Some people will say they pray for everybody, while others will pray for a few. Jesus taught us the best and most effective prayer, but before He gave us this prayer He gave us instructions of how we should pray to be heard.
We are to not pray as the hypocrites do who love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets to be seen of men, for they have their reward. (Matthew 6:5) And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
We are to not pray using vain repetitions as the heathen do, for they think they shall be heard for their many words spoken.(Matthew 6:7) But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
We are told not to be like them for our Father in heaven knows what things we have need of even before we ask Him.(Matthew 6:8) Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
So how are we suppose to pray then? Our Lord wants our prayers to be in secret between Him and us, and we do not need to be surrounded by many people when we pray. This time alone with Him is the intimate relationship He created us for. He alone knows our heart’s and minds and asks us to privately converse with Him, and He will reward us openly (Matthew 6:6) But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
The prayer our Lord gave to us
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
It may come as a surprise to many, but even Jesus did not pray for the world. He prayed to His Father to protect and keep us from evil. In His own words He prayed: (John 17:8-10) “8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. 9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.”
Then He goes on to not only pray for us, but for those who believe in Him by what we speak! (John 17:20) 20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.
May we continue to pray for one another as we have been taught by God to! (James 5:13-16).