Jesus had an encounter as he left Jericho that I believe we can learn from.

And behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!”

Then the multitude warned them that they should be quiet; but they cried out all the more, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!”

So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?”

They said to Him, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him. (Matthew 20:30 – 34)

Jesus seems to be asking the men to be specific in their request, and throughout my discipleship journey I’ve often sensed the Holy Spirit reminding me to do the same.

I shared with the Tuesday prayer group that I’ve been challenged about the importance of accuracy in our prayers. I know what it is like when something comes into your mind, especially praying with others, and without time to formulate the thought you pray with all good intentions, only to discover that I didn’t think that through so well.

Now I know God is gracious, and He knows our heart, but the passage above reminds us that He also desires that we be specific in prayer.

Another quick example. We always should pray for our Authorities and Leaders, in the church and also our country, but we should be careful to pray according to God’s will, not our desires. I was with a group recently where the prayers were seeking God to give us God fearing leaders to govern the country, and by contrast we were also noticing that frustration and loss of confidence among young people were bringing people to Christ to find hope because of the madness they hear from our cultural leaders.

In Isaiah, in response to the rebellion of Israel towards God and living openly in their sin, God declares:

“I will give children to be their princes, And babes shall rule over them. (Isaiah 3:4)

There are plenty of examples of foolish and even infantile leadership in governments around the world right now, and there is no point in praying for God to bless our nation if we continue to descend into wickedness and sin. Without repentance, beginning in the church, God is right to give us the leaders we deserve, and maybe we should give thanks to God that it is bringing people to Christ.

Let me encourage you as you spend time alone with The Lord in Prayer, ask The Holy Spirit to teach you God’s heart so that we pray according to His will, and to show us the right things to ask for. As a wonderful bonus – you will be drawn closer to God in the process.