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IslamQA: What are the things we can pray for?

Salam Brother, You've said in your essay to ask god for forgiveness, guidance and mercy. Would it be an insult to ask god for specific traits, for example, give me the ability to do good?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

My opinion on that has actually changed recently and I now believe that we should pray to God for all things, including the general things mentioned in the essay and any specific thing we want, even something as small as praying to God to help you find your keys when you have lost them. Asking God for things is a form of worship and we should do as much of it as we can.

However, the attitude mentioned in the essay is the right attitude; that is, while we can constantly pray for specific things, we should always be prepared for God to choose something else for us. We should never attempt to “force” God’s hand by praying for something exact and getting upset when it doesn’t come about. The proper attitude is to feel like a helpless servant who constantly wishes for his/her Master’s help while always loving the Master regardless of whether the Master makes their wish come true or not.

And God knows best.
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