How to Write a Prayer Request to Confidently Share with Others

Asking others to pray for you can feel intimidating at times. And knowing the best way to word other people’s prayer requests can pose different challenges, as you figure out how to share the right amount of information in a prayer request.

Looking for tips on how to write a prayer request to share with others? You’ve come to the right place. We’ll also explore ways to form a prayer request to share in a less private setting like a church prayer meeting or a church bulletin.

If you’re also looking for guidance on how to write down your prayer request for your own prayer journal or prayer list, this article has example prayer requests for you to consider.

This will also cover ways that a church volunteer or employee can help prepare a prayer request in a way that shares the heart of a prayer need without running into other problems, like too much space, too much information, or too many hurt feelings.

And don’t miss the free prayer request card at the end of this post to help you keep track of prayer requests, or to gather prayer requests from others.

Find inspiration in these ideas to grow the prayer community around you as you learn the best ways to write a prayer request.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure to learn more.

Why share prayer requests with each other?

When going through difficult times, we can all struggle with loneliness. Sometimes, it’s because we don’t want to bother other people. Other times, it’s because we don’t feel like we can trust other people with our problems.

But God wants us to reach out to Him in prayer! He is always with us and wants us to be constantly in an attitude of prayer. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 reminds us to “Pray without ceasing.” 

He also wants us to support each other in prayer. James 5:16 says to “Confess your offenses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The insistent prayer of a righteous person is powerfully effective.”

how to write a prayer request (9) james 5 16

We can often worry about how to share these prayer requests that are on our hearts. Sometimes we will be able to share a prayer request without thinking too much about how to word it. “Pray for my sister’s friend, who was in a car accident,” would be a good example of that.

But it’s more complicated to figure out how and with whom to share a prayer request for a marriage to be restored or how much health information to share. These requests must be handled with careful thought and discretion.

When we are sharing our special prayer requests, and other people’s prayer requests, with others, it’s wise to take a few moments to consider how to write a prayer request in the best way that will encourage others to pray without offering unnecessary, unhelpful, or private information.

With all that said, please remember: one thing that should not be complicated is how you word your prayer request to God. If you are worrying about getting your words perfect before you pray to God, stop.

God just wants you to come to Him in prayer. You don’t need to get your words “just right.”

In fact, Romans 8:26 tells us that “In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weaknesses, for we don’t know how to pray as we ought. But the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which can’t be uttered.”

how to write a prayer request (8) Romans 8 26

Even if we’re not sure how to pray for something, we can just come to God and tell Him what’s on our heart. The Holy Spirit will help us pray beyond what we are saying with our words.

In Philippians 4:6-7, the Apostle Paul reminds us, “In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.”

We just need to bring our prayer requests to God, with an attitude of surrender and thankfulness. He will give us peace in our Lord Jesus Christ to guard our hearts and minds as we wait to see how He will answer our prayers.

Whether you want to write your prayer request down for your own prayer list or prayer journal, or to ask for prayer from fellow Christians, these helpful steps can help you form a prayer request you can feel comfortable sharing with others.

How to Write a Prayer Request to Share with Other People 

how to write a prayer request (2) two pairs of hands clasped in prayer

Often when we are facing something larger than everyday problems, we will turn to others for prayer. 

Letting them know how to pray for us can be difficult to do in a concise way, and can be complicated by the setting in which you are sharing.

The Structure of a Prayer Request

A basic structure to each prayer request can be covered in two to three sentences. We will demonstrate this by praying for Jan’s sister, Lydia, who has had surgery.

This scenario assumes that you have permission to share this information at all, and to the degree of detail that you are sharing. If you don’t have the permission, don’t share it. 

Sharing details of a prayer request with others when you don’t have permission to do so can do so much harm, especially if the person doesn’t know the Lord yet. Make sure they know how you will be sharing it, especially if you will be sharing it with the whole church.

If you are free to share the details, start with the setting. The first sentence should be WHO + WHAT. In this case, it would be “Please pray for Jan’s sister Lydia, who recently had surgery.” Let’s say that in this case, you have permission to say surgery but not the kind of surgery. Stick to that.

The second sentence should be MORE DETAIL. This expands on the first sentence. In this example, you could add (if you have permission), “Her recovery from surgery should last through the end of [month].” 

This is better than saying 6 weeks or another time period that will change as time passes. A prayer list won’t be out of date as quickly.

The third sentence should be MORE DETAIL/UPDATE or FURTHER PRAYER. In the example of Lydia’s surgery, the third sentence could look like any of these. Again, make sure you are allowed to share the information.

