Had one been a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry, the news that He had been arrested and faced with possible death by execution might well have led to prayer on the Lord's behalf.
"Heavenly Father, we ask You to deliver this good man from such an injustice. Show the authorities that He is innocent of all charges, and expose His accusers as liars. Protect Him, Lord, and deliver Him from these false charges, His captivity, and the horror of the cross. Amen."
A nobler and more well meaning prayer might have never been offered. If such a request had been answered, however, the unintended consequence would have been the eternal damnation of every member of Adam's sinful race.
"Now is My soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour? But for this cause came I unto this hour... His blood is the propitiation... for the sins of the whole world" (John 12:27; I John 2:2).
How easy it is to blithely pray with barely a nod to the plainly stated Biblical declaration, "We know not what we should pray for as we ought" (Romans 8:26). We really don't, and while it is fine to humbly ask God to do things we perceive to be required, we do even better to ask Him to work according to His perfect knowledge of that which most assuredly IS required. "Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of" (Matthew 6:8). Indeed, by definition, prayer involves the admission of our inability to do that which only God can do, along with the recognition that our understanding of what needs to happen is limited.
"And He said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, Thou knowest" (Ezekiel 37:3).
With God, there is always more to the picture than meets the eye. Indeed, He may not save His Son from a Roman cross. He may rather save us thereby, and raise the Lord Jesus from the dead. In the same manner, our prayers for the deliverance of others and ourselves may seem unanswered as our Heavenly Father works according to "the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord" rather than our dim vision (Ephesians 3:11). Let us be grateful for such wisdom, and may "O Lord God, Thou knowest" form and inform the heart of every prayer, supplication and intercession. We may well use fewer words as we pray, but they will likely bear more weight, fervency and efficacy as we trust both our Lord's wisdom and willingness.
"His understanding is infinite" (Psalm 147:5).