As we shall see, God is concerned about meeting our PHYSICAL and SPIRITUAL NEEDS, so prayer should include both. One may be thinking, “But hasn’t God told us in Matthew 6:25 “Do not worry about your life, what you will EAT or what you will DRINK; nor about your body, what you will PUT ON. Is not life more than FOOD and the body more than CLOTHING? Yes, God does not want us to WORRY about our temporal needs, but Scripture still teaches us to “pray about these things.” Granted, in that same passage it goes on to say, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and ALL THESE THINGS shall be added to you” (verse 33), which could imply we need not pray about “these things.” Yet I would suggest that part of “seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” is showing our utter dependence on God to meet all our needs and prayer is the outward manifestation of this humble attitude of dependence. The Apostle John wrote to a man called Gaius and said, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3rd John 2). John was concerned about his PHYSICAL HEALTH and wished it would prosper as his soul was prospering. In other words, John was interested in both his PHYSICAL and SPIRITUAL welfare and he prayed about both.

In Philippians 1:19 the Apostle Paul wrote these words to the saints at Philippi: “For I know that this will turn out for my DELIVERANCE THROUGH YOUR PRAYER and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” Paul was in prison at this time and the saints were praying that he would be “delivered from prison” so he could once again be free to minister the Word wherever the Lord would lead him. This too would be one of the PHYSICAL NEEDS we can pray for. Later in the same epistle Paul thanks the saints for meeting his FINANCIAL NEEDS (see 4:10-18). He then assured them that “My God shall SUPPLY ALL YOUR NEED according to His riches in glory by Christ” (verse 19). Is he not encouraging them with the thought that God will continue to meet their “financial needs” as they faithfully minister to others with financial needs? This verse may include God meeting EVERY NEED we have but the context is dealing specifically with TEMPORAL/PHYSICAL NEEDS. This goes along with what we saw earlier in Matthew 6:33 for if we have God’s interests at heart and are meeting the physical needs of His people, He will sure “supply all our physical needs as well.”

As to praying for SPIRITUAL NEEDS, we have many examples of this in Scripture. I would like to point you to two prayers of the Apostle Paul that are in the book of Ephesians. The first prayer is in Ephesians 1:15-19 where Paul prayed: “that…God…may give to you the SPIRIT OF WISDOM and REVELATION in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your UNDERSTANDING BEING ENLIGHTENED; that you may KNOW WHAT IS THE HOPE OF HIS CALLING, what are THE RICHES OF THE GLORY OF HIS INHERITANCE in the saints, and what is THE EXCEEDING GREATNESS OF HIS POWER toward us who believe” (verses 17-19). I will let you meditate upon these “spiritual needs” that Paul was praying for, but suffice it to say that each one has to do with “spiritual growth which is the result of God granting us wisdom, understanding, and knowledge by the Holy Spirit’s revelations to us through the Word of God, and these are accompanied by the Holy Spirit’s power which enables us to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil, and to courageously witness for Christ in a world that is desperate need of His salvation.

The second prayer is in Ephesians 3:14-19 where Paul prayed for them to “be STRENGTHENED WITH MIGHT through His Spirit in the inner man, that CHRIST MAY DWELL IN YOUR HEARTS by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to COMPREHEND WHAT IS THE WIDTH AND LENGTH AND DEPTH AND HEIGHT—to KNOW THE LOVE OF CHRIST which passes knowledge” (verses 16-19).  Again, I would encourage you to ponder these “spiritual needs” but in short Paul desired them to have the Holy Spirit’s strength to defeat Satan and his temptations; to enjoy rich fellowship with Christ; to enter into the fullness of God’s eternal counsels; and to truly drink in the immeasurable love of Christ.  (478.1)  (DO)