How Can We Pray for Someone Who Has Unspoken Prayers?

Melissa Henderson

Contributing Writer
Updated Jan 31, 2022
How Can We Pray for Someone Who Has Unspoken Prayers?

Unspoken prayers can be those prayers requested when words are too difficult to speak. We can lift someone up to the Lord when they seek help, comfort, guidance, healing, and other needs. 

“I have an unspoken prayer request.” Have you heard those words or read those words? Some prayer groups offer to pray even if the specific request is not known. Online and in-person prayer groups are growing every day. Prayer is an important part of our relationship with the Lord. Maybe you have wondered how to pray for an unspoken prayer request. Is it possible to pray when you are not sure what you are praying for? There may be times when you don’t know who or what you are praying for, yet, prayer is requested by a friend, family member, or stranger.

We can find comfort knowing that God is in control. He listens and hears each of our prayers. There is not a word or thought He doesn’t know. Find peace in going to Him in prayer (1 John 5:14). Whether the specifics are known or not, pray. Unspoken prayers are powerful.

What Are Unspoken Prayers?

Unspoken prayers can be those prayers requested when words are too difficult to speak. We can lift someone up to the Lord when they seek help, comfort, guidance, healing, and other needs. We can also give thanks and praise to the Father for being able to bring unspoken prayers to Him. There may be times when hearts and spirits are broken due to circumstances. Prayer is needed.

Perhaps someone is embarrassed to share why they are requesting prayers. When a person requests prayer without giving details, we are called to pray and not judge. Maybe the situation will be shared at a later time. Perhaps the person needs comfort and guidance from the Lord. We can pray and be assured that God is listening. He will answer in His timing and in His way.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005, my husband and I asked our church family to pray. Days and nights came when I couldn’t find the words I needed to pray. Waiting for test results was traumatic. Each moment of chemotherapy and the effects of that treatment were exhausting and troublesome. Some days, I didn’t know what words to pray.

Asking family and friends to pray for unspoken requests helped me through the treatment.

As I began to recover from the cancer diagnosis and treatment, my prayers were bolder and more thorough. I regained strength and was able to go to the Lord and pray for others. I was able to give thanks in stressful times (Mark 11:24).

What Are Some Reasons Someone Would Leave a Prayer Unspoken?

When we are asked to pray, we may feel that details are needed in order to fully understand the situation. God doesn’t need us to know all the facts about what we are asked to pray about. God knows the heart and soul of each person and is already listening and hearing the prayers.

Reasons someone may leave a prayer unspoken can vary. Shame, guilt, sorrow, heartache, fear of others learning what has happened, or the person may not be ready to share specifics. There may be a situation where the person is physically and mentally exhausted and can’t find the words to pray.

In every scenario, when the opportunity to pray for someone who has unspoken prayer requests is presented to us, we are called to pray (Matthew 7:7). Praying for each other is one way of showing God’s love and glory.

A person may eventually share why they asked for unspoken prayers. Whether they do or do not reveal the reason for requesting prayer, we are called to pray for each other.

Pray in the name of Jesus. Ask the Father to answer prayers in His way and in His timing.

Another reason someone may ask for unspoken prayers is that the person may not know what to pray. The words won’t come, and they realize prayer is needed. God understands and He gives us the opportunity to pray for each other.

Can We Pray Effectively for Something We Don’t Know About?

A friend shared that she has unspoken prayer requests. She contacted me and asked me to pray for her. The woman shared how she didn’t want to share any details. This friend trusted me to pray for her. She had faith that God would be listening and hearing the prayers. Yet, my friend was not ready to give me any details about what I should pray about.

You may have heard this in worship service. A list of names will be presented. Sometimes, their illnesses, grief, or other facts will be shared. Other times, the request will be for unspoken prayers.

