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Thursday, July 26, 2012


If by vague prayers, you mean careless, unfocused, unburdened prayers I doubt if they can be answered.

Last week I shared my experience with vague prayers. But we should never base theology on human experience. What does the Bible say about this matter? Well, first of all I need to say that the Bible never says God does not answer vague prayers. However, it does discourage some things that fall into the category of vague prayers. If by vague prayers we mean careless, unfocused, unburdened prayers, I doubt if they can be answered.

And the Bible does encourage specific prayers. Passages like the story of Jesus asking the blind men what they wanted Him to do for them (Mt.20:32) nudge us in that direction. But other passages like God’s pleasure with Solomon’s request for wisdom (2 Chron.1:11) indicate that it is wise to consider even struggle over what we ask for. Specific prayer often needs to be a process. God takes time to hone our vague praying to the sharpened point of His will in a matter. And His will is nearly always different and greater than I would have prayed at first.


  1. When I think of vague prayers, I generally associate these with slogans rather than actually prayers like "God bless America." When Christians ask this upon their knees in prayer, I'd like to believe that God honors their request and continues to pour out his blessings upon our Nation. However, when celebrities recite this as a slogan, I'd like to think God’s response is "Really? Why should I?"

    Good question and a great topic for consideration.

  2. As I have grown in my faith, I've found myself being more careful about my prayers. I often, instinctively, want to pray for certain things, but realize I love and cherish a God who knows FAR better than I what I should pray. I find myself leaning on the Holy Spirit more than ever, asking the Spirit to lead me as to what I should pray in accordance to God's will. Mainly because, if I'm honest, I want quick fixes, comfort without any suffering, and situations where no faith is truly needed. But at the throne, I know that is not the life in Christ I'm called to. If I'm in Christ, then there is suffering in God's will, but there is also His presence which is more powerful beyond words . . . and that is everything I need to say, "Thy will be done."

    I love these postings on prayer that you're doing! Really causing me to examine my faith.

    And for the record, I TOTALLY agree with Roy!

  3. I have been trying to remember of a vague prayer recorded in scripture. Having trouble coming up with one though?

  4. Point well taken.
    However, are the groanings which cannot be uttered from Romans 8:26 only groanings of the Spirit without our participation? Or do we also groan with the Spirit because we do not know what to pray for?
    I also grant that Abraham was not repremanded for praying the wrong thing when he asked for Ishmael to become the child of promise? That was part of God showing him how to pray correctly.

  5. Yes, love that spiritual intercession in Romans 8:28! Have often thought it was confused with the "gift" of tongues in Corinthians. The gifts all being for ministry as opposed to the fruits of the Spirit listed in Romans 8 which are all for personal edification.