Sometimes we get so pre-occupied with whether or not God will provide for our needs, that in our obsession with our own need, we miss the real picture.
Jesus Christ made it clear when he said, plainly, and simply, in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
I do not know what is so difficult about that statement, because it seems pretty clear to me, that we are to SEEK FIRST HIS KINGDOM AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, and our basic needs – which include shelter, clothing, and food – WILL be provided.
And yet people continually ask for prayer, saying, “Pray that my needs will be met.”
Is this really a biblical prayer, or it is a form of doubting?
My belief, based on my understanding of the Bible, and the promises made to us, including Matthew 6:33 quoted above, is that a request to pray that our basic needs be met is really a form of doubting and not taking God at his word. I believe it’s no wonder that people who continually ask others to pray for them, that their needs will be met, find themselves in a vicious circle. Because the Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God.
If we do not take God at his word as quoted in Matthew 6:33 that our needs will be met, then we are actually inviting the enemy to run our lives in this area. We have not yet yielded to God and believed his word. The Bible says that “without faith it is impossible to please [God]” (Hebrews 11:6).
So do we believe God or not when Jesus says that our needs will be met? And if we say we do believe God that our needs will be met, why oh why do we request prayer that our needs will be met? That’s like saying, “Please pray that I would have a nose on my face!” You already have a nose on your face! Why pray that you would have one? Do you not believe that you have a nose on your face? Why are you asking that you would have a nose on your face? By the same token, why ask that your needs would be met when Jesus has already promised you that your needs would be met? I can only think of one answer: “I don’t believe that my needs will be met!”
Then, if you do not believe that your needs will be met, then, according to Hebrews 11:6, that is grounds for your needs not being met! “And without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Hebrews 11:6) So you are actually not pleasing to God when you disbelieve Jesus’s promise to you in Matthew 6:33! Those may sound like harsh words. But they are true words, nonetheless! And they are truly liberating words, too, if you will but grab hold of them, my friend!
Now secondly, what would be the right prayer to ask for, based on Matthew 6:33, if you are struggling to have your needs met? Would this not be the right prayer?
“Please pray that I would be fully obedient to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness”. Yes, this would be the right prayer to pray! For now you are praying in the area of your responsibility, according to Matthew 6:33! For Matthew 6:33 tells us of two roles or “parts” to play. The first is our part! We are to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness”. The second is God’s part! “And all these things will be added to you.” Do you see that when you ask for prayer that all your needs would be met, that you are really trying to influence God to do His part which He has already promised He would fulfill if you but do your part?
My friend, do your part. Worry about that, but do not worry about God’s part. God has never lied yet, for the word says, “God is not a man, that He should lie” (Numbers 23:19)
If your own father said to you, “Son (or daughter), I want you to pull out three buckets of water from that well, and when you do, I’ll pay you your wages,” would you keep petitioning your father to pay you your wages before you have pulled out three buckets of water from the well? In a like manner are those who keep asking God to provide for their needs. Of course, we may do that innocently without any malice on our part, but we are still making the same mistake and falling into the same pitfall. We need to first make sure that we have fulfilled our part of the “deal” by seeking first his righteousness and his kingdom” … and then? And then, according to the promise (it’s a promise, my friend!) “all these things will be added to you”.
Believe God’s promise and align yourself with Hebrews 11:6 so that you may please God by your faith in Him and in His word. Focus on your part of the bargain, and He will gladly fulfill His part of the agreement. And He may do it in ways that you didn’t quite expect, either!