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How to ask God for things you need, and get them


The prayer of petition

Years ago 1993 I wrote a letter to God listing things I wanted to achieve. Everything on the list were good things that I knew God wanted for me. Some of the things on the list were simple some were complicated. Going through my things 5 years later, I found the letter I'd written and had by then forgotten about. To my amazement every single thing on that list had come to pass. Some exactly as I had prayed and a couple turned out even better than what I had asked for.

At the time I was writing the prayer I didn't know how powerful a prayer that was. Asking God for things in your life that you know are in His will. (Like praying for a job for example, the first thing God gave Adam was a job, tending the garden, and its still the first thing in His will for all of us now.) Praying for things that you need is called a "prayer of petition." A prayer of petition (asking God for things) is a good prayer and a very powerful prayer.

He wants us to ask Him for things

The reason it is such a powerful prayer is because He really does want us to ask Him for things! It’s sad that so many people think it is wrong or even selfish to pray for the things they need and want. Especially since His Word says and demonstrates just the opposite! Read the psalms and see how often David asks for things openly and without apology. In fact all throughout the Bible is recorded the prayers of men and women of God asking for things and then receiving them. If those demonstrations are not enough for you, how about direct permission and advice from the scriptures for you to do so? Here’s a couple for you.

James 4:2b ye have not, because ye ask not.

( Note: This verse in context does teach to ask according to His will and not your lusts but the point still remains.)

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

I could have posted quite a few other scriptures to back up my point but I didn’t want this to be a really long Hub and two witnesses should be enough.

The most powerful prayer of petition


I believe that the most powerful prayer of petition is one written. I believe that this is why every one of my requests from that prayer of 1993 came to pass. Why do I believe that? Because it becomes more specific what you want when you take the time to write it out.


When Jesus was asked by his followers how to pray he gave us what is known today as the Lord’s prayer. So many people pray that prayer everyday exactly as He gave it to us not realizing that praying that word for word is really missing the point. He was not telling us what to pray but how to pray.

Matthew 6a After this manner therefore pray ye:

He said “after this manner” He didn’t say “pray this.” In other words pray like this. He didn’t say this is what I want you to pray. In fact a couple verses before that he condemned using vain repetitions when we pray. So isn’t it weird that right after He told us not to use repetitions to the point of calling it vain He then immediately gave us a prayer to repeat? It’s not weird at all because He wasn’t giving us a prayer to repeat He was giving us an example of how to pray. I brought this up because part of that prayer was an example of the prayer of petition. The prayer of asking for things we need.

Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.

Look at just how specific He told us to pray for things we need. What do we want? For him to give us something. What is that? Bread. When do we want it? This day or today. Very specific and detailed is how He wants us to ask Him for things and writing something down on paper is the most specific way to communicate anything. There can be no misunderstanding when something is written down. Just like a contract, sure an oral contract is just as binding as a written one. But try proving in a court of law exactly what was said and how it was said. But a written contract leaves out all doubt as to what was promised and expected of each person involved because a written contract is specific and recorded.

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You might say I don’t need to prove to God what was asked for He will remember. But will you? You are the one that has to have faith that what you asked for you will receive. You are the one that needs to remember what you asked for.

God loves things written

Many cultures passed on their religious beliefs orally from generation to generation. But when God wanted to pass something to us He inspired men and women to write it down.So write down what you want to say to Him. He likes that trust me. I could say more to prove this but I don’t feel the need to so I won’t.

Write God a letter today

The letter I wrote to God back in 1993 was just that, a letter. I didn’t know I was doing something that would change my life. I didn’t even know that there was a name for the type of prayer I was writing at the time. I just felt the need to write my God a letter. It was a sincere and heartfelt letter. I started it “Dear Father.” And ended it “Sincerely yours,” and signed it like I would if I were writing a letter to anyone. He not only read my letter He replied! He replied by granting me every single request in that letter. My God loves me so much! I am so blessed! But I’m not unique or special because you are just as loved and blessed as I am when it comes to Him.

The reason I wrote this is because I was thinking of all the things I need earlier and was about to write another letter to my Father just like I did in 1993 cause I know that if He did it before He’ll do it again. But I realized other people should know what I have learned. So I’m sharing it with you now.

He wants to hear from you. He wants to bless you. Don’t make Him wait any longer write that letter today. I’m about too.


