What We Need

How do we know what we need? I suppose that depends on how you define the word "need."

How do we know what we need? I suppose that depends on how you define the word “need.”

If you’re a parent, then I have no doubt that you’ve heard a statement from your kids that begins like “Hey, Mom. I need ______________.” And maybe that “need” could be reevaluated a little. Do you really need another pair of shoes? Do you actually need a new hoodie? Do you truthfully need to stay the night at a friend’s house?

Often when my children use the word “need”, what they really mean is they “want.” As a mom, I will typically try to gently reply with that very question.

Do you need or do you want?

And then they respond with a small smile and slightly embarrassed look into my eyes. Maybe they will even be so bold as to say “Ok, you’re right! I want a new pair of shoes. But can I get some?”

Last week, I found myself praying for needs quite often. God truly does want to hear everything on our hearts and I know he wants to hear my “needs.” But this week the more I thought on what I was praying for, the more I pondered “Are these things I really need? Or do I just want them?”

To take it a step further, if I’m praying for things I don’t need, but simply want, then is it ok to tell God what I want? And the answer is yes!  The psalmist says:

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:8

He longs to hear from us; prayer is relationship-building. No matter the words.

But there’s a change I long to see in my own life. Something that spurs me on to pray more.

Something greater than God answering my needs, or even my wants.

Before I ever begin to pray for those needs, then I want to see my needs as God sees them. I want my desire to be what He has for me.

Delight yourself in the Lordand he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

I’ve heard this verse taught and preached, used to support that God is going to give you whatever your heart desires. But we have a way of missing the prerequisite to receiving our heart’s desires.

Delighting ourselves in him.

I don’t need or want anything but what Jesus wants for me.

Social events are wonderful, but they are NOT what we need.

Religious routines and liturgical to-do lists wear me out.

Another class on theological dispensationalism isn’t what I need.

I don’t want to only know more about Jesus. I want to know Jesus more.

Oh, Jesus. May our hearts be saturated with the desire for you. A soul longing that cannot be explained but only fulfilled when we are united in spirit with our Creator. May our hearts forget about what we think we need or feel we want. May we fully trust your plan for our lives.


This song has been on replay in my head for a few days. I had to share it with you.

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  1. Interesting points to ponder, Rachel. For me, as I get to know more about Jesus, I know Jesus more and my love for Him grows. And love, love, love David Phelps’ music!

  2. There is one thing I have been hearing ever since I was a very young child. That is this : what may very well be a want to you can at the same time be a true need for someone else.

    I will use myself as my example :

    I need a new Lift Recliner even though I have been using the one I have inherited from my dear father-in-law who passed away. The one I have been using was used when my brother-in-law got it for my dear PA Bear and then PA Bear had it and used it daily for three years. This meant even more wear and tear on the chair. One of the metal strips has broken which leaves the foot rest not coming up all the way like it should. I need a chair that will support my spine since I have Ankylosing Spondylitis and Fibroids, and Fibromyalgia and Psoriatic Arthritis. The back of this current chair sags inward thus bowing my spine and neck and it has already given me Kyphosis the curving of the neck forward.

    Every time I mention that I am needing something, my husband and his family accuse me of being too needy and wasting money. But I try to explain to them the true level of my physical pain due to the diseases that I have, deep down knowing all the time that until they really are in this level of pain themselves they will never understand me and what I have to do just to make it through a day.

    Another need I have is for a reliable van to get me to and from my specialty doctors in another town. The cvc joint on our current van is about to snap at any given moment. Been asking the brother to fix for the past year and now I am really needing to see my specialty doctors and cannot because we cannot borrow any family members cars and I cannot afford to hire a health care worker or the cabulance to get there.
    I have a Bone Tumor in my left femur that should have been checked out back in December 2014, so I am trying to get the MRI at my local hospital and the insurance company has not authorized it yet.

    But I also have what appears to others as a want, that is for fabric and craft supplies – – you see, Crafting is my Therapy for my Complex PTSD and Major Depression. It heals me each time I make something beautiful and then give it to someone else.

    Now, here is my want–that is for the wide margin Journaling Bible at Christianbook. com or at Amazon.com with the lovely yellow damask cover. Do I need a new Bible, no, but I am sure wanting to get on the Bible Journaling wagon with everyone else 😀

    This is just a little thought that I had and wanted to share with you – – that is this; if a want really fills your soul and spirit on the deepest level , then it is truly a need and not just a want.

    Take care, hun (((hugz)))

  3. I have been pondering the same things lately!! Thank you for always sharing your heart!!

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