Tozer Devotional

Wed, December 13, 2017

Prayer for Personal Desires

QUESTION: Can one pray to have a personal desire fulfilled and still be fully surrendered to God’s will?

A personal desire, yes, but not a selfish one. There is a difference. A prayer may be personal and still have no element of selfishness in it. The motive is everything. To be free from selfishness a prayer must be

(a) according to the will of God as that will is revealed in the Scriptures;

(b) for the honor of God rather than for the mere fulfillment of carnal ambition;

(c) made in unaffected love for God and men. Of course this rules out covetousness, competition and all evil desire.

A few Biblical examples of personal requests which were honored by the Lord are found in the prayers of Abraham, David, Hannah, the woman of Shunem, Jabez, Hezekiah, Ezekiel, the leper in Matthew 8, Bartimaeus and Paul.

QUESTION: You warn against “using God” and “trying to employ Him to achieve our own ends.” Would not asking God for something personal be an attempt to “use” Him?

A truly spiritual man will be so united to Christ that he will have no desires apart from Him. If we Christians lived in the Spirit as perfectly as we should and could, our common interests would touch not only ourselves but the honor of God and the welfare of mankind as well. In answering a “personal” prayer God would then be helping the individual, blessing mankind and bringing glory to His own name all in one act. We need not hesitate to ask God to help us to achieve ends that lie in God. Our difficulty comes from asking Him to help us to reach ends that lie outside of Him.


May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. Psalm 20:4


Before asking God to give us the desire of our heart, it is wise to ask Him to form the desire of hour heart according to His will. That will mean heart desires that glorify Him not us and that is to our best interest.


Father, will You change and revise the desires of my heart so that they conform to Your will. It is Your will that is the very best for me.

Deeper Life Discussions

What has God been teaching you today?

Share with the Community

Need an account? Register Now

Here is what others have said in the Deeper Life forum:


“What I believe about God is the most important thing about me.”

A. W. Tozer, a modern day prophet, was a key figure in The Christian and Missionary Alliance. His legacy reaches through time and has impacted countless millions. A prolific author and pastor, Tozer was known for his emphasis on the deeper life movement. His message, informed as it was by A.B. Simpson the founder of The Alliance, brought the missionary call to a massive audience. A series of his sermons are available as audio files.

bookHis books have been published around the world and in many languages. This devotional was compiled from the The Size of the Soul Chapter 45 - Questions and Answers


Get Involved...


We cannot “Live the Call Together” unless prayer is central to all we do.
Pray with us »


Is God calling you to service? We’re here to help you connect your passion with God’s purpose.
Serve with The Alliance »


Help build Christ’s Church by supporting the ministry and workers of The Alliance.
Give today »