Ernest Festus Awudey from Ho, Ghana. on August 15, 2020:

I have learned that our prayers can be written down for a better assessment. Thanks for sharing such wisdom.

Pearl on March 18, 2014:

Thank u very much for this article,I will start right away to write a letter to God,iv been praying for years for job,with no luck and, for my health, and for a good husband ,I hope with faith anything is possible,thank u so Much!!!(-_-)

elijagod from Abuja - Nigeria on March 17, 2014:

Thanks for sharing

a u k on December 10, 2013:

Please god i want my love back i love a boy lot please do some miracles so that he should love me please i beg u i am suffering lot

violann from Pittsburgh, PA on November 27, 2013:

thank you so much for posting this, wish I had some of the things I wrote to God long ago. I have a small book right now that I occasionally write to God in. Most of it contains my thoughts and questions. However there are some things in there where I really pour out my heart to God. I call it my faith/prayer journal. I don't want to make this to long so I'll just say thanks again for sharing this. I've been inspired by it. God bless you!

valencia on November 26, 2013:

Me and my boyfriend would like to get married in next year,I hope and trust that god wil make provision for everything we need,it seems a bit impossible at the moment,but we serve a god that does the impossible...keep us in prayer please.

Alma on November 15, 2013:

This will be my first time petitioning God in writing. I have done all I know to do in my own strength. I've gone from middle class to poverty over A short span of time. I desire total restoration. I will post the blessed report from the Lord.

BelieverInHope on June 30, 2013:

Dear Jack,

Your article that you have written has had a very powerful effect on the way I pray at night, and I thank you for that. Also I have a question to ask, well every night I pray and wright to meet a specific girl and that I describe her in great detail from the way she looks to how she acts and behaves around others including me to how I would end up meeting her, and that I wish to meet her and fall in love and she would fall in love with (no lust or sexual intent) and that I would be nice and kind to her always, do you think as long as I have faith and I believe and devote myself to God through prayer and writing that it would come true?


From, Anonymous

SAMUEL NJIRU on June 11, 2013:


charbel on June 02, 2013:

hey, i was wondering after i write the letter what do i do with the paper?


kea on May 27, 2013:

,im in practice with Christ now,to stay trusting Father God, andlive His word...knowing what God says and what Christ says IS knowing God,s will...i pray this and God hears and answers..He is not slack doing what He said...many thanks from Houston

Mike Dempsey from Sioux Falls SD on May 04, 2013:


Very well said, enjoyed your writing and content. I think if more Christian churches would approach prayer more directly with actual belief God hears us, the Christian church would triple membership. Or if anything, have churches filled with believers Vs. going for all the wrong reasons.

Oswalda Purcell from Los Angeles on April 13, 2013:

"You are the one that has to have faith that what you asked for you will receive. You are the one that needs to remember what you asked for." Sometimes we forget. Thank you!

Acbethea from North Carolina on April 03, 2013:

Great post because of the "notes" you placed in it. So many people like to say the "You have not because you ask not" but they tend to leave out the "You ask and do not receive because you ask selfishly". I try to make sure that all my prayers contain "If it's your will" to be sure i'm not thinking of just myself. God does want to bless us and He will. The fact that you forgot about the list means you were not holding God to some time limit. I really enjoy hearing people confess His goodness because He is good and I agree that He does want us to have the desires of our hearts... Thanks for the Hub and bless you.

Lori Colbo from United States on March 26, 2013:

I almost passed this by because of the title. I thought it was going to be something like giving God your wish list. I personally would change the title.

I have no problem praying for myself but you are right in that we must try to pray according to his will. We are not always able to discern his will. So often times when God doesn't answer a prayer we felt sure was his will we are disappointed in Him. Usually in hindsight you end up being glad he didn't .You are the only person I have ever heard that has said you made a list and God answered every one the way you wanted.

I love how you said God gave Adam a job to do. Love it.

Joan from St Kitts on March 15, 2013:

this is very interesting. I am a person that like to write. So I dod write down things that I want to accomplish, but I have never written a direct letter to God about these. I will so just that today

Charles on February 26, 2013:

Hello Jack and Lone77star, as true Christian and not just religious people, we know that a house divided can not stand.Christ is the head we are the body, all members of the body of Christ must work together to function effectively. God's word is too big for any one man to know all meaning of it, the revelation that he give each individual might be different from the other but who is to say its right or wrong when God give it. God's word never change, if people are fill with the Holy Spirit why do they disagree if God said it ? Our minds are too small to contain all the knowledge of God this is why he has to give different revelation to different people of God, only the people of God know God and the meaning of his word, walk in love...

