Focused Prayer

"Your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven." Matthew 6:8-10

"Jesus said that your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him. In one breath, Jesus, our brother, tells us that the Father already knows what we need, and then he tells us to pray and shows us how to pray. So praying to our heavenly Father must be about more than asking God to meet our needs. Because if he already knows what we need, why ask? Surely he does not want us to go through the motions if prayer is not meaningful. ...

Why pray? Because placing yourself in God's family and under his authority, welcoming his work and his way, and giving yourself to serve him completely- these are not just meaningless phrases or preambles to our list of requests. When we pray in the way Jesus prescribes, they are at the top of our list! Getting God's priorities into proper perspective changes our own

Prayer is so powerful. It has an ability to change things. It can reach into the depths of someone’s soul and you never have to speak one word aloud. Praise the Lord that He gave us prayer!

I have realized just recently that although I have been praying, and praying a lot, I wasn't praying with great focus. I have felt very overwhelmed with the number of people on my prayer list that instead of praying very specifically for each one, I was asking more general things for many families. I truly believe that the Lord has heard each prayer I have lifted up on behalf of others, but I have been convicted of not taking my time, and not asking for specifics. I was so concerned that each person was prayed for that those prayers that could have been so powerful and intent, were suddenly just mediocre. I am extremely thankful for the reminder last week at my Wednesday Bible study.

As Nancy Guthrie speaks to above in her One Year Book of Hope (Week 3- Father Heart of God), I think many of us have been guilty of thinking, "well, if the Lord already knows what I need before I ask... then why ask?" She articulates it well by emphasizing that our Father God wants to know the specifics... He wants us to ask! But to not just ask according to our ways; according to the way Jesus has instructed. To tell Him how thankful we are- even in the hard stuff, how blessed our lives are- even though our family isn't complete, and that everything we ask in Jesus' name is being actively sought according to HIS will... not our own. We are to tell Him that we trust His will, His way, and His works above ours and that we are speaking in accordance with the way His Son has modeled.

In the joy, sorrow, anticipation, anger, tears, fear, excitement, love and pain, we are to pray to Him... and do so specifically. We are to do so with focus, with thankfulness, with a humble spirit, in submission, in earnesty, in truthfulness, in the will of God, in the Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus, and ultimately... in FAITH. "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1.

Would you join me in prayer today and in the days ahead for my family? My Grandma passed away last night after she suddenly stopped breathing. She has been in and out of the hospital the past several weeks, but she wasn't expected to decline this rapidly. She is survived by eight children and spouses, numerous grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren. Would you pray specifically for my Dad? For his brothers and sisters? For arrangements, for peace, for safe travel?

Thank you for praying for us. I am so thankful that she was able to see my Grandpa again after 23 years... and has now met our precious Maddox as well.

Grandma Joan & baby Deacon

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." - Mark 11:24


Patty said…
Sending prayers to your family. Now baby Maddox has someone to rock and sing to him in heaven.
Yvette said…

Thank you for reminding us to pray for specifics and not just the general prayer for others and for ourselves. I have certainly learned about praying for the specifics since finding out about Tristan in August. And the more I read others blogs the more I realize I need to pray for specifics!

I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother. Please know that I will be praying for you and your sweet family in the days ahead. Oh yes, she is now with your grandfather and with Maddox. What a day that will be when we are reunited with our loved ones - it certainly makes Heaven a sweeter place doesn't it?

Look forward to talking to you again sweet friend!

I love you,
I will be praying for your family.

Thank you for this post, I have been struggling with some thoughts about prayer lately, and this is just what I needed to read.
Sabrina said…
I will continue to pray for your family in your time of loss. I continue to be amazed and inspired by your faith. I know that the Lord holds great things for each and everyone of us. Accepting that they are not always what we want is hard but having faith and knowing His "will" is right and true will always bring comfort.
Emily said…
Oh wow, doesn't it just overwhelm your heart to know there is such a similar scene in Heaven at this very instant. Only God....

Lifting your family up tonight.
Chrissy said…
Praying for you tonight and thinking of you just the same! I am so sorry to hear about your grandma. Praising Jesus that she is w/ your grandpa again and loving on your Maddox. Oh, how I can't wait to get there! Love you!
boltefamily said…
You are so right, it is so easy to just think "well, He knows" and He does but we are also supposed to make known each specific request by asking and giving thanks for who He is. I will be continuing in prayer for your family. Thanks for giving me specifics to pray about!

Love you,

Brooke said…
I love you and I am praying for you and all of your family.
Dear Kenzie,
I will be praying for your family. I have a thing for Grandma's - I love people of that age, their wisdom and way of loving their family. I miss my Grandmas very much and know you will miss yours. I love that you have that picture of her holding Deacon - priceless. I was always sad that my Grandma didn't get to meet my little girls but now she gets to be with my Mary Grace every day - just like yours with Maddox. Mary is actually buried by my Grandma which brings me comfort. I love thinking of them in Heaven and imagining the smiles on their faces.
I just got through saying in my bible study today how I am struggling with prayer, so I thank you for helping me today with some truths about prayer.
I love you friend and am sorry for your family's loss but am rejoicing for Heaven and Maddox's gain.
With Love,
petebon5 said…
prayer warrior for you here!! i am so sorry for your loss. if there's anything i can do, just let me know Kenzie.
God i ask that you give this family courage and peace in their hearts as they have just endured yet another family member receiving their wings. Lord just have some angels over their loved ones who have to travel in your mighty NAME i love you JESUS AMEN!!!
Asking God to be the God of all comfort to your family. How precious to think of the family reunions in heaven. It is such a privilege to pray for others. I know that my circumstances do not define who God is so my goal is recognizing that I am blessed every day because I am His when circumstances flare up. And I learned long ago to really wait on God about how to pray for others. They may share a need and I certainly take that to Jesus, but I've also learned that there is always a deeper spiritual need that I need to cover with prayer. "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added". Praying for the root issue is my goal---for God to have His way. Sometimes this life just plain sucks, we hurt, we cry out, we need--but He is "the answer" we really need.
Devin said…

Thank you for this reminder on 'praying for the specifics'. I, too, am overwhelmed sometimes by the sheer number of people on my prayer list. But, then I remember that prayer doesn't have to be a certain set time each day and at that time only...I can be in a spirit of prayer all day long. That sure helps when trying to make sure you get to everyone, and including their specific need :-) to be able to 'pray all day long'!

