Specific Prayer

  • March 6, 2015
  • #8570

The Bible says to pray, so let's pray detailed, specific prayers for the unique circumstances in our lives.

Can one ever pray too much?

Hi, I'm Joni Eareckson Tada and many, many years ago when I was pretty young in the faith, I remember thinking that “Yeah, you know what? A Christian really could pray too much; prayer could be taken too seriously.” I recall a woman named Mary Lance, and once when I was driving in the van with her, we got a little lost and right away, while our driver was turning around, Mary Lance, sitting in the backseat starts praying out loud. She launches into an earnest petition asking God to guide us where we needed to go. You know, I think that was the first time I'd ever heard someone just start praying out loud with no particular occasion to warrant it. And I have to admit, back then, it felt a little odd. Almost strange. Like, why don’t we just ask directions? We don’t have to make it a matter of prayer, do we? Or do we?

Well, many years have passed since I first met Mary Lance and you know what? She’s still praying, she’s still at it. And the neat thing is I have caught her passion. I hung around Mary Lance just long enough to realize that, yes, let’s make everything a matter of prayer. I do think that’s what Paul was talking about in Ephesians chapter 6, verse 18 when he advised, “… pray in the Spirit on, (now get this), all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”        

So now, friend, I follow the lead of Mary Lance. For example, one of the most important times of prayer I have is when we’re all heading to the airport for a ministry trip. Just getting me on and off an airplane is no easy feat, plus my power wheelchair has to be dismantled quickly so it can be stowed in the belly of the plane. It’s why my friends and I always prepare the way with prayer. And I mean specific prayer. I mean, here we are driving down the freeway to LAX and we’re praying for quick TSA agents, for helpful flight attendants, for good ground crew, flexible gate agents, strong special service guys to help lift me out of my chair and into the airplane seat. And when we find gate agents that are flexible and flight attendants that are helpful, you know what we tell them? We always say, “Guess what, friend, you are an answer to prayer. We prayed for you this morning and God guided us to you!” And you know what? Those folks are always happy to know that they have been prayed for.

Another example is when we’re driving and we see an accident. Invariably someone in my van will start praying out loud asking for God to protect those injured, protect the emergency workers, and something like, “Lord, please use this accident to draw people to your side.” And who knows? Those people may not have anyone else praying for them, but my husband and my friends and I do.

And I have a feeling you would, too. I think one of the saddest quotations I have ever heard is “When all else fails, pray.” Like, you know, prayer is a last-ditch effort. And sometimes I’ve been with a friend who has lost something – her keys, her wallet – and after searching she’ll say, “Well, I can’t find them. Maybe we’d just better pray.” Like, prayer is a last resort. Look, it’s a first resort and Ephesians chapter 6 tells us so. Pray on all occasions with all sorts of prayers… prayers that are specific, on-the-spot, detailed and out-of-the-ordinary; prayers offered up at the oddest of times; praying in the car, with a friend, at the hospital, or after a good day’s work as you walk to your car. Just remember, when the Spirit nudges, pray – for you can never take it too seriously and you can never pray too much. And let me hear from you today on my Facebook page or you can always post a comment on my blog at joniandfriends.org.

Previously aired as program #7768 on: 2/8/12  

© Joni and Friends

 

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