Charles on February 25, 2013:

D, sounds like your are giving ear to the devil, he don't love you but God do. It is not Gods will for you to kill your self physically but you have to lose your fleshly life to gain your spiritually life. once you do that you will understand Gods purpose for your life, God is life, the devil come to kill steal and destroy. Don't let him deceive you, try God live for HIM.

Jack West (author) on February 16, 2013:

LOL I love how some Christians criticize. they start out by saying they agree with you then give long speeches proving that they don't. This is actually somewhat of a form of lying. :-)

Rod Martin Jr from Cebu, Philippines on February 15, 2013:

Hi, Jack. This is beautiful. You capture so much in this and I appreciate you sharing your experiences with all of us.

I have had similar experiences.

I disagree, however, on the idea that Jesus was "not telling us what to pray." With the Lord's prayer, there is some very specific and very beautiful things built into it that act to move us along the path toward salvation.

For instance, we need to be able to forgive others so that God can forgive us -- a key lesson of the Lord's Prayer.

This does not mean we cannot pray for other things. I agree wholeheartedly with you, there.

But someone can pray from ego (selfishness) or pray from the true self (soul, Holy Ghost, Holy Spirit), within. Learning the difference between these sources (and both sources are within each of us) is, I believe, critical to our ability to follow Christ or mistakenly to follow ego, instead.

I wonder what you mean by, "You are the one that needs to remember what you asked for." Most people will "remember" out of worry. They will "check up on" what they've requested just to see if it has arrived, yet. That only shows a lack of faith. In fact, each miracle I've ever experienced, most of which arrived instantaneously, did so because I took my conscious awareness completely off of the prayer with the faith that it was in God's hands. That removal of awareness (though we keep our subconscious or "feeling" attention on it) would be our "day of rest" on our own creation. After all, God created us in His image and likeness. We are expected to create -- to exercise our faith, just as Peter did when he walked on water, or Moses did when he parted the water. In fact, Jesus said repeatedly that the healing people received was not from Jesus, but because of their own faith.

God loves things written? I'm not so sure about that, but it's an interesting concept. Certainly, writing helps us to make a prayer specific, and specificity is exactly the right thing to do, otherwise there is often no, or too little clarity in what we ask for.

If you ask unselfishly (without ego), which is another way of saying "with humility," you will receive everything you ask for. And you will get it instantly. If you did not ask for the creation, whole-cloth, of the object of your prayer, it may take a little while to move through the physical universe toward you -- to get from the Philippines to Arizona, for instance. But I have seen dozens of times the object of prayer show up instantly -- not minutes or even seconds later -- but right at the deliver of the prayer. Each of these was not written or even spoken by mouth. The most startling was also the most public -- very much like Moses parting the sea.

To paraphrase Hebrews 11:6, without faith, it is impossible to please God.

Faith, as used here, means perfect confidence -- unshakeable and unwavering. But we also need to have utter humility (lack of ego). To some, humble confidence may seem an oxymoron -- a self-contradictory phrase. But nothing could be more perfect than to have humble confidence. God wants us to walk fearlessly, but humbly. This pairing of the "low" with the "high" takes some getting used to. Even I struggle to make it a regular part of my feelings and thoughts. Some day soon, it will no longer be a struggle.

@Seek-n-Find wrote that "God always answers a prayer." I agree with that. If we remain unselfish, and if it is God's will, we can receive anything instantly. If we are faithful only that things will take time, then God will give us that extra time, too, for that was part of our prayer. But if we fearlessly ask for instantaneity, we will receive the object of our prayer instantly.

Too many people think they pray for a job, or health, or safety from an immediate danger, but they actually pray for something entirely different. And then they are upset with God when it never shows.

For instance, if someone is being stalked by a murderer, and if they pray out of fear, then they will receive more reason to be afraid. If they say, "God, please save me from death," but if they visualize only death and the fear they have of it, then they will receive death. Why? Because that is what they prayed for with their heart and their feelings.

Why would God be so cruel? Believe me, He isn't. God wants to rescue His children, and He is NOT Homo sapiens. Please understand that last sentence. It is the most important thing I've ever written.

