I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy. (Philippians 1:3-4)
When some people think about prayer, they might think of prayers they learned as a child. Most Christian children learn a rhyme to bless their food and the prayer commonly known as The Lord’s prayer. Those prayers are useful for instruction and to begin teaching young people how to pray, but those shouldn’t be what we rely on as we grow in our relationship with God. When people pray using simple recitations, they’re not usually praying in faith; it’s more like they’re wishing that God would do something for them. Effective prayer is based on faith in God’s Word.
In Philippians 1:34, Paul wrote that always in every prayer, he made requests for the entire church of Philippi. Paul was not stating that he prayed for the church as an entity. He prayed for every individual he knew in that church. His prayers were specific.
Specific prayers take time, energy and heart. They are not merely memorized and repeated phrases from a book. Prayer is something that you are supposed to do on purpose, for a purpose.
We should target our prayers with a plan and purpose. Answered prayers, especially for others, usually take time, thought, and purpose.
Practical Application – What do your prayers sound like? As you pray, try to step away from phrases, rhymes, and patterns that you have grown accustomed to. Consider everything you are praying for and be specific.
Matthew 6:7; Matthew 21:22