Pulled Two Ways in Prayer

Do you ever wonder how to pray about an issue?  I often find myself pulled between two significantly different perspectives of how to pray. 

I believe in kingdom prayer which focuses our requests on the bigger issues of God’s will and his kingdom. Instead of merely asking for healing or relief from the trials, I consider the big picture of God’s purposes as revealed in the scriptures.  Trials are part of the Christian life and God uses them to make us like Jesus (Rom. 8:28-29). So what do I pray for people dealing with the hard times? I ask God to give them perseverance and faith during temptation and testing (Luke 22:32a), to lavishly provide comfort (2 Cor. 1:3-7), to provide encouragers and care from other believers, while also asking him to be merciful and bring relief from the hardships in his time and his way. I pray verses that focus on the bigger issues.
Otherwise, in my limited human perspective I end up praying for my will and my solution to the problem rather than God’s. 
But then I read something that reminds me that there are times to be very specific. When we do that, we give God opportunities to do miracles before our eyes that result in his glory and his kingdom also. As James says, we have not because we ask not (James 4:2c). Such answered prayer increases our faith and encourages us to pray more fervently. 
Jesus models both specific and general big-picture prayers. Instead of being pulled between two focuses, I am asking God to show me how to specifically pray for people, for ministries, and for worldwide issues of concern. He alone can guide me. But the great thing is that if I miss it even then, he promises that the Spirit will intercede for me according to his will (Rom. 8:26-27). 

Kay is a life-long Texan whose favorites are Tex-Mex, books that feed her soul or make her think, good movies and travel to new places. Her great joy is to serve God by teaching the Bible and developing women as servant-leaders. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Beyond Ordinary Women Ministries, which provides free videos, podcasts and articles as well as low-cost Bible studies to prepare Christian women for leadership. (beyondordinarywomen.org) Kay spent ten years leading women’s ministries on church staffs, most recently at Northwest Bible Church in Dallas. Kay is the author of From Ordinary Woman to Spiritual Leader: Grow your Influence, a practical guide to help Christian women influence others by applying foundational leadership skills to their lives and ministries, and a number of Bible studies for women, some are available at bible.org and the newer ones are found at beyondordinarywomen.org. Kay earned an M.A.C.E. from Dallas Theological Seminary and a D.Min. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Effective Ministries to Women. Kay’s family includes a husband, two grown children, one son-in-law, two hysterical granddaughters and a Goldendoodle.