When You Pray Say…

And Jesus stopped and called them, and said, "What do you want Me to do for you?" Matthew 20:32 (NASB) And He said to them, "When you pray, say…" Luke 11:2A (NASB)

When I was a young mother I heard a sermon that really challenged me to teach my children to pray for specifics and not just in generalities. The pastor was very pointed in his analysis of why parents are hesitant. We don’t want our children to be disappointed if God doesn’t answer, so we foster low expectations with non-specific requests. He stepped on my toes, but more importantly he convicted my heart. I asked the Lord for opportunities to encourage my children to pray for specifics. Of course He came through.
My daughter overheard my concerns that the lack of rain was hurting our large garden. Big brown eyes looked earnestly into mine and said, “Mommy, let’s ask God to bring rain today.” I swallowed hard because I knew that there was no rain in the forecast all week. We joined hands and prayed that God would bring the needed rain to our garden. She happily and confidently went outside to play in the bright cloudless day with her brother. I had my own praye r session asking God to deal tenderly with her young faith. Imagine my delight when a couple of hours later the kids were dashing to the front porch to get out of a rain shower that was falling as the sun shone almost as brightly as her little face. There was no doubt in her mind or mine that the Lord of the universe had stooped to hear and to answer her request.
Of course she had to grow in her relationship to God in prayer. There is so much to learn. She had to learn patience and perseverance and how to stand on His promises. But I would say she learned one of the most important aspects up front…when you pray say….be specific. The Lord hasn’t changed He still asks, “What do you want Me to do for you? Remember to say, “Thank you.”

Lord, thank you for the privilege of bringing all our concerns to you in prayer. Help me to be clear, help me persevere and help me to have high expectations because of who You are. In Jesus’ name, amen

By Carol (North Carolina, USA)