Caught in the hustle and bustle…Don’t forget to pray

We always seem to get caught up in the hustle and bustle associated with our desire to spread good cheer during the Christmas season.
It is good to remember that our Father in heaven is waiting to hear what is on our hearts. The following tips and scripture (NASB translation) can be useful during this time to remind us why and how we can pray.

Pray Believing: Trust God to answer your prayers: “And whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive it all” (Matthew 21:22).

Pray Constantly: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Pray for all things: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).

Pray Persistently– keep on praying: “Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not become discouraged, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect any person. Now there was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he was unwilling; but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect any person, yet because this widow is bothering me, I will give her justice; otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unrighteous judge said; now, will God not bring about justice for His elect who cry out to Him day and night, and will He delay long for them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:1-8).

Pray with Humility: “And when you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they will be seen by people. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But as for you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. And when you are praying, do not use thoughtless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. So, do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” (Matthew 6:5-8).

Pray in God’s Will: “If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7).

Pray with Action: Do your part to act on your prayers: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-19).

Pray with Purity: “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But the prayer of the upright is His delight.” (Proverbs, 15:8).


Intercessory prayer invites us into God’s care and concern for us, our families and friends, and the entire world. No concern is too trivial for God to receive with loving attention. However, intercession is not a means of manipulating heaven into doing our will. Rather it is a way we become aware of God’s desires for others.


“And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” (Romans 8:27)

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”  (Philippians 4:6)

“With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.”  (Ephesians 6:18)


  • Participating in prayer meetings.
  • Contributing to prayer lists, prayer chains.
  • Praying for the world, for peace, for God’s kingdom to come.
  • Praying for personal concerns, tasks, transactions and relationships of friends and neighbours.


  • Treat intercessory prayer as intentional effort and set aside time to pray.
  • Pay attention when people come to mind as it may happen for a reason and talk with God about them.
  • Use a newspaper or a new website to pray for the world.
  • Create weekly prayer lists of people or activities and let God lead you in prayer.
  • Create a neighbourhood prayer chart to help you visualize your neighbours who share your immediate community.
  • Identify serving or retired military personnel to pray for.
  • Make a journal of people close to you and include their photo and some details and commit to pray for them. Enter your prayers under their name in your journal.  


How can you pray for our deployed military’s family?

Many prayers are directed to our deployed military personnel, and that is so great, but it is equally important to pray for their loved ones at home. Here are thoughts to consider when praying for military spouses and children:

Pray…for the home front spouse

  • That they would trust God and that they would be firmly rooted in Christ and the Word of God and draw strength from Him.
  • For joy, hope, endurance, strength, patience, protection and safety.
  • Pray against fear, loneliness, fatigue, despair, depression.
  • That support would be present when needed, that friends, family, co-workers, neighbours would rise up and extend assistance and encouragement.

Pray…for their marriage

  • For loyalty and commitment in their marriage, and that their relationship would have trust.
  • That their love would grow stronger during the time apart.
  • Pray against temptation or inappropriate relationships.
  • For a healthy way to fill the hours left empty that would have been spent with their spouse.

Pray…for their children

  • That the spouse at home would be strong for their children and would have wisdom and discernment in parenting.
  • That children would learn how to cope with the deployment (fears, anxieties, sadness) and learn how to express themselves.
  • That schools would be understanding and helpful.

And keep praying following the deployment!

  • Pray for the time of re-integration. After the happy reunion, the period of adjustment can be tough.  the whole family has been affected/changed by the deployment.
  • It may be a time of dealing with unresolved issues.
  • The deployed parent needs to fit back into the home that has been managed independently without him/her for a period of time.  Parental/spousal responsibilities may shift.


Prayer lists are very helpful when seeking to intentionally spend time with God.  They can be developed over the day or the week.  When developing a prayer list, it is helpful to think of our three main prayer focuses.

IntimacyFocuses on giving your love and devotion to God.

  • This type of prayer includes worship, meditation on the Word (pray-reading it), and fellowship with the Spirit.

PetitionAsks for God’s blessing on your personal life and ministry.

  • Pray for a breakthrough in our inner man (heart), circumstances (physical, financial, relational), and ministry, that God’s power would be released through our hands, words, and deeds. 

IntercessionAsks for God’s power or justice. for others: (people, places, strategic issues).

  • Prayer for people and places: Individuals in ministries, marketplace, and government, and for the destiny of ministries, cities, or nations.
  • Prayer for Strategic issues in society: Government (elections), oppression (human trafficking, abortion), natural disasters (hurricanes, droughts), diseases, etc.

