"We really don't deeply desire very many things, do we?" a friend sighed as we thought on Mark 11:24: "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them" (KJV).
Nothing is more important in prayer than to desire what the Spirit wants to give.
One afternoon I was praying for a missionary nurse in Papua New Guinea. "Help her win someone to You today in the clinic," seemed to be a Spirit-implanted desire. The Spirit helped me pray until I was confident God had heard. I later received a letter from her that I realized was written the day I had prayed. She wrote, "Today two men came to the Lord in the clinic!"
Our goal in prayer is to learn what the Holy Spirit desires to do and then allow the Spirit to express that longing through us.
When we have a listening spirit, God will direct us to pray correctly. If we don't know what to pray, we are to be quiet before God and be sensitive to the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit will teach us how to be specific in our petitioning. Andrew Murray suggests, "Let your prayer be so definite that you can say as you leave the prayer closet, 'I know what I have asked from the Father, and I expect an answer.'"
The greater our intensity for a particular need, the longer we're willing to stay in God's presence until we know exactly what to ask and that He's heard us.
I thank You, Lord, that when the Holy Spirit implants a desire within me, I can pray with faith because You never give a desire to pray for anything You do not plan to answer.
"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us-whatever we ask--we know that we have what we asked of him" (I John 5:14, 15).