We indeed feel our misery, but are not fully acquainted either with the cause, or the remedy…. If we know at all what to pray for, yet we have not adequate views of our original depravity, and our exceeding sinfulness and unbelief; nor of the fulness and power of Christ the Saviour. We do not regard the glory of God, but our own ease and pleasure. By nature we love outward good, and are ready to ask, in sickness for health, in pain for ease, in sorrow for comfort, in poverty for wealth, in disregard and contempt for honour and esteem; without considering God’s glory, or our eternal good. The mother of Zebedee’s children asked for a place of great honour for her sons; but our Lord said, “Ye know not what ye ask.” Matt. xx. Often those things which we are ready to ask for, would, if God were to give them to us, be our greatest curse.
Edward Bickersteth, A Treatise on Prayer