I have in some of my pastoral duites been with a person or with a family facing some critical moments in life. And I have at times in those more troubling situations been called upon to pray. And in some of those I'll admit to wondering to myself 'What do I pray about or ask for in this situation?"
Here are a few things I've learned about praying at such times:
1)Admit to the Lord that you feel like you don't have all the words
2)Ask for the Lord to guide you in your prayer
3)Ask for the Lord to move by His Spirit and to intercede with groanings that are beyond words
4)Focus on God and on some of His attributes (His power, presence, grace, help, changlessness)
5)Claim a promise or promises (like Proverbs 3:5-6 on guidance or Isaiah 40:29 for strength and so on).
6)Ask for God to work mightily in the situation and commit the person or family to the Lord
Such a prayer could sound like this:
"Lord God, I admit that I feel like I don't even have the words to pray, so Lord guide me as I pray for this dear family and may your Spirit taking these words and intercede on a deepr level. Father, we prasie You that You are the One we can always count on because you never change, and You have the strength and wisdom and grace that we need. Father, you have promised wisdom to those who ask for it and who do so without doubting, so by faith we ask for wisdom for this family. Aid them in their decision making. You've promised, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not in your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall make your paths straight." Even so Lord we come admiting we must have your guidance ,and we are trusting in you and trusting that You will keep your word and to make our paths straight. We thank you for working in their lives and this situation and commit them unto You in the name of Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen."