A Wise Way To Pray (revisited)

I have saved this golden nugget for sometime now. I just have to read it again. And after reading it, I had to publish it again.


Plato, the Greek philosopher, borrowed from an ancient poet a prayer that he said best expresses the way we shortsighted mortals should pray. Although the prayer was to a pagan deity, it has a lesson for us. It goes like this: “Give us those things which are best, whether we pray for them or not; but command evil things to remain at a distance from us, even though we implore them.”

The insight of that philosopher is also seen in the Bible, only with a clearer and more specific focus. Centuries before Plato, Agur fully understood that wise praying must be based on truth and a desire to bring glory to the Almighty. He asked God to grant him two things before he died: “Remove falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches” (Prov.30:8).

Agur longed for integrity and contentment. That desire included his willingness to have God veto anything that might cause him to become self-sufficient and forget the Lord, or to make him a thief and thus profane God’s name (v.9).

Plato focused on what is best for us. Agur went a step further. He wanted what was best for him, but only if it would reflect God’s glory. That’s the wise way to pray,

Dennis J De Haan


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