Concerning Prayer: Can We Get Specific?

"We are very specific with our requests and instructions for our babysitters ... it should be no different with prayer." (from Issue #510)

There is a general kind of praying which fails for lack of precision,

… wrote famous preacher Charles Spurgeon. “It is as if a regiment of soldiers should all fire off their guns anywhere. Possibly somebody would be killed, but the majority of the enemy would be missed.”Here’s a more recent quote on that same thought: “How often have we prayed something like, ‘O Lord, be with cousin Billy now in a special way’?” writes media pastor David Jeremiah.

“Have we stopped to consider what it is we’re requesting? Imagine that you are a parent who is preparing to leave your children with a babysitter. Would you dream of saying, ‘O Betsy, I ask you now that you would be with my children in a special way?’ No way.”You would say, ‘Betsy, the kids need to be in bed by 9 p.m. They can have one snack before their baths, and please make sure they finish their homework. You can reach us at this number if there’s any problem. Any questions before we go?’

“We are very specific with our requests and instructions for our babysitters. We want them to know specifics. It should be no different with prayer.”

Of course, this “babysitter” comparison isn’t perfect — we don’t give “instructions” to God when we pray. But each year, in our *Prayer Directory issue, our missionaries try to present their requests as precisely as possible (with limited space a factor). We need and appreciate every prayer for us in our ministry.

This year, would you also consider using the following “how to” guide as you pray for us?

*Please write us and request a printed copy of our Northern Lights Prayer Directory.

Adapted from our Northern Lights magazine (Issue #510). Note: some of the locations and involvements of our missionaries may have changed since the original publishing of this article.