By Dianne E. Butts:
How to Pray?
Do you pray? Have you ever asked God for anything? What happened? Did He answer, or did He leave you wondering why all you got was silence?
If you’re frustrated with your prayers (or with God’s answers to them), I’d like to suggest you be pray specifically.
At times I’d been frustrated because I kept hearing of my friends getting amazing answers to their prayers, but when I prayed, I got nothing. Then one day it occurred to me that the problem may not be God’s answers (or lack of them). The problem might be my prayers.
I took a good look at my prayers and I realized my prayers were so vague I wouldn’t recognize God’s answers even if He had sent one! After all, if I ask Him to “bless” me or “bless” someone I love, what will that look like when the answer comes?
I decided I needed to get more intentional about my praying, which meant getting more specific.
Here is a story about Jesus in the Bible from Matthew 20:29-34.
“As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!’
“The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!’
“Jesus stopped and called them. ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ he asked.
“‘Lord,’ they answered, ‘we want our sight.’
“Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.”
Those two men wanted something specific from Jesus, but their request at first was vague. When they really thought about what they wanted from Him and asked specifically, their faith was rewarded. What, specifically, do you want from God? What would you like Him to do for you? Is what you want within His will, meaning it doesn’t violate His good and pure personality? If yes, then get specific and ask Him.
Of course there can also be drawbacks to praying specifically. I wrote an article about the pitfalls of praying specifically, which includes having wrong motives, manipulating His answers, or not accepting His answers. You can find the others in the short article “Re-energize Your Prayer Life.”
If you really give some thought to what you want from God (within His good will), and then if you work at asking Him specifically for what it is you need, you just might find you’re receiving real, solid answers to your prayers.
How to pray? Be specific!
Here are five more tips about praying from author and our blog founder, Linda Evans Shepherd, talking about a passage in her book, When You Can’t Find God: How to Ignite the Power of Prayer.
©Dianne E. Butts. Dianne is a freelance writer, author, and screenwriter. Her latest book is Deliver Me is for those in an unplanned pregnancy or with one in their past. Her first book Dear America has just been republished for Kindle. Follow her writing at www.DeliverMeBook.blogspot.com