When You Don’t Know What to Do or Say . . . Pray

By Jessica Wolstenholm


This has been a hard week for the world.

When things get hard and ugly outside the walls of our homes, it is a natural reaction to hide our heads under the covers and pretend everything is okay despite the groans of the world around us. Life can be uncomfortable and overwhelming and oftentimes we just don’t know what we can do or say to make it better. 

As believers, we know that life on earth will be full of difficult trials until Jesus comes again. We will face personal trials and global ones. But Jesus said, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33, ESV

Teach Them to Trust

As parents, our discomfort grows as we wonder how to navigate what is going on in our world while little eyes watch with confusion and curiosity. But this, like every trial we face, is an opportunity to point our kids toward God, teaching them to trust Him and seek His kingdom during the most difficult times. 

So how do we do that? The most simple, yet profound, thing we can do is to talk to God. 

The Shaping Practice of Prayer

E.M Bounds, the 19th-century American theologian said, “God shapes the world by prayer. The more praying there is in the world the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil.”

God shapes the world by prayer. In that simple statement, we find perhaps the most powerful response we can offer as followers of Jesus, and as parents raising the next generation of citizens and leaders that we hope will live a better story than the one unfolding in our world right now. 


As we asked the Lord what posture we should take and how we should respond to this week’s events, the word PRAY echoed in the hearts of our leadership. 

When you don’t know what to do or say . . . pray. 

We want to encourage our Minno families to lean into prayer right now. We want to equip you with tools that will help you and your children go deeper in prayer this year not just because our nation and the world need it, but because your family needs it as well.

Minno Life Guide: Prayer

We understand the importance of prayer at all times, but especially right now, so we are encouraging Minno families to download our Minno Life Guide on Prayer for free. In it, you’ll find wisdom and encouragement to help you teach your kids the sacred practice of talking to their heavenly Father—on ordinary days and in the midst of anxiety, pain, and sadness.

Prayer Minno Life Guide Cover.jpg

The guide includes a 7 Days of Family Prayer worksheet to guide you in praying . . .

for each other.

for your extended family and friends.

for your church family.

for your neighbors and community.

for your country.

for the world.


Prayer is an invitation and an opportunity to connect with God. Prayer is a privilege that when practiced, will change our lives, the life of our family, and as Bounds reminds us, the world.

When you don’t know what to do or say . . . pray. 

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Download your copy of the Minno Life Guide: Prayer in our store.

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We’re including a few prayers below, adapted from traditional liturgical prayers to help you find the words your heart may be trying to utter right now. Pray these together as a family as you seek God for the healing and restoration of our world.

Family Prayers to Pray for Our World

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God, You have given us this world as our earthly home. We ask You today to bless it and all the people who live in it. Save us from violence, pride, and every kind of evil. Each country is one nation created from the people of many nations; help us to remember that and work together to make it a better place to live for everyone. We pray for our leaders and ask that You fill them with wisdom from the Holy Spirit. 

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God, You are our forever King. No matter what happens in earthly kingdoms and countries, You will always be our King. We know that You see everything and know everything, even everything happening in our world right now. When our neighbors have trouble, please be near. Help their leaders and ours. Show us where we need to change. Guide us with the light and truth that Jesus gives us. Amen.


The above prayers have been inspired by the Book of Common Prayer (1928) and adapted in family-friendly language.

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God of the ages, you have always been faithful to your people.

Come to us now, we pray!

Give comfort and courage to those who are suffering.

Give strength and skill to those

Who are working to save and to heal.

Give us your peace that passes all understanding

In these moments of shock and sorrow.

Open our eyes, hearts, and hands to the movements of your Spirit,

That we might be comforted and comfort others

In the name of Christ, our healer and our light. Amen.

From The Book of Common Worship (2018)