Prayer is a sacred and holy privilege for believers. It involves a number of activities. For example, we can worship in prayer.
As Daniel begins his remarkable prayer in Daniel 9, he starts with worship. He speaks of the greatness of his God and His faithful ways. For God a promise made is a promise kept. This is a wonderful beginning to a set of petitions. When you pray you are speaking to your loving, gracious, wise, all powerful, attentive Father in heaven. As one person said, “You are coming to a king, large petitions with you bring."
In Scripture, we are often invited to talk to our Father in heaven and make our needs known to Him. Many wonderful promises are made in Scripture to encourage us to ask in order to receive. There is no end to the list of specific things the Lord’s people may ask for in prayer.
What I want to draw to our attention is what I call the “God bless” petitions. These petitions have nothing specific in terms of requests. The title for today’s devotional is a frequent prayer offered where nothing is asked for except a blanket request for something positive.
Such “blanket” petitions may show a lack of faith on the part of the person offering it. If they make the prayer specific, such as asking that the missionary return to good health, the one praying will know when to turn their petition into praise as the missionary returns to good health. It puts power and a sense of urgency into prayer when the one praying has a specific outcome in mind.
When organizing your prayers for others seek to learn about their needs, praise items and other detail where the Lord needs to intervene. Perhaps you might consider creating a prayer journal to help you remember the specific needs of others. Then, when prayers are answered you can transfer the item to a praise page and reviewing these answers will encourage you to make more petitions.
When you pray for others not in your family, consider making occasional contact with the person to ask how the Lord is answering your prayers or if there are other matters you can pray for.
The incentive to a life of prayer is based on numerous factors, including clarity of our petitions; biblical calls to prayer; promises by the Lord to hear and answer prayer; and hearing from those for whom we pray.
Today may you be renewed in your prayer life and may you experience many a “sweet hour of prayer” in the days ahead.