Saturday, January 26, 2008

the "Unspoken" Prayer!

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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.


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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

In Christ,
Dr.Trudy Veerman

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8 comments:

MaryElla said...

Thank you Trudy for bringing this up. One of our pastors recently brought up this same point. I agree that this has been a custom in our churches. I am sure the Lord sometimes smiles at the silly things His children do, but He also provides correction.

pemars said...

Hello Dr. Veerman,

Thank you for pointing out this ridiculous practice.

Sometimes I have been so burdened with prayer

requests that when the Pastor has asked for prayer

requests, I just raise my hand at the end for the

"unspoken request."

But I am no longer participating in such behavior,

praise the LORD and thank Him for it.

Your remark seems "on target" to me.

Blessings from WV, Patricia

Servant of the Most High said...

Dear Sisters Maryella and Patricia,

Thank you for taking the time to visit my Blog and to write your comments here...

It is much appreciated.
I have since added a dialogue, which I believe will be helpful to the "reader", and perhaps will cast more light on the subject.

In His service.

GoldenOldie2 said...

Thanks Trudy for bringing up a subject that I think does need discussing. I agree with you and I thought it was a silly practice 40 years ago when I was in the Southern Baptist Churches. I think it even more ridiculous now that I'm praying with more understanding spiritually than I had then. Yes, the Spirit knows what we need, but we as fleshly bodies need to know something to be able to pray about it or it is just passed off and forgotten. I can't go into great intercession if I don't feel or know anything specifically. That's like those 5 second prayers for your friends and your pastor and the whole world---how ridiculous!!!! Lord, bless us all and give us everything!

Anonymous said...

I believe that there are prayers that have to be unspoken. We must not reveal other believers sins to to a group of people. When we say, Pray for an unspoken prayer is a call to pray for the person that requested it that Our Father God would give them lHis Peace and Wisdom through the ordeal and it would abound to the Glory of God.
G Specht

Servant of the Most High said...

Thank you Goldenoldie2, I appreciate your comments.

Also, thanks to G Specht (looks Dutch to me...) I know what you are saying and I agree that in a congregation someone's sins do not need to be revealed. BUT... to make the prayers of others effective it would greatly help if the person at least could confess (for example) that he/she has problems with controlling the tongue, or has no power over a bad habit, or shows little patience with raising the children, or is always late to make supper etc.
There is NO need to bring a person with problems into embarrassment.

To have some direction for the prayer warrios will also encourage them to speak out the need in prayer.

Thank you all, your input has been and is helpful. We all have something to contribute to the Body of Christ. AMEN!

Anonymous said...

I think transparentcy is a must for healing. ty for this article. two things happen when you are transparent about your roblems and your sin: 1. It oepns the doors for help. if others dont know how bad your struggle is and are unable to offer prayer,support, or help or advise, then you can easily be swallowed up and consumed and even walk away from the church. I have had to open my mouth at times that were very uncomfortable for me. where i was in tears at teh thought of exposing something negative inside. and i have also had fellow sisters in Christ correct me. this too was so helpful, (the way i see it if you are transparent it takes the elephant out of the room and allows for healing ...i would rather be a little embarressed for just a little while and have help than to keep it hidden and be privatly embarrased and worried for the rest of my life and never fulling being able to get past my situation to get closer to God.
2.transparency takes ammo away from satan! he can only use against you what you hide with him in the darkness! if you bring it to light that disaarms him in that situation.

Dr.Trudy Veerman said...

Thank you very much for adding your thoughts to the subject matter. You brought out some very good points and I agree. Indeed it is far more helpful to mention the problem one is facing than not speaking it out. There is not always the need to go into detail. Just mentioning the core of the problem will help others to direct their prayers.