Remember me, LORD, when You show favor to Your people. Come to me with Your salvation - Psalm 106:4 HCSB

It is not always selfish to pray for yourself. It is perfectly valid to do so if we pray with the intention of glorifying God with the answer to our prayer. Prayer can be likened to tilling and weeding a field. As you begin an endeavor, saturate it with prayer and see how much easier it will go. Either you will move forward with complete ease, or if you don’t, you will be compensated with the appropriate amount of strength and grace to get through it.

Prayer should also be used to till and weed our own heart. Ask the Lord to identify the sin that you are presently unaware of and tear it out. Ask the Holy Spirit to soften your hard heart and make you amenable to His Holy Word. Why let everyone else enjoy the benefits of your prayers and not avail yourself of it equally? Just as it would be a poor servant who only prayed for himself, it would also be a foolish servant who did not spend some time praying for himself. The issue here is balance.

You are a conduit. God gives you money and He expects you to pass it on. He gives you talent and He expects you to use it to His glory and for the benefit of others. He gives you time and is waiting for you to spend it wisely. You can only pass on as much as you have received. Ask for great blessings (with the full intention to pass them on) and you will receive a full measure, packed down and overflowing.[1]

You can also pray for yourself if you are asking God to make you able to care for others. Perhaps you see a need that you don’t feel adequate to meet. Ask God to enlarge you so that you may be a better tool for his use. Ask Him for an increased measure of love and grace so that you can see people through His eyes. Remember Solomon? He was given the possibility of asking God for any gift he wanted. He thought carefully and asked God for enough wisdom to care for God’s people. God was so pleased with his request that He also gave him the wealth and power that he had not asked for.[2]

Even Jesus asked things for Himself. He spent time in the garden of Gethsemane and asked God to allow the crucifixion to not take place. He added, however, the caveat, “Yet not my will but Yours be done.”[3] We are allowed to be a little selfish in our prayers at times, as long as we are willing to submit to the occasional “no” from God. He has our best interests at heart. He loves us. He would love to give us whatever we want but knows enough to not spoil us. He’s the perfect Father.

[1] Luke 6:38

[2] 1 Kings 3:9-14

[3] Matthew 26:39