It is easy to pray generalized prayers asking God to bless us, our home, children, church, community, nation, etc. What makes it easy is that no detailed thought is put into how you want God to bless. What are you requesting God do? Rather than take the time to really consider the situation or condition and “pray” about how to “pray” saying general prayers is easier.
Does praying general prayers means a person is not sincere in their prayers? No. I think most people are sincere; they really do want God to bless, heal, save, etc. I have learned that many don’t know to make specific prayer requests. And, some don’t believe they should because God knows what they need even before they ask (Matthew 6:8). That is true; Jesus said so, but He expects us to ask. Being specific in prayer is a matter of clear and concise communication as if in a one-on-one conversation with another human being. In order to “make sense” and avoid vain babbling in conversation, you seek to communicate clearly so that each person understands what is being conveyed. Although you are talking with God, clear and concise communication is just as important; however, it is more to our advantage.
I serve as altar prayer counselor at my local church. It is common for individuals to request prayer, but their requests are so general that I ask for more specifics, not to be nosy, but to be effective in prayer and articulate clearly. In addition, as I seek to be specific, the Holy Spirit gives me additional insight and specifics to pray concerning their need and situation. Therefore, they are enlightened concerning their own need and how to continue praying.
You may ask, “Why is praying with specificity important? God understands and knows our heart.”
Here are three (3) reasons we should be specific in our prayers:
- Being specific helps us to understand and know God’s heart concerning our need, request and the needs of those we may be praying for. In order to understand, know His heart we should be clear in our thoughts to articulate God’s will revealed in His Word. When we understand and know God’s will, our prayers are like guided missiles that hit the target with precision–they are more effective when we are specific. (Acts 4:23-31)
- Praying with specificity provides the proof when those prayers are answered. When we make specific requests rather than praying general prayers, we can be certain when that specific prayer is answered. (John 11:40-44)
- Praying with specificity builds our faith and confidence as we become more sensitive to the Spirit by allowing Him to pray through us. As we study the Word of God, we are better equipped to pray in agreement with God’s Word and be specific because we know what He says. When we pray specifically according to God’s Word and He answers specifically, we can pray with specificity in confidence that He hears our prayers and He will answer us as He promised in His Word (Jeremiah 33:3).
Here is an extended example of praying with specificity:
You are holy, righteous and just. I reverence you. Your works are marvelous in our eyes; I praise your holy Name. You said in your Word that we can come boldly to the Throne of Grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Father, I come in confidence requesting your mercy be extended to Doris. I pray for your favor to surround her like a shield. I pray that she does not lose heart and faint in her faith because of the report she has been given. I pray that she will believe your report. May she be steadfast and immovable from her position of hope in Christ and in your unconditional love for her regardless of how she feels. Lord, I ask that she becomes more sensitive and alert to your Presence in the next three months as she undergo more tests. I pray that every doctor, nurse, and all medical staff are handpicked by you to ensure the best medical care with her best interest in mind. I pray that they are kind, gentle and express genuine concern for her well-being. I ask that family members and close friends are strengthened by your hand to give Doris the support and love she needs to endure this time of testing.
Lord, I believe that you are the same yesterday, today and forever, so I ask that your healing virtue flow continuously through Doris’ body. Let your power to heal be manifested in her life to give testimony and glory to you as the only true and living God.
I speak words of comfort, peace and encouragement and send them forth in the Spirit to give life. I pray that the words of life and not death are spoken by Doris and all in her environment. Let the words of life permeate her atmosphere! Father, I thank you that you hear the prayers of those who believe and stand firmly on the truth of your Word.
I pray this prayer in faith with thanksgiving in the Name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.
After reading this, from this day forward, I pray that you begin praying with specificity according to God’s Word having confidence that He hears and will answer!
Your prayer coach,