The power of prayer is very controversial. Some people believe without a doubt and others think it is coincidence at best. I think that prayer is very powerful and that we should do it more often. In our family, we have begun a practice of praying for others during our family prayers. Just like the pastoral prayer at church, we name each person that we have heard is in need; lifting their needs to God’s ear.
Prayers our difficult because we have a tendency to not leave the need in God’s hands, but to request or expect specific resolution. If Susie is sick, we expect a cure. If Johnny lost his job, we expect a new one. Certainly though we should have learned through our reading of the Bible that God does not do our will, but we should do his. As Jesus prays in Gethsemane, knowing that his death is near, “may your will be done.” (Matthew 26:42) As Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
As you begin a personal prayer list, be careful to name the person in need and perhaps even mention the specific need, but leave the “cure” to God. His solution may surprise you. And even if his solution does not appear to meet your earthly needs, remember His view is broader and His understanding of what is right is greater.