Be Careful What You Pray For

Dr. Purushothaman
November 6, 2014


What is your prayer life like? Do you find it hard to pray? Do find it hard to find time to pray? When you do pray do you have specific things you are praying for and you ask God to answer your prayer in a specific way? Basically, do you give your wish list to God and pray that he answers your prayers your way.

Recently, I learned that we need to be careful what we pray for and how we pray. We only need to look back to the children of Israel in the Old Testament. I would encourage you to read 1 Samuel starting in chapter 8 and going through chapter 12. The people of Israel started whining and complaining to Samuel that they wanted a King like everybody else. They saw all the other countries had a King and they wanted one to. Samuel was quick to tell them they were wrong and that God was their king and they were rejecting him. He also said you don't realize what an earthly king would require. You will lose some of your children to serve in the palace and army. A portion of your crops will go to the King. The people continue to plead for a King and Samuel spoke to God. God said, "I will give them what they asked, but they have forsaken me. God then said warn them what will happen and tell them the procedure." If you continue to read 1 Samuel you will see many times where Israel did not do well under an earthly king. Often they were defeated and in 1 Samuel 15 God says he regretted ever making Saul king due to his disobedience.

Why am I sharing this important story from the Old Testament with you? We often think we know what is best for us. Israel wanted a king to be like everyone else and they denied God as their King. When I read this story it makes me stop in my tracks and realize that what God wants for my life is the best and I should follow what he wants and not what I want. God ended up giving the people of Israel what they wanted even though it wasn't best for them. He allowed them to give into their selfish desires.

We need to bring our prayer requests to God and say not my will but yours God. Often, we say that without thinking and I hate to say often as a PS to the end of our prayer. We truly need to say God I know you know what is best, you see and hold my future in your hands. Please show me what to do and how to handle a particular situation. Maybe you are desperately praying to be a stay at home Mom or change jobs. Could it be that God has you exactly where he wants you in order to glorify him and accomplish his purpose?

I would challenge us to start praying God make my desires line up with your desires. If you have a desire to stay home asked God if that is what He wants. If not, that he will take that desire away from you. If you are working at a job you truly can't stand ask God for direction to leave or stay? If it is to stay then how can God help you grow and learn in that situation?

In conclusion, we do need to be careful what we pray for. The people of Israel wanted an earthly king and they paid dearly for their choice. Some paid with their lives or their children's lives. We need to learn from this story in the Old Testament that God will not share his glory or authority. He knows what is best for us and we have to trust that his ways are best and not our own.
About the Author

Kimberly Chastain, MS, LMFT is the Christian Working Mom Coach and is the author of 2 ebooks. You can find her books as well as have coaching tips delivered to your inbox by visiting her at
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