God can't help but love us, because we are "flesh of His flesh, and bone of His bone." And that means no flesh or bone at all. We are spirit and sources of creation, just like the Father above.

The only way to complete the rescue is to get us to be unafraid to let go of ego and our physical attachments.

If we make a Trillion dollars, we should be unflinchingly willing to give away the entire Trillion if someone else needs it more than we do. We have to stand on a solid foundation of faith that any need we have will be fulfilled, even a new Trillion to take its place, if God so wills it.

There is a keen difference between obtaining things for self, unselfishly, and egotistical gain for the sake of the self. We need to cultivate an awareness of this difference, because with ego, we are "of this world," but with humility, we are merely "in this world," but "of the Father."

dannyethridge from Panama City, FL on January 02, 2013:

Hello Jack, I truly enjoyed your article. I posted a link and little bit of curation about it on my web site!

Great testimony and teaching!


Yann-Sib on December 14, 2012:

Than you very much for your answer! I'll take care of each of your words !

Stryder on December 12, 2012:

Dear Yann,

You don't need to go to the gym everyday to work on your game if the the weather won't allow it. You can just stay at home and do things that will also make you an NBA player someday. You may do push ups, sit-ups or any exercise that you can on the comfort of your house that will make you stronger and which will help you too in your dream in becoming a basketball player someday. Push ups will help you have a strong upper body, situps will do the lower parts and jumping jacks can increase your vertical leap. These are the essential drills even NBA superstars do. These will bring you closer to your dream. You don't have to go to the court everyday to shoot hoops just to be a good basketball player. While the weather is bad, think of other things that will bring you closer to your goal. Even lying down on your bed and tossing the ball up several times will develop your shooting skill. Good luck!

Yann-Sib on December 04, 2012:

My name is Yann and I'm a 15 years old French chrisitian from Paris.

I pray everyday to be a better christian. My dream is to be an NBA player so one day I can make my family proud. The problem is that everyday I'm facing more adversities, I have the feeling that everything is going wrong. The devil tempting me to do things that I don't want to do but I keep fighting as hard as I can. I am a hardworker I use to wake up at 4 am to work on my game in the street but the weather doesn't allow me to do it anymore so I'm praying & looking for a gym where I can work on it.What would you advice me ?

Kalyan chettri on October 05, 2012:

Dear NYC,

You have to believe that you will find a job. Do not believe that you will not find a job. If you believe that you have not found a job, then you will not find a job. But if you believe that you will find a job, you will find a job. Keep believing.

“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.” Mark 11:23

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer – Matthew 21: 22

Jack West (author) on September 25, 2012:


Stop looking for the right path and start walking. Make your path! Get involved with your church. Volunteer somewhere, help the homeless whatever. I can sit up in my room all day waiting for God to show me a sign about what His will is for me or I can just read His Word and do what it says. That is His will D. That you serve Him by serving others. There you've been shown your path it's to do God's will as written in His Word. Have fun. :-)

Jack West (author) on September 25, 2012:

NYC you're talking to a convicted felon with no drivers licence. It only took me 3 months (a very long 3 months LOL) to find a job straight out of prison. Some things we pray for some things we pray for and put our feet too. If you put your feet to it. I mean make finding a job your job. That means clocking in getting to work and not stopping till you clock out at least 8 hours later every day. Unless your standards are impossibly high I know that if you do this. If you get up and apply everywhere you see and look on the internet plus talk to people you know about jobs. There are hundreds of resources to anyone who wants to find a job. You will find one. "Faith without works is dead."

NYC on September 25, 2012:


I have been unemployed for over a year and still have not found a job. I have been praying every day for one but my prayer has not been answered thus far. Am I being punished by the Lord?

roxy on September 20, 2012:


I have been where you are at this moment. Suicide is not the answer. I tried 3 times and luckily it didn't work. I came across joyce meyer ministries and started to watch her on line broadcasts- you should really try it-she gives a lot of real life advice. I think just to be positive and trust God no matter what. I started to ask God to send people over my way who I can help and encourage. Everyday is a new opportunity to help somebody. Just a smile can change somebodies life! You don't have to preach to people, but just help where you can. Sometimes people ask you about God and then you can say something, but actions speaks louder than words. And helping others I believe is my path in life! It might be yours too- who knows? Good luck and keep positive!

