Matthew 6:7-8 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
The great 20th century theologian, Mick Jagger, once sang, “You can’t always get what you want but if you try sometime you just might find that you get what you need.” Apparently even the Rolling Stones held open the possibility that there was some greater force guiding individual lives so that, at least occasionally, you get what you need. We can all look back over our lives and see how the idea of what we thought we needed changed through the years from a new bike to true love to a health child or whatever your particular scenario may be. No doubt we are prone to confuse what we need with what we want and sometimes it may take a good deal of soul searching to distinguish the two. The good news from Jesus in the passage above is that even when we are struggling to sort out the distinction, God already knows what we need. As a good parent knows what their child needs even when the child might not, so we are assured that God knows us, our situation, and our needs before we ask. And yes, that sometimes is not the same as what we want. Most of us would not have thought that what we needed was a God who would share our humanity, die on a cross for our failures, and rise a few days later. It may not have been high on our list of wants, but oh the joy when we discover that it is truly what we needed. This week, where do you see God transcending your wants to meet your needs?