Praying (Preying?) More Specifically

Our Wednesday night “prayer-and-share” services have become extremely popular since someone introduced the concept of “praying more specifically.”

People used to share general, rather veiled requests. Someone they knew needed “strength to endure” a tough situation, or “power to resist” a habit or temptation. These petitions were always rather vague, and quite unrevealing.

But now that we have learned to pray more specifically, we don’t let anyone get by without spilling all the details they know—and occasionally some they don’t.

If someone needs strength to endure, we want to know all the details of the tough situation he or she is enduring, how long that person has been enduring it, and a list of possible transgressions that may have been the cause. If someone needs power to resist a temptation, we want to know the precise nature of the temptation, the specific people involved in the tempting, and exactly what happened the last time the person was tempted.

Photographs and other documentation are very helpful in praying more specifically, especially since about 95 percent of the “sharing” is about people who are not actually present. Intercession seems to be our calling.

Attendance at prayer-and-share has really increased lately, and why not? Being there is the only way to really know the “specific” ways we pray for you.

EUTYCHUS

Childlike Faith

The article by Harvard psychiatrist Robert Coles about being mystified by a six-year-old’s faith certainly has its roots in Scripture [“The Inexplicable Prayers of Ruby Bridges, Aug. 9]. A simple, childlike faith can never be understood by a savant until he or she becomes like a child. Ruby and her parents epitomize Isaiah 26:3. Each of us has to come ...

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