Think Before You Pray
Some people tend to pray broad, generic prayers: “Lord, save the world and bless all the missionaries. Amen.” However, I think it would do a little more for people if we prayed for them by name.
Of course, God knows everything. But when we bring our requests before Him, we should be focused. As the adage says, “If you aim at nothing, you’re bound to hit it.”
In Psalm 5 we see a prayer of David’s that hit the mark. One of the reasons it was effective is that it had a clear focus. David prayed, “Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly” (verse 3 NLT).
The New King James Version translates it this way: “My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up.” In the original language, this depicts the setting in order of pieces of wood on an altar of sacrifice.
Thus, it implies an order, a structure, and a focus in prayer.
David was saying, “Not only am I praying with passion, but I am praying with precision. I am praying with clarity. I am aiming my prayer in a certain direction.”
Ecclesiastes 5:1–2 tells us, “As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. It is evil to make mindless offerings to God. Don’t make rash promises, and don’t be hasty in bringing matters before God. After all, God is in heaven, and you are here on earth. So let your words be few” (NLT).
In other words, think about what you will pray.
It’s important to have passion in our prayers. But we also need to think through what we will bring before the throne of God.
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