What do you ask for in prayer?
You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
I was once offered to use someone’s vacation home for my own vacation get-away. They offered to let my family and I spend a weekend at their home in the mountains.
It was absolutely amazing! The skies were crystal clear at about 6000 feet above sea level. The weekend before it had snowed about 30 inches, so everything was brilliantly bright!
After that fabulous and relaxing weekend, I began to think that this was the way I wanted to live! At least some of the time.
I began to think about how I could get a home like this for me and my family. Then I began to pray to God about getting a home like this for me and my family.
Prayer for My Passions
But those thoughts and prayers soon began to be very selfish in nature. I was praying to God (a good thing) but for something that I wanted for myself.
It took a while, but I finally figured out that I was living out James 4:3.
At first I didn’t know why God didn’t answer my prayers about the mountain home. He had answered so many previous prayers I had. Why not this one?
James convicted me in this. I asked but didn’t receive because I was asking wrongly. In other words, I was asking out of selfish reasons.
I wasn’t inline with God’s will and way for my life.
God’s Answer to My Prayer
The good news is that God was actually answering my prayer – with a “no.” And I realize now that this is exactly the answer I needed at the time. I couldn’t afford such a luxurious home, as well as afford the time away from other, pressing, needs and responsibilities.
Out of God’s gracious heart, I was given an opportunity to stay at such a beautiful home with my family (and several times since then). But also out of God’s gracious heart I was not given such a home as my own. At least not yet.
Thy Will Be Done
What I learned from this – and from James 4 – is that my prayers need to be inline with God and his will for my life.
There’s nothing wrong with asking for things, circumstances, or situations. But by faith I can, by the power of the Holy Spirit, ask for all things as Jesus asked God, “not my will be done, but thy [God’s] will be done.”
Heavenly Father, thy will be done in my life! I pray that my prayers will be according to your will for me. Give me the courage, also, to hear your answers to my prayers. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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