You’re at a spiritual retreat in the mountains with others who want to experience a fuller Christian life. For the duration of the retreat everyone has been matched with a mentor. Yours is in his seventies, and he’s been touching lives for God longer than you’ve been alive.

On the way to the showers the first morning, you walk past his room. His door is ajar, and he has just knelt down to pray. You can’t resist. How exactly does a giant of the faith begin his prayers? you wonder.

You pause and lean closer. Will he pray for revival? Pray for the hungry around the world? Pray for you?

But this is what you hear: “O Lord, I beg You first and most this morning, please bless…me!”

Startled at such a selfish prayer, you pad down the hall to your shower. But as you’re adjusting the water temperature, a thought hits you. It’s so obvious, you can’t believe you haven’t thought it before:

Great men of the faith think differently than the rest of us.

Is it possible that God wants you to be “selfish” in your prayers?

Is it possible that God wants you to be “selfish” in your prayers? To ask for more—and more again—from your Lord? I’ve met so many earnest Christians who take it as a sign of immaturity to think such thoughts. They assume they’ll seem impolite or greedy if they ask God for too many blessings.

Maybe you think like that. If you do, I want to show you that such a prayer is not the self-centered act it might appear, but a supremely spiritual one and exactly the kind of request our Father longs to hear. — The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life / by Bruce Wilkinson