If whatever Hakodosh Boruch Hu does for us is good, why do we bother asking Him for specific things that we think are good?
That’s a good question. It means we shouldn’t say anything in tefilla except, “Ribono Shel Olam, do what’s good for us.” But we shouldn’t specify a thing. We shouldn’t even say, “Give us health” according to this. Because you’ll recall that in the case of Achav, Achav prayed when he heard bad news that was prophesied against him and he was spared; he was allowed to live. So the Gemara says, לא טוב היה לאחאב – It wasn’t good for Achav that he was spared. Had Achav received the sentence in his lifetime and he would have perished, it would have been much better for him.
Sometimes it’s better for a man that he should be punished in this world. Otherwise he continues to amass debits; he does more and more sins and it ends up being a great misfortune that he lived that long. And therefore the question now remains: Why do we ask Hakodosh Boruch Hu for health? Why do we specify other things that we need or want?
And the answer is as follows: What’s the use of being dishonest? If you wouldn’t ask for health, it means you don’t want it? You don’t want money? You don’t want all forms of happiness? If you’re not going to ask for it, you know what you’re going to do? You’re going to try to get it anyhow! So therefore a man must say with his mouth what he wants; just that he should add a proviso, “Ribono Shel Olam, if it’s good for me.” But he should ask for what he wants because that’s what he sincerely wants. Everybody wants good health. Everybody wants to succeed in business. So therefore, you should ask for it. Otherwise, you’re being a hypocrite if you’re not saying what you want and you’re going to go ahead anyhow and try to gain those things.
That’s one very good reason why you should specify what you want in your tefillos – in order that you shouldn’t think that you’re doing it on your own; in order that you should be reminded always that only Hakodosh Boruch Hu is going to give you health and only Hakodosh Boruch Hu is going to give you wealth.
There’s another reason, but I won’t take up the time now.
TAPE # 224