One thing has really struck me. It is something that will make the "health-and-wealth" crowd uneasy. Scripture doesn't have a lot to say about praying for physical stuff -- even health. Maybe the most-used passage for that is in James 5, where James says (v. 13) "Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord." Yet even here, MANY scholars believe James is referring contextually to spiritual sickness.
Now please don't roast me here. If you want to pray for cataract surgeries and things like that, I don't think it is wrong. It's just NOT where I am right now. I do find it sad that when we take prayer requests at church, nearly 100% of them will have to do with physical stuff. This just does not seem to align itself with Scripture.
So I've been thinking about "the Lord's prayer." Remember, the disciples asked of Jesus: "Teach us to pray." And so He did. Hear what He said (Luke 11: 2-4).
"Father, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us,
And lead us not into temptation."
In this prayer, Jesus urges His disciples to:
1. Honor God
2. Pray for the inbreaking of the kingdom here on earth.
3. Pray for DAILY SUSTINENCE.
4. Pray for forgiveness of one's sins, as well as for a forgiving attitude toward others.
5. Pray for SPIRITUAL strength to overcome temptation.
Five things He urged them to pray for. Four are spiritual, and one you could say is physical. But listen to what even the physical one implies: "Give us this day our daily bread." Hardly the prayer of Jabez! To me, it implies something spiritual. "Let me be satisfied with Your daily care." If anything, it diminishes / discounts concerns about the physical.
So for me in my journey right now, prayer is about SPIRITUAL things: strength to overcome temptation, being made more into the likeness of Jesus, dependence upon the Holy Spirit, etc.
Again, I am not writing this as the final authority on the subject. Nor am I telling anyone not to pray for "stuff." I am just giving an honest assessment of where I am.