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“Do you think God will give me whatever I pray for?” I asked Stan one morning.
“Absolutely not!” Stan responded.
“What about where it says that if I ask I will receive?” I replied.
“The essential part, I think,” Stan said, “is that I, as well as you, have to ask in accord with God’s will.”
“Doesn’t that kind of make it an empty promise on God’s part?” I asked.
“God doesn’t make empty promises,” Stan said somewhat sternly.
“And, further,” he continued, “the apostle Paul addressed this in his letter to the church in Philippi.”
“What did he write?” I asked.
“That God would provide all of the readers’ needs. And note that he said ‘needs’, not ‘wants’.”
Continuing, Stan said, “God knows exactly what I need. When I come before him in prayer with something that is beyond what I need, but is something I simply want, He may or may not provide the ‘want’, but there is no doubt in my mind that He will provide the ‘need’.”
“How do you know how to pray the difference?” I asked.
“I have to allow the Holy Spirit to lead me in all of my prayers,” Stan replied. “If I am just praying on my own, with my own self-centered requests of God, I am way off base.”
“But,” he continued, “if I surrender all of me to the Holy Spirit, He will lead me in praying in exact accord with God’s will because He knows the mind of God a whole lot better than I do.”
And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that you provide for all of my needs. I confess that too often I ask you for wants rather than needs. Please forgive me. And please lead me in praying only in accord with your will by getting myself out of the way and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead my prayers. I know that when I do that, my prayers will be in accord with your will. I know that, but I need and ask for your help in following through. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.