God’s Wish List

Every Tuesday morning I meet with several other women for a scheduled prayer time around what we call an altar. Actually it’s just a Formica-topped table, but to us it represents a place where God is present in powerful ways.


During our time together we claim his promise to hear our prayers and then one-by-one hand him 200+ requests, each one with a name and situation connected to it. After everything has been covered, nearly 3 hours has passed.

Faithful prayer can be hard work.

But God steadily rewards that work with glimpses of the wonders he’s performing, some the culmination of years of prayer, others a total surprise party. We’ve watched him heal terminal diseases, reconcile warring spouses, save lost souls, rearrange careers, shelter refugees, sell houses, and much, much more.

All of us have mental wish lists of what we’d like to see happen within our families, our schools, our friendships, the government, and our world. We want harmony in relationships, financial security, satisfying careers, and global peace…. for starters.

None of us has trouble knowing what we want, but what does God want? Sometimes we have trouble being sure of that. Although he invites us to bring our concerns, he puts restrictions on which ones he’ll answer in the affirmative.

Scripture says, “This is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” (1 John 5:14-15)

Big “if”.

He’s saying, “If you ask according to God’s will, you’ll get what you ask for. Outside of that, no guarantees.”

For example, we can pray for a raise at work, but God doesn’t promise a yes. It’s possible he will give it, but he might prefer instead to produce spiritual riches through the experience of financial hardship.

As our little band of praying women thought about all this, we decided the only way to be sure we weren’t wasting time on Tuesday mornings was to pray “according to his will,” and thankfully Scripture lets us know what that is.

20 topics

So we chose 400 verses from the Bible, 20 for each of 20 different topics, each one in accordance with God’s will for all people. We put them on cards stored in mugs, ready for pulling during prayer times. Based on the needs, we ask for:

  • Perseverance
  • Discernment
  • Faithfulness
  • Gratitude
  • Hope
  • Reconciliation
  • Obedience
  • Forgiveness
  • Redemption
  • Love
  • Patience
  • Healing
  • Peace
  • Wisdom
  • Strength
  • Protection
  • Salvation
  • Joy
  • Servant-hood
  • Trust

And because God wants to develop these things in all of us, he faithfully says yes.

“The Lord said…. I am watching over my word to perform it.” (Jeremiah 1:12)

8 thoughts on “God’s Wish List

  1. This sounds wonderful, but I don’t think I understand it completely. Do you decide if a prayer request falls under one of the topics of scripture in the mugs and then choose a scripture to go along with the prayer request? Thank you, Margaret, for taking the time to write this blog. It has blessed me many times over.

  2. Could you post the scriptures? I am especially interested in the one for healing. And, if you are interested in adding a prayer for my friend Mick who is a father of 2 and fighting cancer I would really appreciate it 🙂

  3. Oh my goodness, I LOVE this! I want to do a simpler version with the kids. Do you have a master list of the verses? Can you post it or email it? Love you!

  4. My two female co-workers and I pray together every morning before beginning our workday. It is a time for us to check in, check attitudes, check gratitude, bring ministry and personal requests before the Lord. We have walked along side each other through raising children, enjoying grandchildren, etc. Our conference room table is our altar, and the Lord meets with us daily.

  5. Such a good post and a great idea with the Scripture verses and the mugs. I agree with Linni; I want a master list of those verses! Thanks, as always, for your blog 🙂

  6. Yes….please, please…post a list of the scriptures. We are on the process of starting a prayer ministry with our seniors and this would be very much appreciated. God’s blessing on what you do here!

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