Problem-based praying identifies problems and forms appropriate requests. However, purpose-based praying forms requests appropriate to God's purposes.
Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does" (John 5:19, NIV).
We should spend more time identifying and blessing what God is doing. Consider your prayer life. When you pray for someone or something, do you begin with what you see God doing or with what you wish He were doing? We suggest that you:
Identify what God is doing. What evidence, even subtle changes do you see?
Thank God and praise Him for what He's doing. Thank Him for the circumstances He is arranging, the people and the influences He is using and the miracles He is performing in this situation.
Proclaim His works. Glorify His name.
Ask Him to enlarge the area of His activity. Ask Him to demonstrate His power and glorify His name as He extends His kingdom in this matter.
Rather than continually asking God to do what He is not doing, bless what He is doing!
Eddie and Alice Smith are founders of the U.S. Prayer Center in Houston, Texas.