Praying for you, as always, but now with one new specific.

Love ya,
Melody said…
Thank you for your reminder about praying to God for specifics. I think we can all get easily side-tracked with generalizations...especially when you see a world of hurting people, sad mommies, angry spouses, and confused children. Sometimes it seems our prayer list is so long and overwhelming to us, we can convince ourselves that by clumping people into general groups, while still praying for them by name, that God will "get it." And though I'm sure He does get it, I think we are the ones who miss out by not diving in, knees to the ground, crying out on the behalf of a friend...all our friends. By name. For unique circumstance. THANK YOU for reminding me. I needed to read this today.

I'm sorry to hear of your family's loss, but I rejoice for Heaven's gain. I will be praying for your Dad, aunts & uncles, and safe travel for everyone.
Mike and Jenn said…
I said a prayer just now for you and your family! May you all feel God's peace and comfort surround you now!
Bobbi said…
I just wanted to tell you that you are a marvelous women. I hope that I one day will be as strong as you have been through your journey. You have beautiful children. Your family is in my prayers.
The VW's said…
I'm so sorry for the loss of your grandmother! May God comfort you and your family today and always!

Thankyou for the reminder of how to pray! Some days it does get overwhelming trying to pray for so many that I know that I become lazy about it. I'm thankful that God knows before we pray, but we should put more effort daily into Him then we often do. Thanks for sharing your wisdom!
Susan said…
Dearest Kenzie,

Oh, I'm just so sorry about the loss of your grandmother. I will look forward to meeting her one day.

Dear Jesus,

I lift up the Stanfield family up to you now. I pray that your love, and your presence will be felt in the days ahead for them. Comfort them as only you can and uphold them with your loving hands. I pray especially for Kenzie's dad and his family as they prepare for the service. Place your angels around them all as they travel and keep them safe. Be glorified oh Lord. In Jesus name I pray, Amen

Praying you through,

Love the Third Day song playing in the background on your blog. Heather
connie said…
Dear Kenzie,
I am so sorry to read that you have lost your grandma. I know that grandmothers and great-grandmothers can be such a source of pure love for us, and it is so sad when we don't have them around for us and our children. I do love the picture of Deacon and your grandmother, and the picture it gives me of her holding Maddox. When I had a miscarriage a few years back, and my mother died a few days later, a dear friend emailed me that he could picture my mom rocking our baby; that was the most comforting image for me during that time.

The question about why to pray - I remembering asking that question of the priest/therapist I saw while pregnant with Mallorie, and it wasn't till Mallorie was born, and God had not answered the only request I was willing to ask (about her back), that I realized another reason: that we also learn about ourselves when we pray specifically. My unwillingness to ask "big" had to do with my level of trust in God. His answer of, "No, I won't give you the only thing you would ask Me for, but I WILL give you ALL the other things that you would or could not ask me for." .... That showed me about Him, and something about His love for me. But if I had never prayed specifically, but just sort of assumed that He "already knew," I wouldn't have seen the huge discrepency between the God I "knew" and the God who He is. The one who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think.

I love that you continue to grow and learn through all of the experiences God is allowing in your life. Thank you for continuing to share like this, because I needed to be reminded of this today.

I love you so much,
(And I need to get that One Year Book of Hope!)
Anonymous said…
And Carley just looked at her picture, and said, "Wow, now I know where she gets her good looks!"
thinking about you tonight and continuing to pray for you and your family while you go through the loss of your Grandmother. I hope you know how much you mean to me.
With love,
boltefamily said…
still praying for you!
Laura said…
Praying for you this morning...for peace as well as greace for you to facce each moment.
Mandy Farris said…
i have been following your blog for awhile now. i love your music. You have a beautiful family. i am praying for you to have peace. thank you so much for being so open and honest through this time that i can not even imagine how hard it must have been. you have a beautiful smile. keep smiling. you are making a difference. Thanks Kenzie!
I am very sorry for the loss of your Grandmother. Keeping you and your family in my prayers during this difficult time. Take care.

-Katie M.
Laurie said…
Dear Kenzie,

Praying for you today as you continue to adjust to losing your Grandmother.I have always loved grandmothers and wondered how they could be so patient and extra loving and smell oh so good. Well, now that I am a grandma, I get to experience the other side and I have to tell you that God surely saves the best for last. I love being a part of molding my next generation of family and the gift is mine. And I read this feeling in my heart on your Grandmothers face as she holds Deacon in the picture. The circle of life is truly amazing as it turns us inward to the beauty of God inside. Bless you sweetie in your loss. I see her in heaven holding Maddox this way:)

Love, Laurie in Ca.
Anonymous said…

What a beautiful tribute to Mom! She didn't have the ability to read your blog on earth yet now she has the capability to read your loving heart in Heaven.

She has left this earth, it's true, but that doesn't mean she can pray for us no longer... on the contrary, she is in the presence of our Lord Most High and can whisper her prayer personally into His ear.

Mom, please pray for healing of the Monzingo family tree.

Kenzie, I pray for your brown eyes to be blue no longer.

Love you,
Aunt Laura

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