Where did "unspoken prayer requests" originate?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Gershom, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. Gershom

    Gershom
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    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"?
     
  2. SaggyWoman

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    I am not sure of the origination, but I know have the time it is a gossip to spread out prayer requests.
     
  3. npetreley

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    That's called a prayer chain.
     
  4. SaggyWoman

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    Yeah, that too.
     
  5. tinytim

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    Stuff that others ask you to keep confidential, but still need prayer.

    I also heard someplace that the devil can't read your mind... and only knows to attack if something is spoken...So some are afraid if they voice a request, satan will do more to hinder it.

    While I disagree with this, if people believe this, they will say "unspoken"

    I have at times when someone says they want the church to pray for them, but wants to keep details confidential..
     
  6. JustChristian

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    How about this passage of scripture?

    Rom 8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].
    Rom 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
    Rom 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God.
     
  7. Gershom

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    But the passage says that the Spirit (not men)interceeds when we can't pray as we ought. I think the people with "unspoken requests" are not at a loss in how to pray, but want to keep the request private. I'm not against the practice. I just think it's kinda strange to ask someone to pray for you without them knowing what they're praying for.

    :jesus:
     
  8. Benjamin

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    I think the unspoken prayer requests are supported Biblically. God hears from the heart of those asking, and hears from the hearts of those who respond. The details are usually better left private.

    When I pray, either for myself or others, I’m not looking for signs of personal empowerment or achievement, and if for instance that prayer were to be answered in a very positive way I don’t want people to even naively assume I had anything to do with it, because, of course, I didn’t, it was God’s will to answer that prayer the way He did. This is what I have a big problem with the Word Faith movement about. (giving the glory to man)


    For example, in giving, when I give to someone I try not to even think about anything except, “would this be pleasing to God”.


    When I reach out to help someone I keep the appearance simple, quiet, and try not to let it become a spectacle if at all possible; I know that God knows what I’m doing and I would just as soon keep it a secret between us. If the recipient later realizes the blessing, the credit is God’s, I need no thanks; to see their fulfillment is thanks enough, so for this reason I politely yet firmly as possible refuse any attempt at repayment from them.


    I prefer to pray privately, and if someone asks for my prayer I will usually simply reply that, “I will pray for you” UNLESS I see the need, and feel I have the ability to help them to hear that prayer, as in maybe some guidance as to what to pray for. Again, I watch for the blessing of answer prayers in secret.


    I have witnessed the reward of secret private prayer, and much of that reward has to do with strengthened faith in the goodness of God.


    I know God not only hears me the first time, but also knows my heart and what I will be praying for before the words, or thoughts, come out of my mind and if I pray about the same thing it is because I have something to add to my thoughts as I grow.


    Therefore, I actually prefer to pray for someone, (at least when concerning the more mature in Christ) who have requested prayer for an unspoken subject. I do not feel the need to have the details in that case, and I anguish the common happenings of gossip and boasting that often might result while I hear the beating of drums, because I know it is in God’s hands alone and God is good, true to His words.
     
    #8 Benjamin, Sep 7, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2007
  9. JustChristian

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    I think the Bible is saying here that the Holy Spirit can take over when we don't know what we should pray for or how to do it.
     
  10. moondg

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  11. Benjamin

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  12. rbell

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    I'm not allowed to say.
















    :D
     
  13. David Lamb

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    Sorry, not only have I never heard of these "unspoken prayer requests" (I thought at first you meant "prayers which are spoken in the quietness of the heart, rather than aloud"), but I have never heard of a baptist chapel that has an altar, unless it is another name for the "throne of Grace". Is it a physical piece of furniture?
     
  14. ReformedBaptist

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    The "altar" doesn't have to be a physical piece of furnature. Some churces make reference to it simply to mean the front part of their building which could be a stair that leads up to the platform. We don't refer to anything in the building we rent as an altar.

    As far as unspoken prayers I think they originated from churches that take public prayer requests. Some have not been comfortable sharing publically the details of a specific request so some churches asked for any "unspoken prayers" and people would raise their hands. Seems odd to me.
     
  15. Amy.G

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    I have always had a problem with the unspoken prayer request issue. How can I pray for something if I don't know what it is? Should I ask God to grant the request for the person even though it may not be a righteous request?

    I can pray for God's will in their life, but that's as far as I can go because I don't have a clue what their request is and it may be something they shouldn't even be asking for. I'm not going to ask God for something on behalf of another person not knowing what it is I'm asking Him to do.

    On a personal note, if I don't feel comfortable enough or trust another person enough to make my request known to them, I'm not going to ask them to pray for me either. But that's just me.

    I don't understand the altar issue either. God hears my prayers wherever I am, whether sitting in the pew, kneeling at the altar (in our church it's benches) or in the shower.
    We worship in spirit and in truth. He is with me always. I pray when the Spirit leads me. I talk to God all day just like He's right there beside me.
     
  16. just-want-peace

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    Right on Amy! You've pretty well summarized my feelings on this subject.

    If it makes one feel good to ask for an "unspoken" request, be my guest; just don't condemn me if I choose otherwise.
     
  17. Rippon

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    I agree wholeheartedly with Amy in her post #15 .

    I don't get these 'unspoken prayer requests ' . Does anyone know of anyone primarily asking for these prayers almost exclusively for years on end ?
     

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