Ah, the prayer request. The quintessential Christian experience—sitting around in a circle, sharing often benign, usually safe, terribly tame “prayer requests” with one another.
They usually sound something like this: “I really need a new job or a pay raise. So pray for that please.”
Or, “My fiance and I are trying to figure out when to get married. Please pray that God would tell us.”
(Let me also preface this post by stating that I am not anti-prayer request. Of course not. I have been a part of many groups, be it Bible studies or women’s groups, where prayer requests were a welcome and important part of gathering. But God has also shown me something different…)
It’s funny because, after becoming a believer, I just went right along with the whole “prayer request” model. I didn’t know any differently. I certainly didn’t know any better. Why would I?
Except that when I look in scripture, I see no prayer request like model.
Now, I’m not one of those people who says, “If it ain’t in the Bible, don’t do it.” Please, no. The Bible isn’t exhaustive because God is an infinite God. I don’t try to squeeze Him into a few hundred pages.
All that to say, just because prayer requests aren’t in there doesn’t mean scripture says nothing about prayer in general. It says a lot about prayer, in fact. But, don’t worry, I’m not about to give you an overview of what the Bible says about prayer (zzzzzzz…).
What I am going to give you, however, is a glimpse into how my church family prays for one another, which does not usually include prayer requests. Hopefully, you’ll be encouraged to read about another way to pray.