“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked.
~ Mark 10:51
I have prayed many prayers that have been left unanswered. Often times I wonder why. I wonder if God is busy at that time and just did not hear my prayer. I wonder if He is even listening. But sometimes I think to myself, maybe I am just not be specific enough.
My six-year old daughter was diagnosed with asthma last year. She uses an inhaler only when an asthma attack occurs. Watching her struggling to catch her breath is terrifying to me each time it happens. One of my biggest fears is not being able to breathe, so when I see my daughter during an asthma attack panic quickly fills my body. Of course I do not want her to see me in a full blown panic attack, so I remain calm and help her with her inhaler. I talk to her about different things in order to calm both of our nerves. (Perhaps more mine than hers!) One night, however, the inhaler just did not seem to do anything for her. We spent the night in my bed with her struggling for breath and me praying for God to breathe His breath into her tiny lungs and cure her. I try to be as specific as possible when praying for God to cure her asthma. I trust that she will grow out of it and know that the Lord is working in her. “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours,” (Mark 11:24).
I am very guilty of not always being specific in my prayers. When I am having a very bad day I sometimes yell out the very broad prayer of “God, please help me!” While God knows what I need help with and what is going on in my life at that time, He is waiting to hear me be more specific. He is waiting to hear me ask Him for exactly what I need help with. This is probably a reason I have missed out on a lot throughout my life – I did not ask God. I believe He keeps our unasked prayers on a shelf in His mansion in Heaven. (I am pretty sure that the room full of my unasked prayers is probably the size of Wal-Mart!)
A lot of times I go ahead and do things without seeking God and usually they never work out. I get so frustrated and wonder why in the world it just did not work! Well, hello! I did not ask God first! I once heard that we are to ask God about everything we do before we do it; even if it is pulling out of the parking lot of the grocery store. One lady mentioned that she sat in her car and asked God to guide her home, allowing Him to choose the way that she traveled to her house. Of course I think to myself how absolutely crazy that is. I know my way home. Then of course the next time I go out and am in a rush to get home I get stuck in traffic. It is then that I see myself in the rearview mirror and wish I would have asked God to guide me. I no longer see the craziness in asking God to guide me home. Or anywhere.
The next time you sit down to pray, remember to be specific. Give thanks to God for all He has done in your life and for what He will continue to do for you. Feel free to share with me what God has done for you when you were specific with Him. I would love to hear from you!
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” ~ Matthew 7:7-8