I don’t know what happened to me when I was a preschooler with a mom working outside the     home.  I do know that I hated onions with a stubborn passion.  I feel that a preschool worker may have tried to force those nasty things on me. I mean I didn’t even like the smell of that heart healthy ugly thing.  Even if something like a sliced tomato had even touched an onion, I would have nothing to do with it.  Eating a hamburger with no onions or lettuces?  That’s unthinkable to most people. My blessed wife had no idea what she was getting into when we married.  No onions in salads or in hamburger steaks were allowed.  Even the smell of onions in the fridge was offensive to my gag reflex.

One day as I was hungrily watching my wife and daughter set the table for an evening meal, a strange feeling came over me.  I saw one of them set a pint jar full of fresh garden green onions on the table.  Maybe it was the impressive color combination of the long green and white things that affected me.  I don’t know. But after having been an onion teetotaler for fifteen years of marriage you can’t imagine their faces when I walked to the table, pulled a green onion out of the jar and began to chew on it saying, “Umm good!”

My wife started crying…my daughter was aghast with her mouth wide open.  “Daddy,” she exclaimed with disbelief in her eyes.  “What has happened to you,” she said. I was at a loss to be able to explain what happened.  One moment I hated even the odor of those bad things and the next moment I loved those sweet little yummy delicacies.  Maybe someone has an idea what took place in my mind or body, but I still do not know. Have I ever told you that I love onions on and in almost everything now?  Wow!

I had a similar experience with prayer.  Well, it wasn’t like I hated praying like I did the onions, but even though I prayed, it was not my most favorite thing to do.  The problem was that I just couldn’t get my heart into it.  I tried praying a list of minister friends and family that I had put together, but it was mostly drudgery. I had been in the ministry for roughly eleven years when Leonard Ravenhill signed and gave me a little book by Austin Phelps named, “The Still Hour.”  Every chapter was outstanding, but one touched my heart to the extent that I suddenly loved to pray.  I mean really!!!

The name of the chapter is “Specific and Intense Prayer.” When I read the following lines something happened to me.  I went from duty to delight. “We lose many prayers for the want of two things which support each other, — specificness of object and intensity of desire.  Under the sway of intense desires, our minds naturally long to individualize thus the parties, the petitions, the objects, and the results of prayer.”

When I began to pray for the things I desired from my heart, intensity followed.  Oh, I know…somebody just said, “Oh brother, you can get in trouble praying for desires.”  You party-pooper!!  When our desires are truly filtered through the Spirit, He will refine and screen our desires. Many times we don’t see the answer to our prayers because we don’t have an object in mind that we are passionate enough about praying into existence.

I say lets not just pray but let us pray in our prayers.  Your prayer will be intense if you really want what you pray for.  We are not known for a public show in praying but for prayer from our hearts.