Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known—Jeremiah 33:3 (ESV).
I will give you what you have not asked for—1 Kings 3:13 (NIV).
No voice of prayer to you can rise,
But swift as light your Love replies;
Not always what we ask, indeed,
But, O most Kind! what most we need.
—H. M. Kimball.
If you have any trial which seems intolerable, pray—pray that it be relieved or changed. There is no harm in that. We may pray for anything that is not wrong in itself with perfect freedom, if we do not pray selfishly. One disabled from duty by sickness may pray for health, that he may do his work; or one hemmed in by internal impediments may pray for utterance, that he may serve better the truth and the right. Or, if we have a besetting sin, we may pray to be delivered from it, in order to serve God and man, and not be ourselves satans to mislead and destroy. But the answer to the prayer may be, as it was to Paul, not the removal of the thorn, but, instead, a growing insight into its meaning and value. The voice of God in our soul may show us, as we look up to him, that his strength is enough to enable us to bear it.
—J. F. Clarke.
About the Author and the Source
Harriet M. Kimball (1834–1917) was a Roman Catholic hymnwriter from New England. James Freeman Clarke (1810–1888) was a Unitarian theologian and social activist. Mary Wilder Tileston (19th century) included today’s excerpts in Daily Strength for Daily Needs, one of several devotional books she compiled.
Mary Wilder Tileston. Daily Strength for Daily Needs. Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1892.