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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.

05 May 2006

Prayer and Our Desires

Q: Why doesn’t God always answer our wants in prayer?

Praying HandsA: God hasn’t promised to give us everything we want. Rather, He promises that He will give what Christians need when they ask in faith. Ultimately, what we need includes forgiveness of sins and a right relationship with God. Even the most basic earthly blessings, such as food, clothing, or health, are nothing if we are not in a right relationship with our Father in heaven.

While we may not say it, we don’t always mean, “Thy will be done.” Our hearts instead say, “My will be done.” Also, while we think that what we’re asking concerns our most important need, it may be far from that in God’s eyes. We may be asking for something that ultimately harms us.

I’ve written several times before on the topic of prayer. Some of the posts related to this question include the following:

†   The Purpose of Prayer
†   Help with Prayer
†   Structure for Daily Prayer

Send email to Ask the Pastor.

Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.

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