September 11, 2021

All That I Need by Carol Harrison

 I woke singing the old hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness published in 1923 with words written by Thomas Obadiah Chisholm. The words of the chorus, "all I have needed, thy hand hath provided, great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me." continued to echo through my mind all morning. All I have needed, but not necessarily all I want, comes from God because of His faithfulness and mercy. I checked out the verse that inspired this song in Lamentations 3:22 & 23. "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." 

I kept wondering how this fits with the blog post on the tool of prayer. Yet over and over God kept reminding me that prayer is conversation with God. Talking to him, presenting our needs and listening for his answers. 

There are times when my prayers are rushed sentences throughout the busyness of the day. At times they seem vague like thoughts directed to God. Satan, the father of lies and the enemy of our souls, whispers loudly, "See you're just a fraud. What a failure. You can't even watch and wait in deep and earnest prayer as you rush about."

So many times I start to pray at night and fall asleep. I try and spend time in prayer and interruptions happen and appointments must be kept. There are many times when words fail me and I don't know what to pray. Possibly because I don't know the entire situation or am overwhelmed by life events, the number of writing ideas bouncing through my mind, or my own feelings of inadequacy to articulate the praise God deserves. 

Then I read in the Bible how even the disciples couldn't stay awake and pray with Jesus on the night he was betrayed. At a time of need, a time when their lives would change dramatically and without total understanding until much later, they fell asleep. Not just once either. My human frailty is not mine alone. 

Yet the Holy Spirit takes my jumbled thought prayers and presents them before the throne of God who answers in ways I never expected. He sends affirmations to combat discouragement from unexpected places. Not maybe as quickly as I think it should be, for in our familiarity with instant communication, instant access to news, and even instant items to warm and eat, I find my self wanting microwave quick answers.

I've used the phrase, as many others have, that God answers prayer in His way, with His timing, and for His glory. It trips lightly off the tongue and yet there is so much truth in it for God knows my true needs far better than I do. He also sees the entire picture of what He desires me to learn and what He has in store for me to do. He only asks for my trust and obedience. 

In Philippians 4:6 it says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." The presenting my requests about major life situations comes the easiest. At times I forget about the "in every situation" portion. Nothing is too small to take to God. Nothing is too big. Each idea, each project on the to-do list, and each life situation should be brought before God and not worried over. 

The other part of this verse that often escapes my attention, at least at first, is that little phrase, 'with thanksgiving'. It is like God is asking me, "Can you trust me enough to thank me for supplying this need even before I reveal the answer?" Being thankful isn't a suggestion. It has nothing to do with the situation, although fantastic answers or great situations bring gratitude to our lips quickly. It is simply about thanking God for His great faithfulness and mercies that are new each day. 

As I stared at the blank page trying to figure out what to write for this blog post or any other piece of writing, I need to begin by being still and relying on God. Even when those times of prayer feel rushed or done in bits and pieces, I know I can't do life on my own or writing either. Sometimes the ideas translate into words quickly and flow on to the page. At other times, like this month's post, the blank page mocks me and I wonder if God had other plans for my time. Yet deep down I know that God's timing is perfect and doesn't always match mine. Patience is key. 

1 Thessalonians 5:24 tells me this about God. "The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it."

Prayer is so much more than taking a grocery list of requests to God and demanding immediate answers the way I want them. It includes time to praise God in word and song. It includes giving thanks and waiting in expectation to see what He will do. In Romans 4:21 Paul talks about how Abraham "was fully convinced that God was able to do what He promised."

When Satan tempts me to doubt God's faithfulness and days when my prayers are done in bits and pieces of scrambled thought and requests during the course of the day, I need to be still and trust God so that I remain fully convinced He will do amazing things. He only asks for my availability and my obedience to follow Him through every aspect of my life including the writing.

I also need to pause and reflect on how God has answered prayers in the past, how He provided words to write or what to say when I am speaking so others will be encouraged and pointed to Jesus. Some answers are huge and easy to remember. Others, like timely affirmations from unexpected places, need to be pulled into remembrance. Then I can rejoice over God's faithfulness. He meets all my needs and He never changes. 

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20,21

Carol Harrison, B.Ed. from Saskatoon, SK Canada is an inspirational speaker, published author, and storyteller. She has a passion for sharing stories from real-life experiences and God’s Word to help others find a glimmer of hope and a glimpse of joy.




  1. thanks for this Carol. We are all human, after all, so appreciated your candor. But I love the fact that God still hers and answers in His timing, no matter my human shortcomings.

  2. Dear Carol, thank you for your honesty. I could relate to your words, especially these: "I find my self wanting microwave quick answers."
    And your reminder to be thankful when we pray is perfect advice. It boosts our faith and builds our case when we petition with a spirit of thanksgiving. After all, the verse you ended with is a powerful reminder of how amazing answered prayers can be. We pray to an immeasurably amazing God.
    Blessings - Wendy Mac 🕊️💌

  3. We could all pray the prayer in the song "Signs" by The 5-Man Electrical Band. "Thankyou, Lord, for thinking about me. I'm alive and doing fine." What a wonderful heavenly Father we have. He really does care, even if he seems distant at times.


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