Pray What You Know

When parents teach their children how to pray, the first thing they start to pray are for things they know. They start by praying for Mommy and Daddy, Grampa, Fluffy the cat, and so on.

But then a good parent will expand their horizons. “What about praying for you friend Billy? He does not know Jesus yet.” And so the child begins to pray for Billy to come to know Jesus. Or a parent reminds the child that a missionary the child met at church a while ago is now sick, and that becomes a part of what the child knows . . . so it gets prayed for as well.

We Are All Like That

In that way a godly parent can teach the child to expand his or her prayer life based on what is happening in the broader world around them.

But you know, we adults are like that as well. We can only pray what we know, too.

That is why we primarily focus on ourselves and the needs of our close friends’ when we pray. When there is something happening in the world, nation or our community that captures our attention, we can pray general prayers—and do—but we do not pray much beyond that.

If you want to grow in your prayer life, then you want to learn to pray God’s purposes. And to do that, you need to look for ways to expand your knowledge of events and circumstance for which you are praying.

For example, the horrific situation in Ukraine has captured our hearts. We can pray general prayers, but what if we learned some prayer points that are related to what we know about God and what He wants to do? Getting a Scripture-based prayer guide can be a help (try for some options); or watching the news and offering prayers that relate to what we see.

The point is, the more you expand the focus of your prayers, and come alongside God’s purposes with those prayers, the stronger your connection with God will be. You will sense His Holy Spirit guiding your prayers.

Two Helps for You

One of the benefits of a Love2Pray membership is the Daily Prayer Patterns our members receive each day. They provide regular Scripture-based prayer points to pray for yourself, your family and friends, your church, expansion of Christ’s kingdom, and for lost people.

If you begin praying through all or some of them each day, it will expand “what you know” and you will develop your prayer life to a higher level.

Another help is the upcoming (April-May-June 2022) issue of Prayer Connect magazine. It is on the theme “Prayer for the Great Glory of God: A Greater Revelation of Christ,” which ultimately what all prayers need to desire! If you are a Love2Pray member, you have access to the online version, which will be available in another week. If you are not a member of Love2Pray or a subscriber to Prayer Connect, you can purchase a copy of this issue at It will be shipped to you in a few weeks.


If you want to grow in your prayer life, a great way to do so is to expand “what you know” so you can pray God’s purposes with more confidence.

–Jon Graf