A man arrives in heaven, and St. Peter is showing him around. After a while, they pass by a large warehouse, and the man inquires about what is inside. “Oh, you don’t want to see that,” protests St. Peter. The man’s curiosity is piqued, and he demands to see inside. St. Peter opens the door, and they see a warehouse full of wonderful things, stacked to the rafters. “Why didn’t you want me to see this?” the man demands. “It all looks wonderful!” “Well,” says St. Peter, “I thought it might make you sad. You see, those are all the things God had ready to give you, if you had only asked for them in prayer.”
Does prayer really work that way?
Probably not exactly.
However, this fictional story illustrates and important truth.
Your prayers matter.
God longs to hear from you.
Undoubtedly, He already knows what you need.
But, prayer isn’t just about what you need.
“You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.”—James 4:2
James is writing to people who were willing killing one another to get what they wanted. Their motives were all out of whack and instead of seeking God, they took matters into their own hands.
How many times have you taken matters into your own hands instead of taking matters to God?
God wants you to ask Him for what you need–even for what you want. He wants us to talk to Him about all sorts of things, including our relationships, our attitudes and interests. God wants you to bring to Him the things that weigh on you like grades or health or friends you know who are hurting. God looks forward to us asking for what we need.
God most importantly wants us to acknowledge His position as the one who gives and takes away. (Job 1:21)
What is something you have asked God for and He gave you?
What are needs in your life or someone else’s life that have worried you recently? Have you prayed about them?