SHOULD A PERSON PESTER HASHEM WITH TRIVIAL REQUESTS? Question How does one know when to ask Hashem for what he wants?
Answer: And the answer is … there is no limit. If you’re smart, you will ask Him for as many things as you can. And don’t pull any punches. Hashem says (Tehillim 81:11), “Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.” The simple meaning is that Hashem says the more you ask of Him — the wider you open your mouth — the more you deserve that He should fill it. Imagine a child who sees ice cream on the table. He opens his mouth wide for his mother to give him some, and she happily shovels it into his mouth. That is our relationship with Hashem. We are like helpless infants. He implores us to open our mouths wide so He can fulfill our desires. Of course, sometimes a smart mother is not going to listen to her child. If the child opens his mouth wide before the meal for her to give him ice cream, she says, “Wait. First eat the main meal.” A wise mother does not fill the child’s mouth merely because he opens it. Hashem is the same way. He hears your prayers. Why hasn’t He given you the million dollars you have been asking for? Because He knows it would be the worst thing for you. Your troubles would soon be multiplied. You would get all this unwanted publicity. Then you would have to hire special armed guards to stand in front of your house day and night. If you have children, you would worry that they might be kidnapped and be held hostage until you paid an exorbitant ransom. Money brings all kinds of trouble. It’s usually the greatest misfortune to win the lottery. People’s lives fall apart. “Open your mouth wide” means to pray as much as you can. How much should you pray? I am not going to tell you that you must pray for everything. But if you want to exercise the quality of bitachon,then pray for everything. When you get into the habit you will see that it’s going to open up your horizons. If you will try to get more bitachon by asking for more and more things, you will be surprised by the reward you’re going to get. First, things will happen in ways that you never expected. You will be surprised. Young people live only with nature. Young people are materialists. A child only knows cause and effect, because he does not have life experience. But an old person — even an old non-Jew — is different. That is why Rabbi Yochanan stood up for an old non-Jew (Kiddushin 33a) — because “How many hardships passed over him?” Rashi explains: “How many miracles did he see?” The old person saw that many times in life things did not turn out the way one would have expected. It’s remarkable how many poor people end up wealthy. I have seen it. It’s remarkable how many rich people end up as paupers. I had a poor man in my first congregation, a very poor man. To me he seemed a flop, an incapable man. But I was shocked to find out that some time before I had come to the community, he was an international businessman. He used to travel back and forth to Europe on business. The older you get, the wider your horizon becomes — especially if you practice bitachon. The more you practice bitachon, the more you will be surprised. Hashem will show you yeish mei’ayin, something from nothing. Sometimes fountains of money will open up. You will be amazed where the money comes from. If it will not be in the form of money, it will be in the form of other satisfactions. Hashem has plenty of ways to satisfy. He will not withhold good. Therefore, don’t pull punches. Ask for all you want. “Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.”
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………It says, “and i will fill it.” Hashem will fill it. It will be from Him. The plain meaning seems to imply, “I will fill your mouth with what you want Me to fill it with.” Sometimes it’s what you want. But sometimes it’s not what you want, yet it’s for your benefit.