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Thursday, July 19, 2012


I just finished reading one of the best books I have read in years. But I would like to challenge a statement in the book. The author gave a well-known quote from one of the spiritual giants of our day. “God does not answer vague prayers.” To be honest that is not my experience. In the past few years I have celebrated many such answers. In most of these I knew to pray for a person or situation, but just did not know what to pray. In one notable case I sensed a check in my spirit anytime I tried to pray something specific for a particular family. I began simply to take them daily to God asking Him to work in their lives. I was not sure I wasn’t praying for judgment to fall on ungodly people whom He may have raised up like Pharaoh (Rom.9:17). I was astounded when I received news that the couple had started going to church. I was not surprised to hear that the teenage nephew living with them who had been bounced from home to home all of his life was making fun of their church going. Finally I heard that the boy was dramatically saved.
Now I will grant what some of you may be thinking. I do not know if I was the only one praying for this family. And I do not know that God did not work in spite of my weak prayers. However, such questions can be asked about any answer to prayer. I suspect these factors play a part in all praying. I thank God that His work does not depend on my getting prayer right all the time. And if I am praying for someone, I believe God is probably urging someone else to pray as well. That is part of the wonder of the family of God.


  1. I believe that God answers all prayer. If prayer is communication with God the better self-reflective questions are "Am I listening to God?" and "How will I act or react to God's answers?" Isn't this what we refer to as "an attitude of prayer"? I could go on but my arguments are so limited and I am a weak vessel. Thankfully even when I don't seek after Him that He is still seeking after me. Maybe the focus should really be on how much we are seeking to please God and that in turn makes us prayerful. I think so anyway. Laus Deo!

    1. Good word. I also like your ending, Laus Deo!

  2. I'm reminded that "the Spirit helps us in our weakness." That when we do not know what to pray, the Spirit intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express (Romans 8:26-27). There are many times that I do not know what to pray, but that as I lift up the people God has placed on my heart, that He is moving in ways that I cannot begin to fathom.

  3. I too lean on Romans 8:26-27. There are far too many times when I have no idea what to pray. I am also greatly encouraged by Isaiah 65:24 . . . God will answer me BEFORE I even call to Him. I have watched as He has graciously answered prayers even before I knew I needed Him to. Not knowing what to pray is pretty vague . . . if God answers before I even call . . . then He must not care to much how "vague" my prayers are. And although He may not answer them in the way I'd hoped, I must remember that I'm not hoping in my prayers, but hoping in my God!
    Great Post!

  4. I have heard many, many prayers from many church folk end with, "If it be Thy will."

    Now I don't know if the prayers were always vague, but the expectations of those praying certainly were!