Praying for Your Center (When You Don’t Know What to Pray For)

by Keith Ferrin, Guest WriterPhilippians1

Sometimes we know exactly what to pray for. The woman walking out of your office who is trying to decide what to do next. The unmarried couple who just signed up for your parenting class. The board meeting next week where tough decisions need to be made. Your fundraising banquet that’s only three weeks away.

Yes, sometimes the prayer needs are very specific and very obvious. And sometimes they are not.

There are also times when you might know what to pray, but your supporters, friends, board members, and people who drive by your center don’t have a clue what you are facing.

What if there was a template – or more accurately – a guide for times when prayer is needed, but the specific prayer requests aren’t known?

At those times, the Apostle Paul’s prayer in the first chapter of Philippians is just such a guide. Take a look...

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11)

Now let’s look at this prayer one piece at a time...

“...that your love may abound more and more...”

More than anything, the people who walk through your doors, call your hotlines, and take your parenting classes need love. To know they are loved. To see it. To feel it. To receive it. To believe it.

Our love needs to abound...more and more.

“ knowledge...”

Simply put: There is a lot to know.

Whether it is new medical information, training to become a better advocate, working more effectively as a staff and board, teaching abstinence classes in the public schools, or navigating the ever-changing political landscape, we could all use more knowledge.

“...and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best...”

Sometimes you’re talking to a person who truly needs answers. Other times, the person you are with is scared to death and simply needs to know they are not alone. To have the Holy Spirit give us insight into when to talk, when to be silent, and what to say is a daily necessity.

“...and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ...”

There are few things the enemy wants more than to destroy the purity and blamelessness of your staff, volunteers, and board members. He is a destroyer, and he loves to destroy marriages and families.

Too many times, we have seen the carnage left in the wake of moral failure. The enemy knows that. And he is attacking. Our best weapon in this area is prayer.

“...filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ...”

This ministry is life and death. Literally. The fruit of your ministry is life. Life for that unborn child. Life for that woman. Life for that couple. And life for all of the lives they touch.

“ the glory and praise of God.”

God’s glory and God’s praise is our ultimate desire. We want everything we do to glorify the only One worthy of glory. And we want everything we do to cause those we serve to praise Him.


What if you and I prayed that prayer on a daily basis? What if your staff prayed that prayer? What if your donors prayed that prayer?

When specific prayer requests are known – pray specifically. When they are not – pray Paul’s prayer.

Pray it. Share it. And then pray it some more. Lives are counting on it.

Keith Ferrin is an author, speaker, blogger and storyteller. His word-for-word, dramatic presentations of whole books of the Bible have been seen by audiences big and small on several continents. His passion is helping people not just read and study the Bible, but truly enjoy it! He has been partnering with pregnancy centers around the country for the last decade. He and his wife have three kids and you’ll find them doing something outdoors in and around Seattle. He blogs weekly at