But, Daddy, I Want That!

Most of us spend an inordinate amount of our prayer time asking God for things. Is this your pattern? We sometimes act like He is the Great Candy Machine of the Universe, existing mostly to hand out goodies upon request. Been there, done that.

This is called the prayer of supplication or petition and it was never meant to be the major player in our prayer lives. I wonder if we end up doing this partly because we live in a culture that emphasizes “I want this, and I want it now.” We forget that the pursuit of happiness doesn’t guarantee the presence of happiness. And we forget that happiness comes more out of relationships than from having things.as friendships grow, so grow the soul ties

If we neglect the first type of prayer – developing our relationship with God – we find ourselves having trouble knowing His heart, understanding what He wants for us, and then asking for the wrong things. We all do that kind of asking, but can we understand and accept it when the answer is no? This relates back to James 4:3 which tells us that we don’t receive the answer we want because we ask “amiss”, or out of wrong motives. It’s not that our Father is being stingy; it’s His wisdom that keeps us from too much candy.

So, how do we avoid praying “amiss”?

We have to ask God about it. I don’t know about you, but I’m not nearly as smart as He is. I don’t know all the nuances of a situation, but He does.

peacefully swingingWhen we take the time to get to know Him, we can perceive His desires much more clearly and then pray in alignment with them. When our will and heart are aligned with His, we know we are asking according to His will for the situation. Psalm 37:4 says “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (NIV). Delight translates as not only to have joy but to relax and even luxuriate (picture a bubble bath!). And what about using place instead of give, as in He places the proper desires in our hearts?

By the way, much of His will is delineated in Scripture, so we don’t even have to ask about it. It’s right there in black and white, and maybe in red, too! For example, it’s never His will for someone to be demonized. Jesus never told anyone, “You still have some lessons to learn, so let’s just leave that demon right there for a while.” No, He cast them out. He freed the captives, even though He knew some would eventually reject Him again. (Why else would he warn some to stop the sinning that had allowed the demon access?)

bandaging the woundsSickness? I believe it’s always His will to heal. That healing may take the form of death and heaven, but we shouldn’t stop praying for healing unless He tells us to.

Provision? One of God’s names is Jehovah Jireh. It literally means the “many-breasted one”, one who provides a plethora of needs: physical, emotional, mental, whatever. Asking for money may be amiss, but asking for provision to carry out the life He has called you to is scriptural.

So, let’s spend more time in getting to know Him, so we can use our time of supplication and petition to greater efficacy. Let’s allow Him to supply the desires He knows are best for us.

this is part 18 of a series on warfare


Part 1| This Means War!

Part 2| The Big “D” of Warfare

Part 3| Charge!

Part 4|Swing That Sword!

Part 5| Worship IS Warfare

Part 6| Warring Through Worship

Part 7| Fight With Powerful Gifts

Part 8| Prophetic Swords

Part 9| Comfort, Encourage, Strengthen

Part 10|“Extra Special Perception”

Part 11| Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

Part 12| How’s Your Perception?

Part 13| What Did You Say?

Part 14| Interpret This!

Part 15| Attack With Prayer

Part 17| Getting to Know Our Commander

All illustrations courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net