Pray for Yourself
Finally, you should pray for yourself. After praising God, confessing your sin, and praying for others, you are now in the right mind set to pray for yourself. We should pray that God would use us to our full potential to further His Kingdom. Pray that great and mighty things would happen to us that seem impossible. For example, don’t just pray for a wife or husband, but pray for someone that will challenge you to be a better person and give you joy you have never experienced. Don’t just pray for a mediocre job, but pray for a job that would use your abilities, give you fulfillment and make you want to wake up early in the morning. God gets excited when someone has big dreams, because He knows He can use them.
James 4:2-3 – You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. (ESV)
James points out that we should not ask for selfish things. For example, “God, give me a Ferrari!” Why would God give you a Ferrari? Do you need it? How are you going to use it to serve God’s Kingdom? We must learn to see things the way God sees them; look at the big picture.
Now let’s get to the fun part, how does God answer prayer? What are the various answers He can give us?
Sometimes, God just straight up says no. This can be for a variety of reasons.
Proverbs 28:9 – If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination. (ESV)
Proverbs 25:21-22 – If your enemy is hugnry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you. (ESV)
Proverbs 28 states that if you are going against God’s law, your prayers will be bad. This means that you are asking God for things against His law. An example is seen in Proverbs 25, where asking God for revenge goes against God’s law. We should love our enemies, and God will take care of their judgment.
Psalm 25:3-5 – Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. (KJV)
This is an answer the God tells me a lot. From God’s perspective, we have to understand that timing is extremely important. An example of this would be changing careers. In order for a person to change careers successfully and smoothly, many things need to line up. This may include having the proper finances, figuring out who and where you are going to live with, ending your lease, getting a lot of paperwork signed, moving, going back to school, scheduling classes, etc. If you are waiting till the proper time, all of these things will line up without you lifting a finger. If you try to rush things, it will be chaotic. God has all of these things planned out many years in advance. Sometimes God wants us to sit back, not stress, and enjoy the ride.
This is our favorite answer! God says yes when our ideas match His. He wants to meet our needs, exceed them, give us blessings, and happiness.
1 Chronicles 4:10 – Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain! And God granted what he asked. (ESV)
Jabez prays for more land, protection, and safety. Safety is often a thing we forget to pray for. Everyday, evil has the potential to attack us and do us harm, but God protects us, without us realizing it. If you don’t acknowledge this, God may one day take away his protection away and let evil have its way.
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