Corporate Prayer: Let Your Words Be Few
I’ve got a powerful prayer tip to use in corporate prayer time. Oh, that we would use it!
There are times we have dire circumstances to pray over. They are so extreme that we even feel compelled to enlist others to help pray, which is very biblical.
“With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints” Ephesian 6:18
I once attended a week long revival service in a small country church – great evangelist preaching the Word of God. On Wednesday night, we had a little bit of a larger crowd than we had been having since it was the mid-week service. Prayer requests were solicited before service began. One by one, the requestors shared some of the most terrible situations that I’ve ever heard. Every prayer request was worse than the other. The details about those situations were overwhelming to say the least! I hate to say it, but by the fourth one, I was hoping they would stop taking requests because the room was filled with such gloom and doom, it no longer felt like a revival.
We often share all the urgent, dismal details of our prayer needs because we want people to understand how serious our prayer request is so that they will feel compelled to pray for our request. But what we don’t realize is that we are planting seeds of doubt. When I hear every negative detail about a situation, my human mind thinks:
“Good Lord, what if that happened to me?!!!”
“Good God, how in the world are You going to fix that mess?!!!”
Sharing every negative detail about a situation can plant seeds of doubt, and every time I remember to pray over this matter, those same questions with doubt come to my mind.
“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord” James 1:6-7
This verse expresses the complete hopelessness and helplessness of a prayer mixed with doubt. It is useless.
Does this mean we should never share the details of our need with others? No, I think not. I believe it is important to have prayer partners or a small group of people we unload our burdens to, but when appealing to the masses, LET YOUR WORDS BE FEW.
“Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few”. Ecclesiastes 5:2
I recommend that you simply state the first name (or relation) of the person, the desired outcome, and if you must, say “it is serious” or “it is urgent”.
“Please pray for my uncle, Bob. He and his family needs God’s provision – it is urgent”
“My uncle needs prayer. He was about to retire when his company closed. To make matters worse, they lost all of his retirement. He was his family’s sole provider, and they just received a foreclosure notice!”
Some of this ventures a bit toward gossip. Does “Uncle Bob” really want everyone to know his complete economic status? Probably not. We often think for the sake of prayer, all relative information is fair game to be shared. Not so.
When I remember to pray the simple “Let your words be few” prayer request, I will focus on this “Uncle Bob’s” need for urgent provision. My mind is going to be completely committed to praying to that accord as opposed to praying for his need while hoping such a thing never happens to me or wondering how in the world God is going to restore this man’s finances at such a late season in his life.
Letting our words be few not only better directs our attention to a successful prayer, but will greatly reduce your congregation’s and class’ time detailing all the specifics. Your pastor/teacher will definitely appreciate that!
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