It’s a vulnerable thing to lay our needs before God in prayer and believe he will meet them. It’s a case of trust, faith that he is a good father, that he wants to hear our prayers and answer them.
Crafted, short prayers can be specific and repeatable. Jesus warns us against using clever words and waffling on in prayer to impress people. Crafted prayers help us say what we want to say to God. They are thought through, short, snappy and specific prayers. They help us to stop praying for ten minutes without really saying anything. They get to the point, we can say them each day and we can write crafted prayers for each area of life.
Imagine writing a prayer for your family, for your job, about your hobbies, about the poor, about a difficult friendship and for your finances. There are no limits to what we can craft prayers about, there is no area of life off limits to Jesus. Here are two stories showing the power of crafted prayers.
Crafted prayer for an office space
When I moved to Manchester, the Fusion team were looking for an office space. After weeks working in a poorly lit Starbucks, walking up and down trying to stay sane, we began to pray. We began to craft some prayers for the office space we wanted to do our job well. Our prayers went something like this
Thank you lord for calling us to this mission.
We need an office space where we can flourish in our work
Would you provide an office space where we can share the gospel
We want a microwave, a place to store our resources,
A space to work where we don’t feel like we need to keep buying coffees
Hear our prayer lord.
We were specific in our prayers and not afraid to ask for what we needed to work. As we prayed, one of my colleagues was contacted by a friend offering a trial in a co-working space in central Manchester. We jumped at the opportunity to have two weeks in a plush city centre office space. The trial was great, everything we needed, it felt too good to be true. Within the trial there were a couple of signs this was the space for us. So, by faith, we walked round the office space seven times praying in tongues and speaking our crafted prayer. A week later, we received the keys. The manager said we love having you in here and we love what you do. Here are the keys. We were blown away, every time we walk into the space, we remind ourselves we are living in answered prayer.
Crafted prayer for an international student
As a church community we gather every Monday to pray. We pray specifically for our friends exploring faith. Last year, one of those friends was from Colombia. He came to Manchester to learn English and care for a disabled man. We met him through a meal at our home that was advertised to the international community. The first time we met him, he stayed late after everyone had gone and opened up about his struggles getting used to a new country. This began a wonderful friendship and we could see a clear openness to the lord. We invited him along to Church and to open up the Bible. We could see he was open to Jesus but something was stopping him making a commitment. We began to pray.
Open our friend's heart, set him free to be open to you
Would he be a follower of you
Would he be lead by your spirit
Let him be a good news sharer
Lord draw him to yourself
We prayed along these lines for a month. One Sunday Steven came along to Church and we were talking about forgiveness. The question came up: ‘do you need to forgive anyone?’. Our friend thought for some time, pondering, examining his heart. He said, ‘Yes, I need to forgive my father, for being absent’. He went on to forgive his Dad, as he did, something unlocked in him, a weight lifted off and he looked different. The Holy Spirit had met him. A couple of weeks later he called me and said I want to get baptised and commit to Jesus. We baptised him in a bath a week later!