Sunday, October 15, 2006


This weekend my church held a Women's Retreat. What a refreshing time. I was so pleased with the turnout, and the speaker, Vicki Tiede, couldn't have been better. I went away from each session feeling like I had been standing in a shower of blessing, soaking up living water for my dry, thirsty soul.

One thing that struck me from the first evening's talk was this statement: "We must pray so specifically so that when God answers, we'll recognize it."

So how have I been praying? "God, bless my church." "God, bless my family." "God, bless the President." "God, help me be a better writer." "God, help me be a good mom." "God, help me be a good wife." All these are so nebulous and generic, I wouldn't recognize the answer to most them even when He did answer.

How can I change this approach? Be deliberately specific. And don't be afraid of the answer. Perhaps one thing holding me back from being specific is I don't want to hear the answer 'no, child.' Don't be afraid to tell God what I really want and need, to lay my heart open to the One who knows what's in there already. I don't mean to put God to the test, but I do mean to be deliberate, specific and fearless in asking my Heavenly Father for the help I know I need.

LOL My apologies to Vicki for misspelling her name...sigh...I am a goof! lol


  1. So, maybe God would say, "yes" instead. Someone once called the kind of prayers you mention 'scatter shot' prayers. You shoot a wide arc toward heaven and hope you hit something. Guess it would be better to say, "God, let me know absolutely, positively if I should do this or that," instead of "God, this is what I'm going to do, bless it."

  2. Great blog, friend...except me name's spelled with an "e" at the end, you goof! :)

    God will bless our most pitiful attempts at prayer, but He certainly does want us to be specific. Remember the blind guys...duh! He said to "ask" (5 times as you might recall), so we better do it, huh?!

    I was bountifully blessed this weekend with your basement church ladies!

  3. Oh Erica! This post really touches my heart. Like you, I've prayed the general blessing prayers and thanked God for the perceived answers. There's something about not wanting to be rejected by our heavenly Father that keeps me from being specific, too. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Okay, I'll bite--what's a basement church lady?

  5. Being someone who likes clear yes and no answers, I learned long ago that if I wanted a specific answer, I needed to ask a specific question. Sometimes, I feel like I'm being overly needy and demanding when I pray things like, "God, please let me meet my future husband this year." But it allows me to explore the desires of my heart deeply and to receive a clear answer from him. Many times, the answer is no. But I like specificity. Think about Christmas. When you ask kids what they want for Christmas, they can rattle off about twenty specific items they want. Somehow as adults, though, we're taught that being vague is more mature. Maybe. But I like being a "child" of God!

  6. No mystery re the church basement ladies. The retreat was held in the fellowship hall located in the church basement...hence the term church basement ladies. A terrific bunch of gals.