If we are attentive, each day we observe a myriad of situations that should be presented to God in prayer: a family involved in a car accident; learning about a coworker’s absence in the midst of an unexpected crisis, a disheartening exchange of harsh words from the couple seated near you at your favorite restaurant. Those who feel a burden to pray for others can find themselves on assignment all day, every day, as situations constantly unfold.
Although the situations are disturbing and distracting, we must train ourselves as intercessors to look beyond the situation. 2 Timothy 4:5 says “But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.” As we petition the Lord regarding situations that burden our hearts, we should translate those situations to spiritual needs. For example, you may observe a student being nervous about an upcoming test. The situation is the test and the feelings around it. The need – what we should ask of God – is wisdom and peace for the student. Focusing our request on the heavenly need instead of the earthly situation allows us to live the gospel of God’s word instead of merely reading it. Matthew 16:19 “And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”
The next time you pray, try to spend less time re-explaining the situation to God. Instead, focus on asking God for the specific need based on the situation. Ask God for wisdom, hope, peace, favor, healing, restoration, deliverance, provision, protection, unity, fellowship, faith, grace, mercy or whatever you believe is needed in that situation. God sees our heart and honors our intentions because according on Matthew 6:8, He knows what we need before we ask. God is waiting for us to invite Him to move in the situations that move us, so that He will be glorified.