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We Must Ask Specifically

"What do you want...."


Mark 10: 51 “So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?”


Anonymous Christian:

“We want every Christian to ask, ‘Have I ever fairly tested prayer?’ How long is it since you last offered up a definite prayer?.... Most Christians do not give God a chance to show His delight in granting His children’s petitions, for their requests are vague and indefinite. If this is so, it is not surprising that prayer is so often a mere form, an almost mechanical repetition, day by day, of certain phrases, a minutes’ exercise morning and evening.” Anonymous Christian, Kneeling Christian, p. 43.

Rosalind Goforth:

“I learned that prayer was the secret which overcame every obstacle, the key that unlocked every closed door. I felt like a child learning a new and wonderful lesson—as I saw benches, tables, chairs, stove, fuel, lamps, oil, even an organ coming in answer to definite prayer for these things. But the best sight of all was when men and women, deep in sin, were converted and changed into workers for God, in answer to prayer.” Rosalind Goforth, How I Know God Answers Prayer, p. 21.

F B Meyer:

“(Elijah’s) prayer was definite. This is where so many prayers fail. They are shot like arrows into the air. They are like letters which require no answer, because they ask for nothing. They are like the firing by artillery in a mimic fight, when only gunpowder is employed. This is why they are so wanting in power and interest. We do not pray with any expectation of attaining definite and practical results.... Let us keep a list of petitions, which we shall plead before God. Let us direct our prayers, as David did (Psalm V. 3), and look up for the answer; and we shall find ourselves obtaining new and (unexpected) blessing. Be definite!” F B Meyer, Elijah, (Fort Washington, PA: Christian Literature Crusade, 1978), p. 95.

Andrew Murray:

“Our prayers must not be a vague appeal to His mercy, an indefinite cry for blessing, but the distinct expression of definite need. Some cry for mercy, but take not the trouble to know what mercy must do for them. Others ask, perhaps to be delivered from sin, but do not begin by naming any sin from which deliverance may be claimed. Still others pray for God’s blessing on those around them or on their land, and yet have no distinct situation where they wait and expect to see the answer. To all the Lord says: ‘And what is it now you really want and expect me to do?’ As long as in prayer we just pour out our hearts in a multitude of petitions, without taking time to see whether every petition is sent with the purpose and expectation of getting an answer, not many will reach the mark.” Andrew Murray, With Christ in the School of Prayer, (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell, 1979)