How do we differentiate our needs and wants before God? Matthew 7:7 says, "Ask, z and it will be given to you; a seek, and you will find; b knock, and it will be opened to you." This passage doesn't specify a difference between wants and needs.
ESV - 7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
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I would say that it is not necessarily up to us to make that distinction. Instead, we are to bring ALL our requests -- things that we (from our limited perspective) want, as well as things that we recognize ourselves as needing -- before God (Philippians 4:6). He (in His love and omniscience) will then perfectly differentiate and decide between what we truly need (some of which we may not even realize); what we want and can safely be given or entrusted with now; what it would be in our best interests (again, from His loving, infallible perspective) that we not have yet; and what it would be in our best interests not to have at all.
NEEDS AND WANTS, are two aspects of human activities that express our requirement for life. Needs are the essentials, while wants are more general, and could extend to non-essential aspects of human life. 2 Kings 13:23, "But the LORD was gracious to them and had compassion on them and turned to them because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them or cast them from His presence until now". God is ever-present, and therefore will appreciate prayers that define human needs rather than wants. He wants to be able to see reasons in answering our requests and prayers, and may not be enable to pick out the necessary from the others. Proverbs 12:2, "A good man will obtain favor from the LORD, But He will condemn a man who devises evil." Divine favor, is the divine influence which operates in humans to generate and sanctify, to inspire and impart spiritual strength to Man. Also, our salvation is one of the most important aspects of Christ's teachings that provides the opportunity for us to look unto God for eternity in Gods’ everlasting kingdom, which is the saving of man from sin, and its consequences (which is condemnation). Therefore, by presenting every items of our life and not necessarily the basic needs, it's like expressing non-seriousness, which is a wrong attitude before the Lord. The Christian teaching should be our guide in our supplications and prayers, and also can indicate our needs as important to be placed before the Lord, and Christ our saviour. Psalm 46:1-3 "God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling."
A need is something that will honor God. Wants are things that we desire that give us self gratification. Example: let’s say you are a volunteer who provides rides to people to get groceries but your old car dies. You need a new car to continue your volunteer work and get around. You may want a Corvette but how practical would it be for giving rides or hauling the family? Can you find something that would glorify God with the Corvette as opposed to a family car?
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