What Do I Pray For?
What do I pray for? I know from Matthew 7:7, that if I ask, I will receive. From Hebrews 11:6,I know that God rewards those who earnestly seek him. I also know from James 4:3, God considers motives and substantive prayer provides more than ‘just getting what I want.’ Hebrews 11 provides the key: relationship and seeking him.
I may say, ‘ what do I pray for then, because I want to be rich? So I guess I can’t ask God.’ And I get that raw edgy lowness, pre-despair choking that sticks in my throat like a grapefruit. The same feeling I got when my parents told me, ‘no, you can’t have that,’ in the toy store. No, pray about everything, and if that is my burning desire, keep praying about it. Why do I want to be rich? ‘Well so I can accomplish such and such for God.’ I should keep praying until I have a sense of peace about, ‘no.’
There are examples where people nagged God until he answered their prayer but it came without blessing and peace, a severe rebuke or worse followed. Pray persistently but with openness to God’s wisdom. I must remember he is God and I am not. He is the potter. I am the clay.
If to be rich seems like a calling and not just so I can have more stuff, then I should pray about what is this sense that I have that I should pursue building a business or raising money. If that is what I want to do, not just being rich. Being rich can become a stumbling block for me. Some of us receive a call to fundraising and to financing the work of the kingdom. If that is part of my purpose, then it will happen. ‘Lord show me my motives, help me to see the truth, help me to be honest with you.’
Relationship with God Himself or a Blessing Machine
‘Well I’m not getting what I want, so I’m not praying anymore.’ There’s a lesson in this if I will listen. Return to the relationship, submit, and seek God. Prayer is about my transformation, my becoming more like the person God wants me to be and to accomplish his purposes in relationship with him. Never forget the primary call of all disciples: to believe, love, and make other disciples.
It is good for me to pray for my material needs. God will answer those prayers in alignment with his timing and what he wants me to learn. But he isn’t likely to make me rich unless he’s giving me something to pass on to someone else.
Why keeping talking about the relationship with God in a discussion on prayer? Because knowing and talking with Jesus daily is the answer to most of my questions and most of my problems.
‘What do I pray for?’
An ongoing relationship with Jesus the Christ, from this all blessings will flow. He offers a permanent and on-going solution, not a band aid.
I’ll continue this discussion in the next post on prayer.