No voice of prayer to Thee can rise,
But swift of light Thy Love replies;
Not always what we ask, indeed,
But, O most kind what most we need. – H.M. Kimball
And I have also given thee which thou hast not asked. – 1 Kings 3:13
A reader asks, “Should I not pray that God relieve my suffering?” If you have any trial or affliction that seems intolerable, pray, of course pray that it be relieved or changed. There is nothing wrong with praying for anything, but I suspect that we have better chance of a desired response if our prayers are not purely selfish. For example, when we pray to be released from sickness and pain, may part of our request be so that we can do his work. When we pray to have the strength to overcome our internal fears, may it be so we can better serve justice rather than mammon.
Just be aware that the answer to our prayers may be, as it was to Paul, not the removal of the thorn, but a growing insight into its meaning and value.
God often whispers in response to our prayers, “Simply lean on me, I will be your strength to bear this burden.”