From time to time, we hear people requesting "unspoken" prayer. Even the Pastor may ask if anyone has an "unspoken" prayer request. This is unscriptural and should not be encouraged. How can anyone pray the prayer of faith not knowing what to pray for? One couldn't properly agree in prayer, since it is an empty prayer.
If a person does not want to disclose in public what the prayer request is about, then they should go to a person they trust and confide in. You wouldn't even do this to your earthly father, asking his approval and not telling him, or not knowing, for what he needs to give approval for! It is illogical, to say the least and disrespectful towards the Lord. Just think about it.
I sometimes wonder how such strange behavior has entered the church, over the years.
We simply cannot pray for something we have no knowledge of. There is no such a thing as an "unspoken Prayer". God needs and wants to hear our voice. He says: "Come let us reason together."
Wherever the Scripture refers to ASK, it means to SPEAK OUT... MAKE KNOWN.
Prayer is action. Prayer is communication with God, to let Him know in exact words what we need, what we are seeking, how we love and want to praise Him, what He means to us, and when we pray for others' needs.
ASK, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:24
For every one that ASKETH receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Matt 7:8
ASK and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Luke 11:9
And whatsoever ye SHALL ASK in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ASK any thing in My name, I will do it. John 14:13,14
for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ASK Him. Matt 6:8
The above scripture shows that God will answer in advance, nevertheless we have to speak out our request in prayer.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ASK of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
But let him ASK in faith, nothing wavering. James 1:5,6a
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16
Another important issue is, when we're ask to pray for others... if there are hidden sins which need to be confessed first, in order for prayer to be effective!
There are many more scriptures regarding praying for others and self, this being communication with God.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace (in prayer), that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
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Prayer alone is not enough.
Your walk and the confession of your mouth has to run parallel with your prayers for effectiveness.
Blessings in the name of the Lord.
* * * * * * * *Prayer is the practice of the presence of God. It is the place where pride is abandoned, hope is lifted, and supplication is made. Prayer is the place of admitting our need, of adopting humility, and claiming dependence upon God. Prayer is the needful practice of the Christian. Prayer is the exercise of faith and hope. Prayer is the privilege of touching the heart of the Father through the Son of God, Jesus our Lord. From CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS & RESEARCH MINISTRY
Below is a dialogue with my response in between the lines.
I have found myself in circumstances that I would not tell ANYONE, what I needed prayer for, it was just too personal!!!! ...but I did need prayer support.
my response: If you request prayer, be it in church or at someone's home, for all fairness to the one who has been asked to pray for you, you should expose what your need is. This does not mean that you have to go into great detail. For effectiveness, the one who prays needs some information in order to agree with you in prayer. This should be simple to understand, if prayer is to be communication.
For example, you could say I need prayer for my marriage; I need wisdom to help my child; I have financial needs; I need healing; I would like prayer for salvation of my neighbour etc. At least provide a DIRECTION for the prayer warrior.
Even when I cannot intelligently pray through my tears and anguish, or because I do NOT even KNOW what to pray for...The Holy Spirit will translate my unintelligent groanings, or silence to God. He always hears. There are times I need to pray in silence alone, but without an opportunity to that kind of place on the job or wherever, but the Lord STILL comes through with answers BEFORE I EVEN ASK!!
my response: YES, I agree, but what you wrote above is not what I mentioned in my Blog. You refer here to praying for yourself in desperate situations, and when you cannot speak outloud. I often pray through my thoughts, while in public places, and at times with tears, while sighing "Lord get me through this."
In my Blog I made it clear that if one asks for prayer support of others, to let them know what to pray for.
In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God for help; He heard my VOICE out of His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears. Psalm 18:6
Does God need any of us to point out specific things? For GOD see's ALL THINGS. There is NOTHING we can keep hidden from HIM. HE knows our every need! He knows before we ask!
my response: Our Father wants to hear detailed requests from His children, although He knows everything. We're not supposed to act as if we cannot communicate. The following scripture explains very well what God expects from us, although He knows it. If we have God as our Father, we would love to be specific in our prayers, especially for the needs of others.
Proverbs 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.
In the same manner, one has to call upon the Lord for repentance and salvation, even though the Lord has seen the tears of repentance already.
It is NOT that people cannot pray if they do not know the details....NO.....it is that God wants US to support other's needs through our caring prayers whether or not we know the details of an unspoken request.....
my response: Others would not know what to pray for. The purpose of prayer is not so much to show the Father something about our caring, but rather about presenting the needs of others, which are brought forth through prayer. The more specific we can be, the more specific He will answer.
Can't we just lift that person up to the Lord and just ask the Lord to meet whatever need that unspoken request may be? Do we need to know the personal details of someone else's life... Isn't that GOD'S business?
my response: Not knowing what to present to the Father in prayer, makes the prayer less powerful and less effective, since the issue is missing. Prayer for others has the purpose of bringing a specific need to God's attention.
It is our business to let our hearts be silently burdened for that person in need.
my response: Silently burdened shows inactivity. Prayer for others is active in reaching the heart of God, it is the action of LETTING HIM KNOW. But very little can be said through prayer if the need is UNKNOWN.
To carry one another's burden is meant to be action, be it through prayer, support, counsel, financial help. We need to know the "burden" in order to help effectively.
We may send them a card of encouragement. Let them know we are there for them if there is anything we can do to help them and just let them know that they are in our prayers.
my response: Yes, this is part of carrying one another's burden. But the subject here is "praying for one another". Sending a card of encouragement, giving a hug etc. is good, but a MUCH different action all together than PRAYER.
But in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6
For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His EARS are open unto their prayers:1 Peter 3:12b
And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He HEARETH us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him. 1 John 5:14,15
I believe that God's word is clear on how we should be praying for others.
Here is an external link on PRAYER http://psalm121.ca/prayer.html