Can I Pray for Myself?

God be merciful to me a sinner.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the need to come before God in prayer with an attitude of humility and self-depreciation.  Some might ask then, “Is it wrong for me to pray for myself?  Should I only petition God for the needs of others?”  The answer, of course, is “Absolutely not!”  God wants you to bring your own hurts, sorrows, needs and joys to Him.  Even though He knows all that is going on in your life, and He can predict all that you will say even before you come to Him.  He longs for you to come into His presence.  He waits for you to acknowledge your dependence on Him so that He can have the joy of answering your prayer and showing Himself strong.  Psalm 50:15 says, Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me. (NKJV)

The Lord’s Prayer is the model Christ gave us for praying (Matthew 6:9-13).  Here He tells us to pray for our needs: Give us this day our daily bread.  He directs us to seek God’s forgiveness for our own wrong doings: Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  He instructs us to seek His direction and protection for our lives: And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  And He tells us to ask it all for the good of His kingdom and the greatness of His glory: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.

Many times I’ve heard people, especially women, say, “I spend so much time praying for others that I don’t have time to pray for myself,” or “I feel selfish praying about my own needs.” Some even say, “I’m too unworthy. God couldn’t possibly hear my prayer.”  Looking through the Psalms we see that David certainly didn’t feel that way!  He prayed constantly for his own needs, for forgiveness, for protection and direction, and asked it all to the praise and glory of his Redeemer.  No my friend, the prayer God rejects isn’t the one you pray for yourself, it’s the one you pray with a heart full of conceit and self-sufficiency.  So take your joys and sorrows to the Lord. He longs to take your burden and replace it with a blessing.  He thrills to hear your praise.

Heavenly Father, how sweet to know that I can enter into Your holy presence not only to pray for others, but I can come with my own bundle of concerns and cares.  Thank You for the assurance that You are always there for me, too.  How I praise You!

By Ann Shorb
©Copyright Ann Shorb, 2006

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Related articles and devotionals:
The Wireless Connection
Talking to a Friend
Why Didn't God Answer Our Prayer?
Ask and You Shall Receive
Seeing God's Blessings

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