Should You Pray For Yourself?

Thou has done for me all things well,
hast remembered, distinguished, indulged me.
All my desires have not been gratified,
but thy love denied them to me
when fulfillment of my wishes would have proved my ruin or injury.
— The Valley of Vision

Most of us have no problem praying for others, but some have a problem praying for themselves. "Isn't that selfish?" they ask. The short answer, "No, it is not." Christians should pray for themselves! If you want to know more, you've got to read about the pool.

I grew up in South Florida -- without air conditioning and without a pool. There was no escaping the heat. It was hot in the daytime and hot in the nighttime. But I saw an oasis in this desert . . . our neighbor was getting a pool!

Oh yes!

I watched the hole being dug. I saw the gunite being sprayed over the re-bar skeleton. I gazed longingly as the pool started to fill with water. I could feel the temperature dropping as the water rose!

But there was a problem . . . this neighbor had not yet invited me to swim.

There I was, an elementary-age kid, standing on the outside of the fence. I was a derby horse ready to break out of the gate. I wanted to soar off that diving board. I wanted to feel those cool waters.

I began loitering. I tried wearing that wilted-flower look, just hoping she would invite me to “take a dip.” It wasn’t working.

One day, as I patrolled her fence gazing at the cool, blue waters, she spotted me and then she chided me,

Don’t just stand there like a puppy dog. Ask if you can come in.


I got the point—and swam a lot!

Sometimes getting what we need (or want) is as simple as A-S-K-I-N-G for it. It is a lesson Jesus taught his disciples.

And he said to them, "Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him'; and he will answer from within, 'Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything'? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:5-13 ESV

Jesus’ words are clear. When it comes to prayer, keep on asking, keep on seeking and keep on knocking. Why? Because God has a big, big heart! He loves his children. And he is not stingy with his resources.

I appreciate the words of Norval Geldenhuys,

No regenerate child of God should ever doubt that when he prays to God out of real need his prayer will be answered. He who doubts this does Him the greatest dishonour, for by not believing that He will give what we really need we in fact appear to regard Him as less than sympathetic and less faithful than an ordinary earthly father or even an ordinary earthly friend. Therefore unbelief in relation to the answering of prayer is not only weakness, but a serious sin and utter folly.

Are you struggling? Are things not going your way? Don’t stand there like a puppy dog! Ask God for what you need—and don’t be afraid to ask him again.

What do you need to ask God for today?

Click here to find out more about Don't Ask The Fish

Click here to find out more about The Valley of Vision


"No regenerate child . . ." from Norval Geldenhuys, Commentary On The Gospel Of Luke. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. 1979. Page 325.