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Praying for Needs


Should We Pray for Our Needs?

Often we wonder if we should bother God with our needs.  Sometimes we hesitate because our small daily challenges like getting to work on time seem trivial compared to people who are in life and death situations.  Other times we forget to ask because we get so wrapped up providing everything for ourselves that we develop a false sense of self sufficiency.

Yet God created us so that we would naturally turn to Him in prayer when we need help.  There’s truth to the saying that there are no atheists in foxholes because nearly everyone of every background feels the impulse to pray when faced with serious problems beyond their control.    Learning to regularly pray about our needs both big and small is a divine pathway into prayer that helps us form a daily reliance on God’s providence and a deeper trust in Christ.


What does the Bible Says about Praying for Needs?

Jesus told us to pray for our needs. In the Lord’s Prayer or the Our Father, Jesus gives a very simple and direct model for asking for needs.  “Give us today our daily bread.”  (Matt. 6:11)  During His years as an itinerant teacher Jesus was totally dependent on God stirring up generosity in the hearts of others to supply His basic needs of food and shelter.  When He was crucified Christ’s only possessions were the clothes He had been wearing when He stood trial. (Luke 9:58, John 19:23,24)

Likewise when Jesus sent His followers out on missions, He explicitly sent them with no provisions except their trust in the promise that God would provide for them and that people would welcome them in and feed them.  (Luke 10:4)  God indeed provided.  (Luke 22:35)

Praying for our needs brings supernatural peace. The Bible says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:6-7)

Prayer is part of the divine spiritual cycle of provision which produces generosity, joy, thanksgiving and closer interconnections with fellow Christians. Paul writes: “Remember this:  Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, whoever sows generously will also reap generously.  Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.  As it is written:  ‘He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.’

“Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.  You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

“This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflow in many expressions of thanks to God.  Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.  And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.  Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.”  (2 Corinthians 9:6-15)


The Personal Growth That Happens When We Ask

On the surface, praying for needs is so simple that even children can do it well.  However as we mature and our lives, emotions and thinking processes become more complex the act of asking becomes a challenge.  When we begin to ask more frequently a wonderful variety of dynamic spiritual forces come into play that can lead to breakthroughs in our relationship with God.  Here are some of the ways asking  opens up to God:

We recognize that we aren’t self sufficient and there’s more to life than accumulating things. (Luke 6:38)

We admit that although it seems that we are providing for ourselves through personal effort and hard work, even our effort and work are made possible through God’s design of creation which includes His gifts to us of physical strength, health, opportunities, natural resources and talents.   (Luke 12:24)

We learn gratitude, thanksgiving and humility.  (Luke 1:46-53)

We learn to depend on God and not on ourselves.  (Matt. 6: 31-33)

We give God an opportunity to do things for us.  (John 13:8)

We begin to understand stewardship which means that we see the whole world as God’s and not as ours to be used for our own selfish purposes.  (Luke 19:23)

We develop generosity. (Luke 6:38)

We are nourished by the joy of giving and sharing. (Luke 21:3,4)

We are able to see God’s hand at work and can tell others specific very ways God has answered our prayers.  (John 6:14)

We develop patience, self discipline and obedience.  (John 21:5,6)

We appreciate the greater and more lasting value of spiritual gifts.  (John 6:26,27)


How to Pray for Help and Provision Using the Bible

The Bible is the ultimate resource when it comes to helping us pray for our needs with confidence and hope.  When praying Scripture we are interacting with the Living Word and allowing the Holy Spirit to open our thoughts to God’s view of our needs and how He desires to fill them.

There are countless verses and personal accounts in the Bible that assure us that God will meet our needs.  There are also scriptures which we might pray and meditate on covering our specific individual needs whether we are in need of healing, protection or guidance or need help in overcoming fear.

