The answers we came up with together, based on what most Christians commonly pray for:
- we would only eat blessed food
- we would always travel safely
- nobody we loved would stay sick
- nobody would grieve for long
- there would be no suffering
- everyone would have a good job
- we would all have lots of money and stuff
- there would be no war
Before I make additional comments, let me say there is nothing wrong with praying for these things. We should always let God know our heart's desires. Yet, in reflecting on these petitions, we both saw how narrow and shallow the prayers are and how little we desire the things God sees as really GOOD.
So, how should we pray - if God is going to answer the prayers? We should expand and broaden our petitionary prayers and ask for these things:
- salvation for others
- mercy for all
- forgiveness of sin
- acceptance of the Gospel
- success in evangelization
- holiness for ourselves and others
- renewal of our culture
We should always pray expecting God to say "yes" to all of our prayers. This is a good way to grow in faith. But, our prayers should be wide and in accord with what is really good.
Holy Spirit, teach us to pray!