Weekly Devotional

Discovering Needs

Jesus said, “ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”

Written by Hope on 19/05/2013

"You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”(Matthew 21:22)

Having a child has taught me a lot of things about meeting the needs of another person. As an infant, my daughter, like all babies, was unable to supply anything for herself. As she aged and grew, we’ve taught her to do more and more for herself. Our ultimate goal, of course, is for her to learn enough to become a secure, intelligent, Christian adult.

What We Want

It’s difficult to know what little ones need, sometimes. One of my daughter’s frustrating habits is neglecting to say when she has a basic need – such as hunger, thirst, or a restroom break. Unlike God, the Father Who “knows exactly what you need even before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8), human parents can’t always “just know” what a child needs. As the Apostle James taught the early Christians about the Heavenly Father, “you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it”(James 4:2). We encourage our daughter to talk about what she needs or wants. Then we can decide how to meet her needs; however, we won’t always get what she wants. And God won’t always give Christians what we want, either: “even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong” (James 4:3).

Not What We Expect

Jesus said, “ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Luke 11:9). So why doesn’t God answer every Christian prayer with a “yes”? Sometimes our motives are wrong. And just as my daughter doesn’t know what’s best for herself from her young perspective, Christians don’t always know what’s best for ourselves from our earthly perspective. God knows what’s best for us, and He “causes everything to work together for the good of those who love [Him]” (Romans 8:28). Maybe the answer to our prayer doesn’t look like what we thought it would; sometimes God has a better plan! St. Paul trusted God’s provision and told his friends that “this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches”(Philippians 4:19). All God’s children can trust Him to meet their needs – in His way and in His time.

Prayer, Care and Share Jesus

If you cannot physically assist someone in need - Pray Now!

Scripture: "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:34

In Scripture Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow - just to deal with today. His heart is also that we, as believers, will assist the people around us (believers or not-yet-believers) with the troubles they have today.

In a previous Prayer, Care & Share (PCS) teaching we are called to meet the needs of people around us by solving problems using our skills, talents and gifts, encouraging them or praying for them.

JUST ASKING THIS QUESTION is a proven way of discovering a person's real need: "If there was ONE THING I could pray for you, personally, what would it be?"

Example: When greeting a co-worker last week I asked the ONE THING question and he responded: "Please pray for my marriage, my wife and I are in a dry season." I prayed that God would help him court his wife in a new way every day and God changed his whole attitude in that minute!

The ONE THING question politely asks permission before you pray and we encourage always pray in the Name of Jesus so that there is no doubt to which god you are praying.

You may wonder what happens if the person says they have no concerns. Well, then you revert to the Bless step of PCS and say: "Can we simply ask God to bless you?" Most people then say, "Yes, please".

Very rarely someone might say "No" they do want prayer. Then keep being friendly and talk about other things (which is the "build relationship" part of PCS). When you walk away you can then intercede silently with God for the person who refused prayer.

A Helpful Tip:In most countries it is a cultural custom to ask people how they are when you greet them. Sadly we most commonly respond: "I am fine." What you can do is to continue the greeting by asking: "How are you really?" Often they'll tell you their real concern and that concern could be the door opened to PRAY NOW for them!


Pray this week:

God will purify our hearts and motives.


When you hear of the needs of others, it is God's invitation for you to join Him where He is already working. Are you willing to 'be interrupted' from your daily schedule to join Him? If you're not sure how, send us a message about how you can join God's work.

Send a Message

Like this?

Like what you just read? Sign-up to get this as an email in your inbox here!

Sign Up

Related Articles

Part 8: Jesus' Miracles

Jesus performed many miracles to show his identity as the Son of God

Read More