"How much is a fair amount?" she replied in her usual patient and considerate way. That's when I burst into laughter. Hearing my ambiguous request coming from someone else's mouth uncovered how silly I sounded. We both began to laugh and discuss how different her "fair amount" might differ from mine. Oh how I love a careful stylist who works hard to give me what I desire in a hair cut.
On the way home I got one last giggle as my silly request replayed again in my head and was reminded how important it is to be specific as we lift our prayers to God. Generalities like "Father bless him, be with her, or heal so and so..." are as loose as my asking Kathleen to take off a "fair amount." It covers so much ground you're likely to get anything.
God wants us to pray, in fact He commands it. (Isaiah 55:6 and Matthew 7:7) But we are instructed to be specific in our requests. Why? Primarily so we don't become lazy. General, rote, and non-specific prayers, while well intended, lose their sincerity and meaning over time. Familiar and common they prompt us to lose our intimate connection with God, which is the last thing He wants. Like Kathleen, God asks us to be thoughtful and specific so He can taylor His answers to our unique need in order to bless us beyond our wildest dreams. Now how loving and kind is that.
Remember, nothing is too big or too small for God. He wants you to approach Him sincerely with everything that concerns you. Your prayers are a sweet incense that He saves and savors. When you speak He listens and yearns to responds. Rest in this truth as you offer your heart to Him.
"... Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense,
which are the prayers of the saints."