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Powerfully Specific Prayer

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

Yesenia and I were once invited to a church breakfast that featured a visiting pastor from El Salvador. He specifically asked Yesenia to be there to share a particular testimony.

When I asked what the testimony was, she replied, “You.”

Yesenia attended a women's prayer event led by this same pastor a year or so before this breakfast. At the first event, there was a discussion about how to pray for a spouse.

This pastor told the women they should list all the desirable traits of their ideal husband and ask God to deliver that perfect gentleman, and nothing less.

Now Yesenia always felt God knew her heart and would send an ideal man someday. When the speaker felt compelled to pray for all the single women and asked them to raise their hands, she was hesitant to join in.

But eventually, she felt her hand rising, thanks completely to the woman next to her who grabbed it. But after the event, Yesenia asked God to send a husband every time she prayed.

Some of you know our story of Junes. In June of 2010, we met. The following June, we started communicating. In June 2012, I moved to Guatemala where we were married in June of 2013.

Apparently, Yesenia did not put too many specifications on her “perfect spouse” list. Thus, she wound up with an unemployed, middle-aged, pale guy with thinning hair.

Maybe she could have been more particular, but (and I am blushing here), she tells everyone that I am the answer to her prayers.

In his book, “Celebration of Discipline (HarperCollins, 1998)”, Richard Foster writes that “Real prayer is life creating and life-changing. To pray is to change.”

Like the pastor from El Salvador, Foster recommends we ask for what we want like the children of God we are. That is pleading in front of our father with no conditions or limits.

Kids think parents have an endless supply of food and money. They don’t say, “I want a cookie if there are enough.” They just want a cookie.

Go to God with that same child-like expectations. No fear, no limitations, and a firm trust that God will provide it for you.

Pray hard and be specific. Kids don’t just ask for a Lego set on their Christmas list. They ask for Lego Star Wars model #123 with the moving turrets and lasers.

You can pray for a better life. But it's better to envision what that life includes and pray for those things.

Don’t just pray for more money. Pray for the things you will do with that money.

Don’t just pray for a job. Pray for the job you want.

Don’t just pray to feel better. Pray to be healed.

And for your own sake, if you pray for a spouse, pray for a beautiful human being who is perfect in every way...

Like I did!

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