To learn more about prayer, how to pray, difficulties present in prayer life, and the responsibility we have to pray for others, consider listening to the following sermons by Pastor Caldwell:
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The Unspoken Prayer Request
How should one think about and handle unspoken prayer requests? Are unspoken prayer requests biblical? How can we pray for the request if we don’t know what it is? Should we even submit unspoken requests for prayer?
In this episode of the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Richard Caldwell and host Dr. Josh Philpot consider the unspoken prayer request. Those are requests that we sometimes read on a prayer list or hear from someone asking for prayer but, there is a lack of details or specifics. Pastor Caldwell says some of us struggle with unsatisfied thoughts when we see or hear a request for prayer labeled unspoken. The struggle is real because, in some sense, we don’t know what to do with them. We don’t know what we are being asked to pray about, therefore, we often struggle with how we ought to pray. Even so, says Pastor Caldwell, there are two things we should consider when it comes to unspoken requests.
First, he says we want to be generous. Sometimes when people ask for or submit a request for prayer that doesn’t have details, it may be that the person feels inadequate to express it in words. It could be that time does not permit them to expand on all that is burdening them or bringing sadness to their lives. The request might be extremely sensitive, it could involve details that are intensely personal or perhaps damaging to others. There is more than one kind of unspoken prayer request, and there may be all sorts of reasons why those asking do not share the details. So what we want to do in these situations is be generous. Since we really have no way of knowing what to pray for, we can pray for the person that has made the request.
Secondly, Pastor Caldwell shares some advice for those who make these kinds of requests. He shares that if we have something like this in our minds and on our hearts, something where we feel unable to share the details, it would be better to ask: would you pray for me? We know what is in our minds. We know the situations and circumstances that are burdening us. When we ask others to pray for what only we know, this does not allow them to come alongside us and assist us in our need. In addition to this, Pastor Caldwell tells us that we can reduce these unspoken prayer requests greatly, by practicing a proper kind of transparency. We do this by opening up and being vulnerable with one another. He reminds us that we can go individually to our pastor or our elders, asking them to come alongside us. We can even ask them as a group to pray about these things for us. In this way, we can take some of these unspoken requests and make them spoken.
Unspoken prayer requests can appear vague, lacking in specifics and details, but that doesn’t make them invalid nor unworthy of our prayers. There are no specific biblical illustrations or examples of praying for unspoken requests. Yet, there are places where the Apostle Paul mentions praying for others, even though we do not read of them asking for prayer. Paul doesn’t always express the specifics of what it was that he has prayed about. Still, he shares that he has prayed, and he does this as a means of encouragement without going into the details.
Another question that Pastor Caldwell addresses is whether we should always make our private thoughts and struggles known to someone else for prayer. He says there are times when we talk to other people about things when we ought to be talking to God. There are things we do not need to tell others. Instead, we need to take those things to the Lord and make our request known before Him. Pastor Caldwell says there is a possibility that this may even be an area of struggle for those who present unspoken requests. It may be that there is a broader issue of an individual struggling in their prayer life. If this is the case, then the prayer request ought to be presented as such. Otherwise, their request can be shared privately with someone else. Pastor Caldwell reminds us that we want to be humble and transparent. He shares that the Lord has provided ways for this to be accomplished without us doing damage to ourselves or others. But he also states emphatically that some of the things that end up on the prayer request list may be better dealt with in the prayer closet.
We may feel limited in the manner in which we make our requests for prayer known to others. But God is not limited to answer by that manner since He knows all things. Whether requests for prayer are spoken or unspoken, verbal or non-verbal, detailed, or lacking specifics, we still must pray and trust that God hears and answers. Even so, this does not mean that we should not seek to be more specific when asking others to pray for our needs. God has provided the means for us through the body of Christ, that our brothers and sisters would be there to help and assist us in our times of need. Different situations and circumstances may call for sharing details and specifics, but with whom and when will require discernment and discretion. Other times we may need to go before the Lord in private because sometimes our struggles need to be worked out with Him alone.
About The Straight Truth Podcast
The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.
The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.
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