May 2001
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Why Do You Ask?

You may have heard the saying, “Our small things are great to God’s love; our great things are small to His power.” How true! There’s nothing in our lives so small that God isn’t concerned about it—no need, no desire, no burden, no emotion. Likewise, no problem or crisis is so big that it baffles God’s wisdom and power. And because He cares for us, we are invited to tell Him about any and all of our concerns (1 Peter 5:7).

Does that mean we can ask God for anything and expect to receive it? For example, does a Christian on a sports team have the right to ask God for victory in a particular game, and then expect God to intervene directly to help his team win? And what if players on the other team are also praying for victory?

Faith in our Savior and praying in His name are surely praiseworthy. But let’s be sure that what we’re asking for is something in line with what we know God would want. It is possible to cross the line from trustful dependence to superstitious selfishness.

Biblical faith is controlled by submission to God’s will (1 John 5:14). So every petition must be offered in a way that reflects the attitude of Jesus, who said to His Father, “Not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39).  

God's will, not mine, I make my goal
When I bow to Him in prayer;
I know He'll do what He deems best,
When I cast on Him my care. —Fitzhugh

The keynote of every prayer should be: "Your will be done."