Asking in prayer (A)
As you know, prayer is the lifting of our minds to God, with or without words, in order to get to know him, to love him and to do his will. It therefore includes adoration, thanksgiving and confession of sin, as well as asking. Today we are going to think about prayer in the sense of asking for this or that.
Right and wrong prayer
People can be divided roughly into two groups: those who believe in this kind of prayer and those who do not. The people who believe that it is useless to ask God for anything, think – quite wrongly – that prayer means asking God for what we want to happen; but those who believe the opposite are the ones who know that prayer means asking for what God wants to happen.
What God wants
Think of it like this: imagine that there two cupboards, each of which is locked. The first cupboard is labelled “What God wants”; the second, “What you want”. Now prayer is the key which opens the first cupboard, what God wants; but it will not open the second cupboard, so it is no good trying. God will not give you what you want unless it also happens to be the same as he wants for you. In the Lord’s Prayer (the Our Father) we say to God, “Thy will be done”, meaning, “Do what you know to be best”, and that should always be the thought in our minds when we ask God for something.