The bible speaks of a danger in praying amiss. It says “you do not receive because you ask wrongly”. So with time, we learn that praying without understanding is almost just as bad as not praying because when we pray without an understanding of what we’re asking for, there is the possibility that we are even praying against the Father’s will and knowing the Father we serve, we know that His loving nature would not allow Him release to us anything that will destroy us, even if we ourselves don’t know it.
A lot of times, we come to God and we do not even know really the need we have to raise to God in prayer. We get so carried away by the covering of the need that we do not look deeper to see the root of the need and pray with regards it.
For example, you might see people praying for money a lot of times and you rarely hear them ask God for a job. A job has the capacity to satisfy the need for money over a long period of time, but in the moment, such a person is blinded by an absence of money and so is constantly praying that God provides money.
Similarly, you hear people raising requests constantly about a spouse, whether a wife or husband and you rarely hear people pray for God to make them the right person for whoever God is sending their way. Here again, were blinded by how the need appears and unable to actually decipher and pray concerning the root need, which is to be the person God wants you to be before He even hands another human being to you in matrimony.
I call this The kingdom perspective and for me, it is a constant prayer always that I see always through God’s eyes. The way heaven is seeing it. This is the understanding we need when we stand in prayer and the assurance that comes in ‘whatever you ask in my name, I will do for you’. Emphasis on ‘Whatever’. So long as it is in accordance to the will of God, it will be answered.
Looking again at the Samaritan woman at the well with Jesus. Notice how she is introduced. ‘She came with her water jar to get some water from the well’. At the end of that story in John 4:28, the bible records “leaving her water jar, the woman went back to town and said to the people…”
She was thirsty right? any sane human knows that if I am thirsty, I need water to drink. So she went off to get that water. What she did not realise and what she had been blinded to see was that her thirst wasn’t merely a biological longing for physical water. Her real need was to meet with the one who had the capacity to quench her thirst forever and as we see in the end, Jesus did exactly that! Even bringing her to forget her original need seeing as she left that meeting without the water jar she had come with.
When we come to Jesus, we always leave with the things that matter most. It is a trend in the bible. Elijah came in tears and regret after Jezebel had threatened Him and He left Gods presence with instruction. Hannah came with taunting and pain and she left with a Son, this thirsty woman came with a water jar and left with salvation.
Jesus knows most our deepest needs and so even when we approach Him and it appears like were not receiving what we’ve come for, we need to trust He knows exactly what He is doing because usually the need we think we need satisfied is really minute compared to the bigger need behind what actually needs satisfaction.
It also reveals the value of our need. That our needs attract us to God who is then able to show us the bigger picture.
Some of us are with God now with an apparatus in hand to hold what we think we need and it appears like God is not even acknowledging the presence of that apparatus and that’s fine. Just stay trusting and open to receive whatever He does send, because He alone sees the bigger picture and that’s what He wants to open your eyes to see as well.