Praying for Yourself

Is it selfish to pray for yourself?

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Praying for Yourself

Is it selfish to pray for yourself?

Posted by: ChristopherW on Monday, October 12, 2020 at 4:53PM

Do you have trouble praying for yourself? Or are you one that tends to pray for yourself all the time, and not so much for others? If you are in either of those categories, or even anywhere in between, I am fairly sure that at some point you have wondered if it is alright to pray for yourself, or if that is selfish. Especially since Jesus says that God already knows what you need before you even ask (Matthew 6:8).

So, then, should we pray for ourselves? And if so, is there a way to pray that isn't self-serving?

Well, the answer to both questions is: "Yes." How can we know this? Because God wishes to have a relationship with us; which means communication from us to Him and Him to us. But, where it changes from praying with God about your needs to praying in a self-serving manner is when you forget to whom it is you are talking. God already knows your needs. He is God. He is omniscient and omnipresent meaning He knows all and is everywhere. So, nothing you say will surprise Him. But, it may surprise you. When you take time in your prayer to truly think through your needs, including the sins that you have done that may be causing a break in your relationship with our Holy God, you stop treating Him like a Santa Clause God and treat Him like the loving Father God that wants to be in relationship with His child.

The airplane instructions that you need to put your mask on first before helping others is true with prayer as well. We need to take care of our relationship with God before we bring anything to Him in prayer. There are countless passages that speak directly to this issue of sin hindering our prayers. (See the end of this post for a shortlist) And praying for yourself to build up your relationship with God, though it may be in self-service, is what God wishes you to do; if your heart is right before Him.

So, remember this in the coming week. This week take time out specifically to pray for yourself. Pray over any sins in your life. Pray for strength when your flesh is weak. Pray to experience the joy that God wants you to feel. Pray that your relationship with God will deepen over the coming days.

A Prayer through Scripture
The following prayer is adapted from Philippians 1:9–11:
Lord, it is my prayer today that my love for you may grow with each passing day. Holy Spirit please be with me as I grow in my knowledge and discernment of what is right so that my prayers may not be hindered and I will be a blessing in the sight of Christ. Fill me, Holy Spirit, with the fruit of righteousness that Scripture speaks to and which only comes through Jesus Christ. To your glory and praise, my God. Amen.

Verses on how sin hinders prayer (a shortlist). You should be able to hover over each reference to see the verse, and then click through to see it online:

  • Proverbs 28:9
  • Isaiah 59:2
  • John 15:7
  • James 4:3
  • James 5:16
  • 1 Peter 3:12
  • 1 Peter 4:7