Jane Holloway is the National Prayer Director at the World Prayer Centre in Birmingham. She is called to teach and mobilise people to pray.
I know that many of us find asking difficult. Can I really pray for myself - surely that is selfish? Incredible as it may seem, asking is at the heart of our relationship with God because He has made it this way. Jesus encouraged us to ask, seek and knock in prayer ( Luke 11.9-10) and told the powerful story of the widow persisting in her asking an unjust judge to bring her justice ( Luke 8:1-5). As the nineteenth-century preacher Charles Spurgeon said, ‘Asking is the rule of the kingdom’.
We learn from the Psalms that King David often prayed for himself. We see him asking God for many things including boldness (Psalm 138.3), help (Psalm 34.6), forgiveness (Psalm 32.5) and guidance (Psalm 25:4-5). In one situation, when David comes back to Ziklag and finds that his family and the families of all his men have been kidnapped, we see how David makes seeking God for himself his first priority: ‘But David found strength in the Lord his God’ (1 Samuel 30.6).
We have examples in the life of Jesus, when we see him praying before choosing the 12 disciples (Luke 6:13), in the face of temptation (John 6:14-15) and before He went to the cross ’take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done’ (Luke 22:41). We also learn how St Paul prayed for himself regarding a physical ailment (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).
It’s not selfish to pray for your own needs and desires. It's important, because the person with the greatest power to help or hinder God's work in your life is you. Praying for yourself will allow you to grow in your relationship with your heavenly Father and welcome the Holy Spirit to empower you to live the way He wants you to and help you become more like Jesus along the way.
June 2nd, 2015 - Posted & Written by The Editor