Published August 4, 2015

Shelia Shares
"To Be Specific..."

Last week in this column I shared about my experience with having a tooth extracted at the oral surgeons. It went well and my mouth continues to heal. I am blessed.

I had asked for prayer. Specifically I had asked for prayer for "peace, no problems with the extraction and healing." I presented a very specific prayer request.

James 4:3 reads, "You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures." (NKJV)

I realize that "asking amiss" refers to asking for the wrong things. But, I also believe it means asking in only general, rather than specific, terms.

A child says, "God bless mommy and daddy." That is a wonderful prayer from a small child and God understands his heart.

An adult saying "God bless my family" is fine, but awfully generic. Calling that a prayer when there are actually specific concerns in mind could even be considered "asking amiss." Why not be very specific about your concerns? God expects more of us in time and effort and out of respect to Who we know God to be.

I could have simply prayed that God would bless my appointment. He certainly knew where I was and what was expected to happen. He knew I was nervous so why should I mention that? He knew I didn't want a sore mouth forever, so why mention healing? But I did, because I didn't want my prayer to be just a passing thought that I should simply include God in the situation.

A small child sometimes grunts to asks for a drink. In a nine-month-old, that is cute and we respond to his audible request. If a two-year-old is asking for a drink by grunting rather than using words, there is a big problem. Perhaps God feels the same when we don't put thought or time or effort into our prayers.

Talk to God. Be specific. He deserves our best. He certainly gave us His best.

- Shelia

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