Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
- John 14:12-18
“In all of our praying, however, that we keep in mind that God will not alter His eternal purposes at the word of a man. We do not pray in order to persuade God to change His mind. Prayer is not an assault upon the reluctance of God, nor an effort to secure a suspension of His will for us or for those for whom we pray. Prayer is not intended to overcome God and ‘move His arm.’ God will never be other than Himself, no matter how many people pray, nor how long nor how earnestly.
”God’s love desires the best for all of us, and He desires to give us the best at any cost. He will open rivers in desert places, still turbulent waves, quiet the winds… All these things and a thousand others He has done and will do in answer to prayer, and only because it had been His will to do it from the beginning. No one persuades Him.
“What the praying man does is to bring his will into line with the will of God so God can do what He has all along been willing to do. Thus prayer changes the man and enables God to change things in answer to man’s prayer.”
- A. W. Tozer, The Price of Neglect
I don’t know if I have used this Tozer quote, but it bears repeating if I have. He builds his case that God’s eternal purposes remain unchanged, but God has infinite patience. He can wait until we align our will with His will.
Note that in the Scripture above, I quoted the “candy store” verse in the middle. Jesus prefaces the part about giving us our desires with the fact that our desires should be glorifying our Heavenly Father. Then, in case we get sidetracked in our desires, Jesus is sending the Holy Spirit to be within us. Thus, if we listen to the Holy Spirit’s urgings, we can get a greater glimpse of God’s eternal purposes and ask for that deeper understanding also.
Our problem with asking for treasures on earth is two fold: 1) It only provides for something that will rot or be stolen (Matthew 6:19-21). And 2) we want something in hand that we can have faith in rather than trusting in an unseen God.
With everything, it boils down to our personal relationship with Jesus and our trust in Him and our Heavenly Father.
If you trust God, you do not need the things of this world. But if we need something in pursuit to our part in God’s eternal purposes, we must be ready to be good stewards of the gifts from God.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.