It was Emerson who said we need to aim ABOVE the mark if we are to even come close to hitting the mark. I didn't quite understand that until I was qualifying for my marksmanship badges in the military. The instructors would hammer this one home each time - pay attention to the desired target, aim just a little above where we wanted the shot to meet the target and then fire. Why? The trajectory of the bullet changed just slightly as it went through the air on the way to the target. I wonder if our prayers are a little like that - we aim just a little ABOVE the thing we truly need and God changes the trajectory of that prayer just enough it hits target dead center.
14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for. (I John 5:14-15 NLT)
I have a tendency to pray "big" prayers - definitely big ones that sometimes I don't even believe will come close to whatever it is that is needed, but it is what I imagine will be the answer to the issue at hand. It isn't as though I am limiting God with my prayers, but I tend to think he will do things in ways that always show how awesome his power really is. I don't think there is any harm at "aiming high" in our prayers - for Jesus will change the trajectory of those prayers so they hit the specific mark that will answer the true need of our heart or the heart of the other one we are praying for.
The other part about prayer that is always encouraging to me is that our words NEVER go unnoticed or unheard. It may seem to us that they are just words sent off toward some target, taking aim at what we believe will become the right answer, but in truth we are just "saying words" because we don't really see the target clearly. God knows what we have need of even before we do - he sees the target clearly and responds to that need long before that target comes into clear view for us.
While it is not always apparent to us what we have need of (the target), it is sometimes equally hard for us to know how to posture ourselves to actually hit the target. In training to qualify for my marksmanship badge, the instructors would constantly readjust our stance. Why? A good stance ensured less movement. We solidly planted ourselves, posturing for that moment when we'd take aim and fire. The effort put into assuming a good posture or position made the difference of several degrees in where the target was hit (or even if it was hit at all).
So, assume a good stance - posture in prayer with a positive attitude, solid trust, and openness to perceive things like you may not have seen them before. It just may be God will take those prayers we are aiming a little higher than target on and dazzle us with a "dead center" answer! Just sayin!