Thinking Out Loud

May 2, 2015

Making Your Prayers More Specific

This ran here a year ago, but I wanted to return to it in case you missed it. This is a genuine weakness in my own prayer life; we read or speak a ‘laundry list’ to God of names without any qualification of what it is we’re asking. I can almost here God saying, “Yeah, Tom. What about him?”


Praying the ScripturesI think sometimes our prayers seem to be ineffectual because we don’t really specify what it is we’re asking for. We remember people in prayer, but it’s more like reciting a list than it is standing in the gap on their behalf or interceding, that is, coming between them and God. I picture God wishing we would engage him more on the particulars.

“So Lord, please be with Mike and Darla.”

“I’m always with them; I will never leave them or forsake them.”

“But Lord, just be in their marriage.”

“Their marriage is wholly committed to me.”

“Yes, Lord, but help them to reach out to you.”

“They speak to me as a couple each morning and evening and throughout the day.”

“Well, just be with them this week.”

“What would you like me to do?”

“Well, they’re going through a rough time right now.”

“Yes, what things specifically are you wanting to bring forward.”

“Mike’s job at the warehouse is looking unsure, and Darla’s job ends next week.”

“Okay, that’s a specific.”

“And the kids are really stressing them out.”

“Yes, parenting is like that.”

“And they need to fix the roof this spring and the money’s not there.”

“Yes, and there’s a section over the end that’s going to get worse really soon.”

“Wait, you know that?”

“Of course I do.”

“Then Lord, I pray you’ll send them the money, or someone willing to repair the roof.”

“Isn’t your brother-in-law a roofing contractor?”

“Yes, but he lives three states away and he doesn’t know these people.”

“Well, you’ve ruled out that possibility, haven’t you? Which part of the prayer request do you think I should deal with first?”

“Isn’t that your responsibility?”

“Yes, but what would you do if you were me?”

“I guess I would…”


“I guess I pray you’ll help them both realize that there aren’t really any jobs in their field anymore, that technology is shifting and they need to look for a different kind of work.”

“Now that’s a really specific prayer request I can work with.”

“How are you going to answer that one?”

“I’m going to send you to talk to them about the job market.”


“Anything else?”

“No, I guess I’ve got some work to do… In Jesus’ name, Amen.”




  1. This is beautiful and so very true! We so often pray for things we have the capabilities or know how to do and yet we forget to pray the pressing prayers the real things God wants to hear us ask, talk about, reflect upon. Great post :) Have a blessed and beautiful weekend full of answered prayers and blessings :)

    Comment by todessakane2013 — May 2, 2015 @ 10:32 am

  2. […] We have a bonus item for you today, if you’re interested. At Thinking Out Loud a look at… Making Your Prayers More Specific.  […]

    Pingback by Regrets? I Have a Few | Christianity 201 — May 5, 2015 @ 5:39 pm

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