When developing a prayer list, it is helpful to understand that there are three main prayer themes.

We ask for the gifts, fruit, and wisdom of the Spirit to be released in each prayer focus:

  • Gifts of the Spirit: God’s power and favour being released.
  • Fruit of the Spirit:  God’s character formed in us or others.
  • Wisdom of the Spirit: God’s mind or the spirit of revelation imparted.

ASK (when we pray)

Some scriptures that supports why we should ASK when we pray

Proverbs 10:24, James 5:16, 1 John 5:14-15, 1 John 3:21-22, Psalms 145:19, Matthew 21:22, Mark 11:24 and John 14:13.

Also 1 King 3:12 “I will do what you have asked.  I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.”


Sometimes we are uncertain what to say to God regarding those around who don’t know Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Maybe this little prayer can help start the conversation. Identify the name to go in the blank and talk to God about them often.


Gracious Lord,

I know your desire is that all your creation accept and receive the gift of salvation. Sadly, many don’t accept for whatever reason and I think _________ is one of those who does not believe in the truths Jesus shared. I bring _________ before you now and ask that you convict ________ so that your name is on __________ mind. Holy Spirit, you helped changed my mind about Jesus and I ask that you do the same for __________. Bring someone to _________ so as to help them understand that Jesus, the son of God, came into this world to show how to live it to the full and how to find the Way to God.

Lord, use me wherever you can to help __________ accept you. AMEN


Persevere in prayer (Luke 18:1)

Pray with confidence (Heb. 4:16)

Resist the devil (Jas. 4:7)

Allow God to work (Ps. 37:5)

Pray specifically (Phil. 4:19; 4:6)

Pray in Jesus’ Name (John 4:13-14)

Pray in faith (Mark 11:22-24)

Pray according to God’s promises (2 Cor. 1:20)

Don’t try to dictate to God (Isa. 55:8-9)

God is almighty (Eph. 1:19-21)

Pray according to God’s will (1 John 5:14-15)

Pray with expectation (Jer. 33:3)

Praise and thank God for answers (Ps. 100)

Obey God and live a holy life (1 John 3:21-22)

Confess and break with all conscious and unconfessed sin (Prov. 28:9, 13)

Pray fervently and earnestly (Jas. 5:16)

Pray from your position of authority in Christ (Eph. 2:6)

Saturate your prayers in praise and worship (Rom. 11:33-36)

Wait upon the Lord so that He can answer you (Isa. 40:31; Ps. 145:15)

Be honest with God in your prayers; do not try to hide things or misrepresent things to God (Ps. 139:23-24)


12 segments – 5 minutes in each step of prayer = 1 hour!


  • “Enter His presence with praise”.
  • Praise God for who He is — think about His righteousness, His Word, His strength, His love.
  • Read Psalm 100 and Psalm 150.
  • Go through the alphabet and praise Him for something that begins with each letter (for example: Lord, I praise You because You are Almighty, Beautiful, Caring, etc).


  • “Be still and know that I am God”.
  • Clear out the clamouring thoughts from your mind – slow down.
  • Read Isaiah 40:28-31.


  • Read 1 John 1:9 & Psalm 139:23.
  • Ask God to search your heart and bring to light anything within you that is wrong.
  • Confess your sin to God – ask Him to cleanse you from all unrighteousness – to make you clean on the inside .
  • Be sure to check you attitudes, motives, thoughts and words as well as your actions against God or your fellow man.
  • When you’ve completed this step – thank Him for His grace and forgiveness.


  • Open your Bible and look for verses to pray.
  • Put yourself into the verse.  For example: “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory” Phil. 4:19  “Lord, I have read this promise and I believe you will supply my need for ___________. Thank you for being true to your word”.


  • Read Matt. 26:41, Col. 4:2.
  • Watch for methods Satan may try to use to hinder your Christian walk this day.  Prayerfully claim power to defeat Satan in each of these areas.
  • Pray against Satan, and for the advancement of God’s kingdom.
  • Pray for specific people, that they may not fall into temptation.


  • Pray your list.
  • Pray for the MCF Leadership team.
  • Pray for a member of the military that you know does not know Jesus. Pray for their salvation.
  • Pray for our chaplains.
  • Pray specifically for people and their needs as the Holy Spirit brings them to your mind.
  • Pray for the sick, the lost, the hurting, the church, the pastors, your family, your friends, your neighbours (… the list can be endless).


  • What do you need from the Lord? Ask Him!
  • Read Matthew 7:7.
  • Do you have faith to believe that God will answer your prayer?
  • Most importantly pray for God’s will to be done in your life.