  • “Pray for financial provision as she recovers.”
  • ”Pray for her strength to increase.”
  • ”She thanks you for your prayers.”
  • ”She is encouraged by your prayers.”
  • ”Her family thanks you for your prayers.”
  • ”She hopes to return home soon.”
  • ”Pray for her as she will start chemotherapy treatments in [month].”
how to write a prayer request (10) steps to writing a prayer request

This basic structure can help you in shaping a prayer request in most circumstances. It’s not the one “right” way to do it, but one that can be useful in sharing a prayer request with others in a consistent and succinct way.

The Setting of a Prayer Request

how to write a prayer request (6) prayer request box

Another aspect of how to share a prayer request is the setting in which you share a prayer request. It can completely change how you share information, as some prayer requests are so sensitive that one should share it with only a chosen few. 

Here are a few common settings, and a recommendation for the amount of information to share in each instance.

Trusted Christian family and friends. These are Christians who know your life and your heart. Some refer to these people as pallet bearers, like the friends in Mark 2:1-12 who carried their paralyzed friend because he could not get to Jesus himself. 

That might not be your physical reality, but it can feel like an emotional or spiritual reality. Sometimes we feel far from Jesus during a trial, and we need our friends to help us to our dear Lord. 

These are people who can know the whole story of what you are praying for. You can trust them to pray and you don’t have to be as careful with your words.

You may be able to think immediately of one or many people that fulfill this spot in your life. Or maybe this is someone you are still looking for. 

If you don’t have this type of relationship, try to develop it at church by starting with small requests for each other. Simply asking, “How can I pray for you?” is a great way to start.

These friends and family members who pray for you and don’t gossip about your prayer requests, they are a great gift. 

You might also find faithful people like this in people you are not as personally close to, but are in your church family. 

A faithful pray-er, a prayer warrior, a pastor, or another church family member might be someone you can trust with an unedited prayer request.

Make sure, though, that it’s your prayer request and not someone else’s that you aren’t at liberty to share. Your heart might be in the right place, but you don’t need to share everything. 

For example, you might share with this person or a very small group of people that you are praying for another friend’s salvation. It doesn’t mean that you have permission to spill non-public information, like that their daughter has been to rehab or that they got fired from work with cause.

A Small Group / Bible Study / Larger Group of Friends

You might not need to edit your prayer request for yourself or others with those very close to you, speaking or texting in paragraphs about your prayer request. But it’s always a good idea to get a more concise prayer request wording when going beyond those few people.

Often in these groups, you aren’t the only one offering a prayer request, and need to share the time with others. You might not know everyone either, so it’s a good idea to provide a prayer request that is shorter and doesn’t reveal any sensitive information, especially about other people.

Let’s say that you want to pray for your friend, Joyce, who has been dealing with depression and anxiety since her husband died. She also is struggling financially and needs new employment and to sell her house. How much do you share?

You know that Joyce is comfortable having people pray for the job and selling her house. You don’t think she would appreciate you sharing about her emotional health. 

You might say, “Let’s pray for my friend Joyce, whose husband died last year. She needs God’s provision for a new job and the sale of her house. Pray also that she will be encouraged.”

Praying for someone to be encouraged covers so many different things that we could be praying for. Even if Joyce weren’t anxious or depressed, it’s a good prayer request to pray for anyone.

If people follow up with more questions, it’s okay to respond with “I’m not sure” or “Maybe it’s better if you talk to Joyce directly” or “I don’t feel comfortable answering that for Joyce.”

If people chime in with additional information about Joyce that seems gossipy, you can use variations of that like “I don’t feel comfortable talking about Joyce without her here [or the more firm, “behind her back”]” or “I don’t think this is the right setting to discuss that about Joyce.”

For the Church Bulletin or Other More Public Settings

The internet has been great in terms of getting information out to a lot of people, but it has also been very efficient in spreading information that isn’t everyone’s business. 

Whether you are asking for prayer in a church’s publication, such as a bulletin, during prayer service, on a prayer chain or prayer line, or on your social media, much more discretion must be taken as you consider the audience that will receive your prayer request.

Some church bulletins and newsletters are posted online, and include a prayer list. While the actual reach of these online publications might be tens, hundreds, or thousands, the potential reach is in the millions. 

That’s why it is important to consider what you are sharing publicly. Do you want people to always know about the details of this prayer request? If the prayer request isn’t about you, do you have permission to share that information? Will they always want people to know about their struggle or their health information?