Either way, our prayers are needed. When we don’t know what the situation may involve, we still have the opportunity to take the prayers to God. We can ask for wisdom, discernment, and revelation for the person asking for prayers. We can ask God to cover the person with His hedge of protection. Also, we can ask for the faith of the person to grow stronger in each moment. God loves His children. He listens and hears our every thought and prayer. The Father will bring comfort and peace to those who seek Him. The comfort and peace may be found on this earth or in Heaven.

Going to God in prayer gives us the opportunity to show our love for the Father. Whether we pray quietly, pray out loud, or pray in a group setting, God is listening. He knows the details of each moment of our lives. Praying for friends, family, and strangers is the opportunity to help everyone grow in faith.

What Should We Do When Someone Presents an Unspoken Prayer to Us?

Has someone asked you to pray for them or perhaps pray for their family? When we are asked to pray, we are given the opportunity to bring others closer to God.

If you have been asked to pray for unspoken prayers, how did you respond? Did you ask for more information? Or did you agree to pray? Did you stop at that moment and pray, or maybe waited until you were in a quiet place to go to God in prayer?

When we are asked to pray, we can rest assured the Father is with us. When a person trusts someone enough to ask them to pray, that can be a way for the person praying and the person we are praying for to build a stronger relationship with the Lord.

I participate in a prayer group at church. Requests for prayers are sometimes listed as the need for unspoken prayers. Perhaps the pastor may know the specifics of the prayers needed. If I learn details, that may help my prayers to be more detailed. When I don’t know all the information, I can still pray.

Knowing prayers are being lifted to God can truly bring hope to those people requesting prayer. Can you think of times when you asked for unspoken prayers? Or maybe you know someone who asked for unspoken prayers? Did you learn the details later? Was that important?

Going to God in prayer can bring comfort, peace, and the ability to grow our faith. God is waiting for us to have a relationship with Him. He never leaves us. God is listening and hearing every prayer. Who can you pray for today? Do you have any unspoken prayer requests?

Blessings and prayers,

Melissa Henderson

A Prayer for Unspoken Prayer Requests

Lord Jesus, I pray today for those with unspoken prayer requests, those whose hurts are too deep to be spoken, those whose hearts are too broken. I pray for those who can't dress their pain with words, because they believe the shame or regret they wear is too heavy to remove. I pray for those who are trying to cope with endless struggles, battles that lure their hopes into closets of discouragement and depression, and for those whose actions or beliefs have paralyzed their faith or reduced it to a fraction of what they desire.

As the Provider of all our needs, who knows them even before we ask, Lord, hear these groans that pour out like water, that originate within the soul starved for answers. Grant these ones courage and strength to cast the weight of sorrow, longing, or worry onto You, even when they cannot speak the words or verbalize their thoughts. Let them know You hear; You care, and You answer, and that "coming boldly to your throne of grace," includes those times when our hearts can only cry out "Jesus!" in silent or verbal anguish.

To both the ones with unspoken prayer requests, and the ones who long to pray with discernment and compassion for them; protect their vulnerable spirits; release their imprisoned cries for help; and surprise them with Your amazing grace. Lord, free every burdened heart; heal the sin-sick soul; restore every broken part; and make our bodies whole, that we might become unified in the body of Christ. Make us all intercessors and prayer warriors, especially for the cries of "unspoken."

Jesus, what a privilege and honor to enter into prayer—and to know that connection that holds us all together: Your perfect bond of love. Thank You for hearing us, and for allowing us to pray.

In Jesus' name,


(Excerpted from "A Prayer for Unspoken Prayer Requests" by Rebecca Barlow Jordan)

Further Reading

10 Ways to Pray for Your Friend with an Unspoken Prayer Request

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/monkeybusinessimages

Melissa HendersonAward-winning author Melissa Henderson writes inspirational messages sometimes laced with a bit of humor. With stories in books, magazines, devotionals, and more, Melissa hopes to encourage readers. 

Melissa is the author of Licky the Lizard and Grumpy the Gator. Her passions are helping in the community and church. Melissa is an Elder, Deacon, and Stephen Minister. 

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