Pray like Jesus, get Jesus sized results

Sometimes we just don’t know where to start or how to pray. At times like that, we have lots of resources to turn to in the Word. Paul’s prayer for his friends in Phillipi is a beautiful and comprehensive prayer that we can borrow in praying for our own loved ones. It covers the gamut of all we could ask for in terms of their well-being and for what is of ultimate importance in their lives. Simple prayers are the best, and what can be more simple than echoing Paul’s petitions?

It’s good to start by remembering that Paul was in prison in Rome when he prayed this. He begins his letter with this prayer, rather than asking for prayer from his friends, even though he would have been justified in putting his own needs first, as his very life was on the line. Perhaps you are at a very difficult time in your life; don’t let your situation monopolize the conversation nor the prayer. Start with being other-centered, putting their needs first.

Let’s pray!

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.

Father, Just the thought of ______, gives me pause to stop and praise You. Thank You for the role they have played in my life. Thank You for the gifts You have given them. Thank You that even in the challenges they face, You are there with them, holding them, helping them, and raising them up to be all they are called to be.

Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy…And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

Lord, I don’t pray this prayer in fear or worry or angst of any kind. This prayer is motivated by joy, for I have great trust in Your kindness and mercy. You joy is at work amidst the trials in my life and their lives. For I am truly confident that You don’t quit! I am secure because Your love never fails. You finish what you start, and I’ve seen Your hand at work. Lord, I won’t stop praying and believing, and You won’t quit working until You have completed Your good work in them – until they look like You, transformed into your glorious image and likeness.

So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News.


Father, these loved ones have a very special place in my heart. I pray that I would take opportunities to let them know that!

Thank You that no matter what circumstances they are in, they still share with me Your special favor and grace! No matter what is going on in their lives, I pray they would sense Your powerful grace at work in their lives, drawing them closer to You, giving them wisdom, granting them opportunities for joy.
God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.

May they know that they are loved not only by their Creator but also by me! For You have placed Your love in my heart for them. Please continue to love them through my love.

I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.

Lord, the greatest achievement these dear ones can make in this world is to learn to love. May they experience Your love to such a degree that they can’t help but love those around them. Continue to teach them great wisdom, knowledge, and understanding in their lives and in their work and vocations.


For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.

Please help them prioritize their lives in such a way that You take preeminence over everything else! May they live their lives free from evil; keep them far from temptation, for I know the wiles of the enemy, how he would seek to destroy them. Give them grace to hide in the shelter of Your wings day by day.

May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God. (Philippians 1:3-11 NLB)

Give them abundant life; cause them to be fruitful as they walk hand in hand with You. May they so please You that their very lives are a constant offering of worship and praise to Your Holy Name, for a pure heart is the best path to praise.

In Jesus’ Name Amen


-Mark and Jill