In researching different aspects of church administration over the years, we’ve come across a number of personal prayer requests from other churches that don’t seem the right fit for sharing online to anyone who might come across it.

Additionally, sharing detailed prayer requests on social media is not always the right choice. Again, thinking of other people’s privacy or feelings is an important consideration before you post.

Not everyone understands their own privacy settings, and might not realize that their post is public or that they’ve tagged other people in it and made it visible to those people’s friends.

If you aren’t sure, reach out to a trusted Christian friend who can help you decide if it’s right to share your particular prayer request to social media.

So for these more public prayer requests, let’s consider a good friend, Janice, who has cancer. Janice is comfortable with sharing that she has cancer but doesn’t want to share what kind. 

She also doesn’t want to let people know that her doctors have told her she only has a few months left to live. She has said that you can tell your family but she doesn’t want to tell the whole church just yet.

You are distraught and you want to tell everyone you know so that they can be praying for her healing and for her strength through this difficult time for her and her family.

This is where you need to stop and pray for restraint. You are in mourning for what might come to pass, and you are thinking of how you feel. Think of what Janice is feeling. She is dealing with much more than you are.

So write your prayer request to share with others. “Pray for Janice, who has been diagnosed with cancer. Pray for strength for her and her family during this difficult time.” Show your prayer request to Janice and ask if it’s OK with her and if she wants any changes. 

Tell her where you plan on sharing it and get permission for each place. Maybe she’s fine with your church bulletin but not your Facebook. Respect her wishes. Talk and pray with the people she has said you can share this with (in this case, your family), and work through this challenge. 

Don’t be another complication during her difficult time. And remember that people can be praying for her without knowing all the details. God knows!

How to Share Other People’s Prayer Requests at Church or in Other Ministry Settings

how to write a prayer request (4) hands open in prayer with the shape of a cross in the middle of the hands

Maybe you found this because you are a prayer coordinator of a prayer team at church, or you write the church bulletin, or maintain a prayer list for a ministry in which you’re involved.

Please read the information above this in order to understand how to write a prayer request. This basic structure can help you through the wording of many prayer requests. The information below this section will give you prayer request samples for many different occasions.

Here, we’ll look at some best practices for sharing other people’s prayer requests in more public settings at church and online. This may help you in developing your own formal or informal policy on sharing prayer requests.

What kind of information is too much? Sharing other people’s sensitive information that violates their privacy, condemns them, or could cause them to feel hurt from the church is information that shouldn’t be included for the public.

This could be health information that they aren’t ready to share or sin issues that don’t need to be printed in black and white. It also could be someone’s last name, children’s names, or other information that is better for sharing with a few instead of everyone.

This is a policy that might evolve over time, as you experience different scenarios. If you aren’t sure, pray about it and think about if this is the right setting for this prayer request.

How long should a prayer request be? When it is your loved one, you want everyone to know everything, and want people to pray for each detail. But it’s not realistic to include this kind of information in every setting.

That’s why it’s best to keep each prayer request to 2 – 3 sentences. It helps show that you aren’t playing favorites with prayer requests. This can be a challenge, but most people will understand.

A good process for this can be to listen to everything someone has to say about the prayer request, taking notes. Pray with them if you feel led to.

Then tell them that you will be back in touch shortly with a text or email with the prayer request wording for the bulletin or other setting, so that they can approve it. 

This gives you a few moments to condense the paragraphs of information down to a few sentences. The person feels listened to, and the pertinent information can be included in the prayer request list for others to pray for.

When do you turn down a prayer request for publication? Someone might ask you to pray for something, but it’s not right to put it into a document that will be posted online or even just printed for anyone at church to see.

Some churches might have a prayer board or prayer wall where prayer requests are posted, and these should also be treated as if you are posting them in public.

Don’t include information that can put someone at risk, whether it is the location of a missionary worker in a closed country or someone else who needs to maintain discretion about the details of their life.

If a prayer request is about a third party, consider their privacy and seek permission if it’s appropriate. Not everyone offering a prayer request is fully doing it for the right reasons. 

If you’re not sure, don’t include it in a public setting but tell them you will pass it along to the prayer team, the pastor, or another church leader to pray for. Say, “I can’t include that in our church prayer list for privacy reasons, but I’ll ask [person/prayer team] to pray about it.”

You’ll also want to determine what you do with other’s requests to pray for someone else’s salvation. This is a very admirable and kind thing to do, but how will that person feel if they saw it? It could turn them off of church or Christianity as a whole. 

