As a Rabbi in South Florida, I spend most of my time providing Spiritual Counseling and Sober Coaching services to congregants and people in recovery from addiction. Two topics that are continually on people's agenda are prayer and money (material gain).
I was with a client yesterday who is struggling with work, money and time as we all seem to be doing these days. He said that he wishes God would give him some money making opportunities so he could have some of the things he wants. I asked him if he had prayed for that to happen and he looked at me with shock in his eyes and said "I can't do that." I asked him why he couldn't and he said that it would be wrong to pray for things "I want as I am so fortunate to have all the things I need".
There was a time when all of my prayer was for the things I wanted as I had no gratitude for anything in my life. I then moved all the way over to my friend's place of prayer where all of my prayer was for others and gratitude for whatever I had. Nothing too extreme about either one of those postures, is there?
Somewhere along the way, it was suggested to me that I could pray for whatever I chose as long as I accepted the notion that because I was invoking God's name in prayer did not mean it was going to happen. How could that possibly be? If I am sincere and my motives are good why can't I have what I want? From the get go I am askew in my thinking. I regularly ask the God of my understanding for vacations, cars, clothing, money, a good golf swing, HAIR, the over and under on Sundays and whatever else I "want."
I also accept with humor that God laughs at most of what I ask for and I also can tell you without hesitation that God has granted me more than I ever dreamed I would receive. I just don't whine and moan when it doesn't happen. I know today that God loves me unconditionally and as long as I have awoken to a new day in what appears to be the same capacity as yesterday, I am getting all that I need and want. That is the balance that I now have in my prayer life; that what I need is what I want and what I want is what I have. Well, for the most part; there really is this beautiful Red Corvette convertible I want, but God thinks I already drive too fast so that is a highly unlikely!!
My prayer for you today is that you know that God wants you to pray for what you need, what others need, what you want and what others want. God just hopes that you are patient and can wait for when God is ready, not when you are.
I am a modern and independent South Florida Sober Rabbi with an MSW Degree and 23+ years of sobriety providing Sober Coaching and Addiction/Spiritual Counseling focusing on energizing, affirming, motivating, healing, spiritual guidance and personalized life cycle events.
If you, a family member or friend are suffering, call me at 954-755-3764 to get the help you deserve. I can help you!
Hugs and blessings for a joyous day!