Transformational Prayer 2

George Otis, Jr. – Specificity, Urgency & Expectancy

After years of being viewed as an impractical, lightweight solution to societal ills, prayer is once again fashionable. That much is good. But fashions are ephemeral, and there is also reason to temper our rejoicing. Perhaps this renewed attention on prayer is simply a consequence of the abject failure of every other approach. Rather than championing prayer as a uniquely powerful tool, we instead view it as the last card in the deck… a last-ditch strategy.

How did we get here?

What happened to the confident, game-changing prayers of Moses, Elijah, and David? Where are the modern-day Rees Howells and George Müllers? How did our opinion of prayer fall so far so fast?

The short answer is that, in all-too-many instances, our prayers do not seem to be working. It is as if they are not even getting heard, let alone answered. There are minor victories of course, but nothing like that experienced by the aforementioned intercessors.

The reason I believe our prayer lives project more hope than confidence is that we are plagued by an underlying uncertainty about God’s character and ways. In this uncertainty, we accommodate ourselves to theological abstraction, faithless petitions, and low expectations.

Thankfully, these under-achieving ways need not follow us. It is both possible, and essential, that we become societal change agents. For millions of our fellow citizens, time is running out. Within this urgent timeframe we must begin to pray with specificity — and with an expectation of results.