience, joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints' inheritance in the light.

We give thanks because God has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. In him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.


It's a simple prayer at its core: For God's will, spiritual understanding, strength, joy and thanksgiving. That's what I did that day. I followed Dr. Stanley's advice and prayed Paul's prayer that day and for several other days about my situation.

The Lord didn't disappoint me. He gave me understanding, strength, joy and thanksgiving, in time.

Sometimes we get distressed over situations or circumstances, but the biggest work that needs to be done is on our insides, not out where we perceive our problems to be.

So, when you feel lost for words, open up chapter one of Colossians and pray Paul's words over your situation. Make the words personal to you, and it will take on greater meaning.

Then try this with other scriptures. There's a similar, powerful prayer in Ephesians, chapter one, and many of the Psalms were written as prayers, so you can pray those prayers as well.

Put this in practice this year and watch your prayer life blossom!

PS. Here are some other spiritual growth opportunities:

Click here to Get a copy of Wayne's new eBook, "God Help Me: I'm Stressed." Learn how to access the power of God to break the power of stress over your life.

Click here to get on the Waiting List for The GORGEOUS Woman Circle, an eight-week Bible Study for women which explores how a woman becomes "gorgeous" in God's eyes.

Click here to get on the Waiting List for How To Know God's Vision Circle. This is a co-ed five-week Bible Study on how to discover and then explore God's vision for your life.

Thank you for your support and prayers.

Gill Family Ministries


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