The Specifics of Prayer Is Being Specific In Prayer
Be Strong, Be Well — Thursday, February 18, 2021
How specific should we be in our prayers? After all, doesn’t God already know what we need before we ask (Matthew 6:8)?
Using generalizations may be appropriate at times. And we wouldn’t pray publicly about personal, private matters concerning ourselves or others. However, if we are going to learn from scripture, being specific in our prayers is something we should be more careful to do.
Prayer is defined as a spiritual communion with God on His great and powerful throne, as in supplication, thanksgiving, adoration, or confession. Prayer may be a more general word than some others, as prayer is basically the avenue by which we communicate with our Father in heaven.
Paul encouraged us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).
“Requests” are petitions, or as a verb, it is kin to seeking or petitioning God for a variety of things.
“Supplication” is entreating God for our needs or wants. We usually don’t have a problem being specific here.
“Intercession” is when we petition God on behalf of others for their wellbeing, healing, or prosperity in the work of the kingdom.
There is one form of prayer in the original New Testament language which carries the meaning of beseeching (begging) when we make our “requests” known to God. We can’t think of such requests without feeling some anguish over those we have included in these prayers.
Then there’s “thanksgiving” which helps us to keep in mind the One we are addressing in our prayers—the giver of all things, our Father in heaven. "Think" and "thank" come from the same root word. When we consider our blessings and answered prayers, we should have no problem being grateful.
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14, 15).
Prayer is powerful. Prayer is intimate. It changes our hearts by drawing us closer to God when we pray regularly. The only way we can be confident in God’s hearing every specific thing we pray, is by maintaining our faithfulness and fidelity. God refuses to hear the one whose sins are left unchecked without repentance and confession of them. —Chris