  • Thank Him for what He has done.
  • Think about your many blessings.
  • Thank Him for His grace, His Son’s sacrifice, His gift of eternity.


  • Sing Psalm 100:2, Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16.
  • Sing choruses or hymns unto the Lord.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to create an original melody in your heart so your song is truly “a new song” (Psalm 144:9).


  • Read Psalm 62:5, Psalm 1:1-2, Psalm 77:12.
  • Focus on God’s word, on God’s works, on past victories, on positive thoughts.


  • Listen for God’s guidance and prompting. He speaks to us silently – in the heart. If you pause and ask God, He will speak to you.
  • Do not hesitate to ask God very specific questions about different problems or situations.
  • Be prepared to write down any ideas God may share concerning the details of solving that problem.

STEP 12- PRAISE (Start with praise and end with praise)

  • Praise Him and thank Him for what He has done for you during your hour of prayer.
  • Praise Him and thank Him for what He is going to do.
  • Let your heart rejoice as you end your prayer. Repeat the universal word for praise – HALLELUJAH.

Stimulating conversation with God.

Begin your Quiet Time by reading a passage of Scripture. Select and read a daily passage prayerfully, asking God to speak to you as you read it. Ask the Lord to call to your attention any:

  • Examples to follow.
  • Commands to obey.
  • Errors to confess.
  • Sins to quit.
  • Promises to claim.
  • New thoughts about God.

Use a Quiet Time journal to keep a record of the insights you gain as God speaks to you through His Word.

As you talk to God each day, have your conversations cover these five areas:

1. Praise: 

Praise is closely related to thanksgiving, but there is a difference. Praise involves adoring God for who He is. Thanksgiving is thanking God for what He has done. Praise is showing love to God; thanksgiving is expressing gratitude. God is to be praised for His character. He is to be thanked for His actions.

Begin your prayer by praising God. For example, “I love You, God. I praise You for being who You are.”

2. Confession

  • Ask the Lord to make you aware of any sins that are hurting your fellowship with Him.
  • Confess each sin individually to the Lord.
  • Agree with God that the sin is wrong.
  • Express your desire to avoid these sins in the future.
  • By faith, claim His forgiveness.
  • Right the wrong to whatever extent you can.
  • Accept by faith the fact that you are totally cleansed (1 John 1:9).

3. Thanksgiving

Express your thankfulness for specific things. Cultivate a general attitude of thankfulness whatever the circumstance (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

4. Intercession – Praying for Others

Pray for the needs of other people. In your mind draw together God and the person in need. God’s grace will meet the needs of that person.

5. Petition – Praying for Yourself

  • Pray for spiritual growth.
  • Pray for your material needs.
  • Share with God the desires of your heart and trust Him to respond in the best possible way.

Be willing to act on your prayers. For example, if you pray that a friend will recover from grief over a relative who has died, be willing to share words of encouragement and deeds of love with that friend.

P-R-A-Y-E-R Tips

“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Phil. 4:6).

I.   P-revailing
“… as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed”
(Gen. 32:28).

  • To prevail means to become effective, to succeed, to triumph.
  • There are times when we must prevail in prayer as Jacob did.  God does things when we pray persistently that He otherwise would not do.

II.   R-equesting
“Ask, and it shall be given you” (Matt. 7:7).

  • Some Christians fail to pray as they should until trouble strikes.
  • We must pray often, asking largely. God desires our daily fellowship with Him in prayer, petition, and praise.

III.   A-ccepting
“… whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Matt. 21:22).

  • Many Christians pray often, but they fail to receive from God because they lack faith.
  • We must ask with expectancy, accepting God’s blessings by faith (Mark 11:24).

IV.   Y-ielding
“… not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42).

  • Jesus was facing the cross. His life was at stake, but He yielded to His Father’s will.
  • Prayers will be answered; burdens will be lifted; broken homes will be mended; and souls will be won to Christ when we yield our will to God’s will.

V.   E-vangelizing
“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).

  • Our prayers can reach around the world to touch missionaries, loved ones, and the unsaved.
  • The prayer of faith is effective, both near and far, to sustain, save, and secure.

VI.   R-ejoicing
“Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24).

  • Rejoicing comes with the anticipation of answered prayer. It is an act of faith preceding the answer (Ps. 91:15).
  • We must praise the Lord after our prayers are answered. God is worthy of our praise. 

Borrowed from: Spray, R. E. (1978). 
Easy-to-Use Sermon Outlines(pp. 38–39). 
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House