I get together every other Monday with my "MITI Mom" friends. The "MITI" part stands for Moms In Touch International. We meet to pray for our kids. And I mean pray.
My natural tendency would be to talk a lot more than I pray. And apparently I'm not the only one like that, so MITI suggests planning a fairly structured prayer time, including Praise, Confession (which is silent), Thanksgiving and Intercession. Of course, we can always bring our own requests in our own words, but we are learning to pray God's words for our kids.
Elizabeth Elliott says it so much better. This is from "A Lamp For My Feet."
Often I pray for someone whose circumstances or needs are unknown to me. There are many prayers in Paul's letters which may be used for almost anyone. One of my favorites is in Colossians 1:9-12. A part of this prayer asks "May He strengthen you, in His glorious might, with ample power to meet whatever comes with fortitude, patience and joy, and to give thanks to the Father" (NEB).
That seems to cover every possibility. It does not ask for instant solutions or reversals. It does not call on God for miraculous deliverance out of any trouble that might come. It asks for a truly Christian response, by the sufficient power of God: to meet whatever comes as a true Christian should meet it, with the Holy Spirit's gifts of fortitude, patience, and joy. It asks for the power to give thanks. It takes power, doesn't it, to thank the Father when everything in us protests? But we find in Him (not always in what happens to us) plenty of reason to thank Him and plenty of power.