In the context of our modern day altar prayers (where the congregation all meets at the altar to pray collectively), where did the "unspoken" prayer request come from? In my first church, the pastor would ask for any prayer requests and those who had certain requests made them known by voicing them. After that, he would say "any unspoken requests?" and some folks would raise their hands. Now, I know that some people might have things they don't want to be made public, but my question is, where did this originate and how can we pray for needs that we know nothing of other than to pray, "I pray for those with "unspoken requests"?