1 John 5:14 (ESV)
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
I read a book several years ago that changed the way I prayed. It’s called Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. In it, Batterson emphasizes the point that in order to see God work in a specific way in our lives, we must pray specifically; conversely, general prayers get general answers.
I know that there have been times that I’ve prayed very generic, vague prayers—prayers like, “Lord, touch my life and lead me in your ways.” Not a bad prayer, right? And that’s a good place to start perhaps, but admittedly it isn’t a very specific prayer. A much more powerful approach to this prayer would be, “Lord, you see what’s happening right now in my life. I am being faced with the difficult decision to relocate due to my job. Align my heart with your will. Examine the motivation of my heart for wanting to follow this opportunity and relocate. Help me see the impact of this move on my life and family five or ten years down the road. Give me clarity about the right decision to make. Your Word instructs me not to lean on my own understanding and to submit all my ways to you. So I submit this opportunity to you. If this is what I should do, make the path plain before me. If it’s not the right direction, close the door before me. I place it in your hands and trust you to be my guide.” That direct prayer will often yield a direct answer from God.
Let me clarify that Jesus isn’t some “genie in a bottle.” But when we make His kingdom our priority and when our lives revolve around His will, the desires of our heart will align with His and He will make a way for us to live out what He has called us to do.
Could your prayers be more specific today?
Dear Lord, help us when we pray to You to be specific on the needs we have. We know that You already know our needs but help us to come before You as Your children. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.