With the internet, it’s possible they’ll see it, even if it’s not likely. Again, you could offer to pass it along to a smaller prayer team.

Some churches choose to share some prayer requests on their Facebook page or Facebook group. This can be encouraging and helpful, but it comes with its own set of challenges.

It may be simpler to keep prayer requests offline to avoid hurt feelings and privacy concerns, but it isn’t always the right choice for every church.

If you choose to share in this way, make sure to have several trusted moderators that tend to be on social media at different times. This can help you head off some of the problems that might arise from sharing prayer requests with people you might not entirely know, or might not have the best judgment at what to post on social media.

How long will you share a prayer request? If you are sharing a prayer request in a weekly setting, it’s helpful to have a time limit on how long you will run a prayer request without further input.

A good place to start is three weeks. If you include a notice that says, “Your prayer request will run for three weeks; please contact us to renew it”, it can help you keep the prayer requests up to date.

There may be some ongoing struggles that necessitate leaving them in for longer, such as some health issues, but even then, try to reword them every three weeks.

Even the most faithful of prayer warriors can start to gloss over the same requests. Adding some new information or even just rewording them can help people pray with more engagement. 

Prayer Requests Samples for Different Occasions

how to write a prayer request (5) fountain pen writing the word requests

These are a few situations where you might want to write a prayer request to share with others, but aren’t sure where to start. These prayer request examples may not be right for every occasion, but it can help you as you let other people know how to pray for you.

Again, be careful about sharing other people’s information. And check your prayer request with a trusted friend or pastor if you aren’t sure where to share it.

If you are sharing a longer prayer request with a few people or noting it on your personal prayer list, you might find a verse from God’s Word to encourage you in your prayer. We’ll include Bible verses in a few of these prayer request examples.

We’ll use the names Donald or Judy for these examples.

A Prayer Request for Good Health. “Donald has been diagnosed with colon cancer. Pray for a healing miracle as he faces surgery and treatment. Pray also for strength for him and his family.” (Psalm 103:1-5)

A Prayer Request for a Financial Situation to Improve. “Pray for Judy, who recently lost her job. Ask God to show her where to look for work.” 

A Prayer Request for Chronic Illness. “Pray for Donald, who is dealing with chronic pain. Pray for a diagnosis for his illness, and for strength while he waits.” 

A Prayer Request for a Heart Attack. “Pray for Judy, who had a heart attack last month. Pray for health insurance issues she is encountering. Her recovery is going well.”

A Prayer Request for Final Exams. “Pray for the youth group’s high school students as they end their semester with final exams. May God bless their efforts to study the material.”

A Prayer Request for Spiritual Warfare. “Pray for our church to stand strong against spiritual warfare, remembering that “..our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world’s rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)”

A Prayer Request for Salvation. “Pray for those we know and don’t know who haven’t heard the Good News of Jesus Christ. Pray that He would help us and others share God’s love for them.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Free Printable Prayer Request Card

Looking for a way to gather prayer requests at your church or keep track of prayer requests? These prayer request cards are free for personal and ministry use. Please don’t share the file with others; instead, send them a link to this post or to our Gumroad store.

4 x 6 prayer request card preview from church ministry help

Pick up the free 4” x 6” prayer request card here. You might also want to check out Kingdom Blogger’s free printable prayer journal template here.

If your church needs a welcome card that has space for a prayer request, take a look at this helpful article here

You also might want to consider reading this article about how to create an online form that works as your digital church connection card, online prayer request form, and even more options. 

how to write a prayer request (7) printer blocks that spell out the phrase prayer request

Writing a prayer request card does not have to be difficult. It’s a great privilege to bring a prayer of petition before our Heavenly Father and know that He will hear us as we ask Him for our requests in Jesus’ name.

In sharing our prayer requests with our dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, we are trusting our almighty God together for the answers to these prayers. 

Our spiritual journey can also benefit from writing down our prayer requests, even just for ourselves, as we see how our dear God has worked in our lives in the past and give thanks to Him for answering specific needs.

May God help you connect with others and with Him as you pray together for your prayer requests. 

Sharing prayer requests is a great way to support and encourage one another in our Christian walk. By using the tips found here, we can ensure that we are sharing prayer requests in a way that is honoring to God and helpful to others.

Remember, prayer is a powerful tool that can change lives. Let us set aside our worries and concerns and come together in prayer for these prayer requests.

If you liked reading How to Write a Prayer Request, you may also want to read Prayer Points for Prayer Meetings and Prayer for Church Growth and Development.

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