I found this on Cybersalt.org. It’s written by a third grader, apparently:
God’s second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times besides bedtime. God doesn’t have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because He hears everything there must be a terrible lot of noise in His ears, unless He has thought of a way to turn it off.Â Â God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn’t go wasting His time by going over your mom and dad’s head asking for something they said you couldn’t have.
I love that last sentence.
It got me thinking about how we pray and what we pray for and I was thinking we should try this:
Get a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle of it. On one side of the line write all your needs and on the other write all your wants.
Then go back through the lists you made and see which of your ‘needs’ that you identified are actually ‘wants’.
Now keep that list in front of you when you are praying and see how many of the things you pray for are actually needs and how many are wants.
The bible says that God will supply all of our needs. Over the course of the next week or month, see which of those ‘needs’ you have written down God has supplied. I’m willing to guess it’s ALL of them. Then look through at the list of ‘wants’ and see which ones God supplied. Then you’ll begin to see the depth of God’s love.
God is so loving and patient that He supplies all of our needs and then some. Seeing which of your ‘wants’ He supplies will probably show you a little about His heart and His plan for you. He’s not going to give you things that will be bad for you so seeing what He does give will help you see what is good for you and what is bad for you in God’s eyes.
There are a few disclaimers I need to make:
1) You can pray for your wants, it’s OK. But don’t let your list of wants overrun your time of communion with God and don’t try to use God a big Santa Claus who you think will give you everything you want if you are good.
2) Don’t give up praying. You don’t need that lady in your church to be healed, you just want it. Don’t think though that if God doesn’t answer the first day or week or month that the answer is no. The answer may just be ‘not yet’. It’s OK to be persistent, in fact, God LIKES it when you are!
3) Don’t feel guilty. You are not the only one who prays ‘selfish’ prayers. God is your Father and your friend. He wants you to pour out your desires to Him. He’s interested in you. He made you unique with your own set of likes and dislikes so that you and he can have a unique relationship. That doesn’t mean selfishness is OK and it doesn’t mean God is going to give you everything you want but use your prayer times to learn more about the heart of God and to learn to develop that sameÂ heart yourself.