How to Pray When You Don’t Know What to Say

Basing our prayers on the promises of God

Every serious believer longs to summon up the kind of boldness and faith that can stand firm on Mount Carmel and pray down heaven into impossible situations. Yet few are willing to go through the process required to get them there. Strength of faith, character and boldness can only be shaped in the hidden fires of silence, sameness, solitude and adversity. Those who patiently wait on God in the darkness emerge with their holy loyalty cemented, their courage emblazoned and their confident belief in him set afire.

Join Priscilla Shirer in her latest Bible study, Elijah: Faith and Fire, a seven-session journey through the life and times of the prophet Elijah to discover how the fire on Mount Carmel was forged in the valley of famine. And how the emboldened, fiery faith you desire is being fashioned by God in your life right now.

Here, Priscilla tells us how to pray when we don’t have the words ourselves.

You don’t have to know the details of how everything is going to work out, but you can base a single prayer directly on the promises of God because he is not a man that he should lie.

And I’ve been thinking about sometimes how prayer can be difficult. You know, depending upon what you’re facing in your life in that particular season, it literally can be difficult to form the words.

And I want you to know that from my own experience—that, as I have mentioned to you throughout our time together, it has been a tough couple years for us, as a family, for me personally. We’ve experienced the loss of one family member after another, including a cousin of mine who actually was my best friend in her just late-30s, mid-30s actually, four small children. We experienced the loss of my beloved grandfather, and then, not even a full month later, the loss of my own mother. And then a week after her funeral, I had to go in to have a major, major surgery because of something that they found in my lung and one thing after the other. And even as I was recovering from that lung surgery, then all of the crisis hit with the pandemic that was faced globally. And then before we could even—all of us—could recover from that, then racial tensions bubbled to the surface here in the United States of America.

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It’s been one thing after the other. And sometimes when the load of life is really heavy and you feel like you just can’t even come up with the words that you could say to pray, I’m telling you, base your prayers directly on the promises of God. Literally, just say exactly right back to him what he’s already said to you. What better thing to pray than just to say, “Lord, this is what you said, so Imma go ahead and pray completely and fully in alignment with what it is that you have already said.”

This article originally appeared on and is reposted here by permission.