The following are a small sampling of some of the incredible Biblical prayer starters that help us met God at our point of need:

Trust in God’s ability to give: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever!  Amen. “ (Ephesians 3:20,21)

Healing: “Is any of you sick?  He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up.  If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.”  (James 5:14,15)

Help in troubled times: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for thou art with me…”  (From Psalm 23)

Provision: Jesus says, So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ���������What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  (Matthew 6:30-33)

God gives to those who ask. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”  (Matthew 7:7,8)

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he will hear us.  And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.”  (John 5:14,15)

Generosity: “Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  (Luke 6:38)

Jesus is all sufficient: “Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.’” (John 6:35)

Fruitfulness: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”  (John 15:7,8)

Protection and deliverance: “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”  (Psalm 32:7)

“The Lord protects the simple hearted.  When I was in great need, he saved me.”  (Psalm 116:6)

“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.”  (Psalm 34:7)

Blessing: May the Lord make you increase, both you and your children.  May you be blessed by the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.  The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth he has given to man.”  (Psalm 115:14-16)

“May the Lord bless you and keep you.  May the Lord let His face shine upon you and be gracious to you.  May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.”  (The priestly blessing from Numbers 6:24-26)

Productivity: “May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.”  (Psalm 90:17)

Emotional help: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  (Psalm 34:18)

Forgiveness: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  (I John 1:9)

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”  (Mark 11:25)

Salvation: “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned.”  (John 3:16-18)

Guidance: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.”  ( Psalm 32:8 )

“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.  You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”  (Isaiah 58:11)

Strength: “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”  (Isaiah 40:29-31)

Salvation of children and descendants: “I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.  They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams.  One will say, ‘I belong to the Lord’; another will call himself by the name of Jacob; still another will write on his hand, ‘The Lord’s’ and will take the name Israel.”  (Isaiah 44:3-5)

Fresh starts: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”  (Isaiah 43:18,19)

The power of the Holy Spirit:   “…wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.  For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”  (Acts 1:4,5)

“They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” (Acts 2:3,4)

After receiving the power of the Holy Spirit, Peter tells the crowd that gathers “This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:  ‘In the last days I will pour out my Spirit on all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.  Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days and they will prophesy.’” (Acts 2:16-18)

Restoration: “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten…You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed.” (Joel 2:25, 26)

Overcoming fear: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’  So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5,6)

“But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage!  It is I.  Don’t be afraid.’” (Matthew 14:27)  

Marriage: “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.  So they are no longer two, but one.  Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”  (Mark 10:6-9)

Pain and suffering: “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’…That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in my weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  (2 Corinthians 12:8,9,10)

Dealing with Enemies: “Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless.  With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.” (Ps. 60:12)

“But he brought his people out like a flock; he led them like sheep through the desert.  He guided them safely, so they were unafraid; but the sea engulfed their enemies.”  (Psalm 78:52,53)

“For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”  (Deuteronomy 20:4)

Wisdom: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”  (James 1:5)

My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and untied in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  (Colossians 2:2,3)

Dealing with Grief:  “The spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, and to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.���  (Isaiah 61:1-3.  In Luke 4:18-20 Jesus reads this scripture in the synagogue and says “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” )

Death of Loved One: “So it will be with the resurrection of the dead.  The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory;…When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ ‘Where, oh death, is your victory? Where, oh death, is your sting?”  (I Cor. 15:35, 54, 55)

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  (Rev. 21:4)

Perseverance: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out of us.  Let us fix our eye son Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  (Hebrews 12:1,2)

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  (James 1:2-4)

Spiritual battles against evil:  “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rules, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God. So that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Sprit, which is the word of God.”�� (Ephesians 6:10-17)

Meaningful relationships: “A father to the fatherless, defender of widows is God in his holy dwelling.  God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing…”  (Psalm 68:5,6)

���The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone.  I will make a helper suitable for him.’”  (Genesis 2:18)

���A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”  (Proverbs 17:17)

“You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.  Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.  Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.”  (John 15:14-16)

World Peace: “He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide.  They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hoods.  Nation will not take ups sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.  Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord Almighty has spoken.  All the nations may walk in the name of other gods; we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.”  (Micah 4:3-5)

Believing You Have Received: “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself in to the sea,’ and dos not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says ill happen, it will be done for him.  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have receive it, and it will be yours.”  (Mark 11:23,24)