Mister80s on September 03, 2012:


Please call the Samaritans or some professional organisation and let them talk it through with you. Suicide is not Gods will for you or anyone - I have been close myself, weathered the storm, and things improved....not perfect, but improved. It is never too late.

D on September 02, 2012:

So I guess I should assume that God doesn't want anything for me, because all of my prayers go unanswered. I've been trying to figure out what my purpose is, but at this point it's sort of like, "you have to pass the bill to find out what's in it". I've been on this Earth for many years, waiting for God to show me my path. And yet no path has been given. I am now contemplating suicide. Surely suicide is not God's will for me, is it? If I pray for God to stop my suicide by showing me my path, will it be shown to me in time? Or will it be too late for me?

babu issac on August 21, 2012:

After reading your pages it has given lots of satisfaction in my mind and heart.From today i have planned to write my needs to my heavenly father and to write a daily prayer to him . It will increase the faith towards the almighty. Thanking god for getting a proper advice which really touched my heart

Onyinye Ukegbu on August 01, 2012:


This post is exactly what I need at this moment. I'd opened pages on this issue earlier in the week and hadn't read them all. I'd just finished praying, when i started running through opened pages on my system and found yours. I've been praying and begging God to be accepted in a workshop I applied to, and replies have been sent to accepted participants. I've been praying by faith that my invitation is delayed, and that I'd receive it. I've also been praying that my request be tailored to his will, while remaining expectant. Sometimes, i get confused that i'm not praying the right way, or something, but your post has been a big help to me, at least now I'm certain that if i don't get in, I've done all that is in my power to do and God has a reason for it. God bless you, abundantly.

Lisa Scott on July 31, 2012:

Thank You for sharing this! I write down things I want to share with God in a journal but I don't think I've ever written a letter to God asking specifically for what I wanted. I will be doing that today and I will copy the letter place it in my journal but seal the original one and place it in my bible.

ebony on July 13, 2012:

A petitioned prayer has worked for me in the past. I write my prayer out the I place it in my bra until every prsyer had been answered

Jack West (author) on July 12, 2012:

David write the letter and be specific. It doesn't say anything about college but it says a lot about debt and being a lender and not a borrower. It says a lot about wanting to prosper you. You spoke of promotion look at the prayer of Jabez if that's not a specific prayer for promotion I don't know what is. No the Bible did not and could not address every specific thing each of us might need throughout life but it does make it clear He wants to prosper us and not to harm us. One thing I said in the prayer was that I wrote my first one and "years later" discovered all my requests had been answered. Keep praying and believing and as my pastor tells me things don't happen overnight but "eventually things happen suddenly." Pray and believe my friend.

Tracy on July 12, 2012:

Very inspiring. Thank you My god. Yours truly

Caries Mission from Greenville, South Carolina on July 11, 2012:


Very inspiring. I, too, believe that God will listen to your prayers of need if they are the same needs He has for you. Sometimes, what you think you need in your life is not what God thinks you need in order to fulfill His will for you. That is why some people think He doesn't answer their prayers.

I never thought about writing a letter, but that sounds like a good idea. You are a good writer. Keep up the good work.

eugenia34 on July 11, 2012:

I've just read your profile and i seem to be going through a rough time at the moment. I ask god for wisdom today and i've also written a letter just as you've done and i know my request will come to past in jesus name. I want my family to be back together because its broken and i ask God if its his will to make it whole again...

David Ramses on July 10, 2012:

How do you overcome not knowing exactly what to pray for on account of the vague messages of what God wants for you that are in His word? I mean, there is no verse that says, "God wants your college degree to pay off and He wants you to get a promotion so pray for that." it says things that hint He wants us to have prosperity or joy for example. But when I pray for the occurrences that would bring those things it doesn't seem to work. I am discouraged and nearly convinced He wants us to be joyful in Christ regardless of our situation and prosperous as a believer regardless of rewards. I am very close to never requesting anything again because I am tired of being let down. He has answered the important prayers and given me what I need. I wonder sometimes if that whole "desires of your heart" verse was even directed at people. I also wonder of fortunate people who prosper in everything lead not so lucky people to believe God will do the same for them just because they got rich and then decided they were happy and wanted to praise God for it and claim they followed this or that bible formula to get there. I am not bashing or opposing, just speaking my heart. I enjoyed your hub and it may be the reason I try again.