“A well-to-do friend, and an exceedingly busy one, wished to give me one pound towards a certain object. He invited me to his office, and hastily wrote out a check for the amount. He folded the check and handed it to me, saying, ‘Will you kindly cash it at the bank?’ On arriving at the bank I glanced at my name on the check without troubling to verify the amount, endorsed it, and handed it to a clerk. ‘This is rather a big sum to cash over the counter,’ he said, eyeing me narrowly. ‘Yes, I replied laughingly, ‘one pound!’ ‘No,’ said the clerk: ‘this is made out for ‘one thousand pounds!’

And so it was! My friend was, no doubt, accustomed to writing big checks; and he had actually written ‘one thousand’ instead of ‘one’ pound. Now, what was my position legally? The check was truly in his name. The signature was all right. My endorsement was all right. Could I not demand the 1,000 pounds, provided there was sufficient in the account? The check was written deliberately, if hurriedly, and freely to me — why should I not take the gift? Why not?

But I was dealing with a friend — a generous friend to whom I owed many deeds of lovingkindness. He had revealed his mind to me. I knew his wishes and desires.

He meant to give me one pound, and no more. I knew his intention, his ‘mind,’ and at once took back the all-too-generous check, and in due time I received just one pound, according to his will. Had that donor given me a blank check the result would have been exactly the same. He would have expected me to write in one pound, and my honor would have been at stake in my doing so.

Need we draw the lesson? God has His will for each one of us, and unless we seek to know that will we are likely to ask for ‘a thousand,’ when He knows that ‘one’ will be best for us. In our prayers we are coming to a Friend — a loving Father. We owe everything to Him. He bids us come to Him whenever we like for all we need. His resources are infinite.

But He bids us to remember that we should ask only for those things that are according to His will — only for that which will bring glory to His name. John says, ‘If we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us’ (I John 5:14). So then our Friend gives us a blank check, and leaves us to fill in ‘anything’; but He knows that if we truly love Him we shall never put down — never ask for — things He is not willing to give us, because they would be harmful to us.

Perhaps with most of us the fault lies in the other direction. God gives us a blank check and says, Ask for a pound — and we ask for a shilling! Would not my friend have been insulted had I treated him thus? Do we ask enough? Do we dare to ask ‘according to His riches in glory?’

The point we are dwelling upon, however, is this — we cannot be sure that we are praying ‘in His name’ unless we learn His will for us.”

Again, all of the above was derived from The Kneeling Christian, available to read online or from Zondervan Publishing. May we know and understand the will of our Lord, and fulfill it to the Glory of His name.

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