Friday, September 16, 2016

asking wrongly

You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
James 4:3

God doesn't want us to devalue eternal resources on our own selfish purposes. James tells us that this is one reason why we may experience unanswered prayer. We are asking for a good thing for a wrong reason to employ it for a bad purpose. It's like we pray for a new car so we can use it to commit a robbery. Only, that obvious example is not really our experience. Selfishness is subtle. We might not realize our motive is wrong. Whether we are aware of that or not, God still expects us to pray rightly.

Thankfully scripture is clear on how to do it right. What we ask for in prayer should align with God's heart and righteousness. Our motive should always be in line with what Jesus taught us: "Your kingdom come, Your will be done." Prayers for our will to be done are payers that want to spend eternal resources on our own sinful passions. They are wrong to pray and simply won't be answered.

Give me discerning eyes to see where my selfishness thwarts effective prayer! Your will done on earth through me blesses me and others. Teach me, grow me, and shape me to live a life and to pray my prayers to You asking for Your glory to motivate my wants and requests.

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