What can one properly pray about?
Are there limits on what we may ask of God in prayer?
In his book, “Prayer — Asking and Receiving,” Dr. John R. Rice says: “Anything you have a right to want, you have a right to pray for. If you do not have a right to pray for it, then it is wrong to want it. About any particular matter, the Christian ought to ask for what he wants, or quit wanting it.”
Proper wanting, then, is very important to proper praying. James expressed this in his epistle: “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (James 4:3).
But how can we keep our wanting right?
Wanting is kept correct by continued exposure to the Bible. Outside influences are directed toward spiraling materialism. Generally, the more we get, the more we want. And American affluence keeps the cycle going.
The Bible reminds us of the temporary nature of all things and offers a lifestyle of giving instead of getting. Try these want-adjusters:
“Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be…” (II Peter 3:11).
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth…“ (Matthew 6:19).
“…It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
Now, what do you want?
Ask for it. Be definite. Believe. Receive!