June 27, 2022

Are You Praying “Greyhound Prayers?”


I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. Matthew 11:24

Prayer is an amazing thing.  It’s amazing that we can simply talk to God and He listens… and answers!

Think back to the last time you prayed about something.  Did you see an answer to your prayer? Sometimes we get discouraged in prayer because, as far as we can see, nothing happened in answer.  Charles Spurgeon pointed out that sometimes we’re praying what might be called “Greyhound Prayers.”

Spurgeon once told about watching a greyhound chasing a hare. The moment the hare ran through the hedge out of greyhound’s sight, the race was over, because greyhounds hunt by sight and the hare was hidden in the hedge. “There are some Christians too much like the greyhound,” Spurgeon said. “They only follow the Lord as they can see his manifest mercy.  But the true child of God hunts by faith.  You say you have no answers!  How do you know?  God may have answered you, though you have not seen the answer.”[1]

It’s hard to pray when we’re limited by our own minds (Proverbs 3:5).  That’s why God gave the Holy Spirit to help us in prayer. “The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness,” says the Bible book of Romans 8. “For example,” it says, “We don’t know what God wants us to pray for.  But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.  And the Father who knows all hearts, knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will” (Romans 8:26-27).

The Holy Spirit can help us avoid praying “Greyhound Prayers” which only lead to discouragement.  Let’s pray with the help of the Holy Spirit, in faith!

[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Allen, J. K. (2021). In Spurgeon on the Priority of Prayer (pp. 44–45). essay, Moody Publishers.