Have you ever considered why you are praying what you are praying?
Children have a way of expressing our sinful tendencies. If you have more than one child in your home, you are aware of how sharing can become a constant issue. Oftentimes, children will offer up a toy to his or her sibling, but that doesn’t mean that he or she has good motives. Children will occasionally offer a toy to a sibling because of what toy that sibling has in the other hand.
Instead of giving based on compassion, he or she is actually trying to get what he or she wants selfishly.
We really aren’t that different. In prayer, we can ask for God to do things but ask them with wrong motives.
Instead of begging God to move for His Kingdom, we are honestly asking for him to move so that it will benefit our kingdom.
Take a moment and read James 4:3 and heed the included warning.
You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your evil desires.James 4:3
James warns believers that certain prayers will not be answered by God. Regardless of how eloquent the words that are used or how passionate the pleas may be, God has promised not to give what has been requested from Him. Those prayers that are spoken out of wrong motives will not be granted.
When the outcome of your prayers would allow them to be spent on your evil desires, God doesn’t want to have anything to do with it. The reality is that only God and yourself know if your motives are pure or not. It’s one thing to pray for a strained relationship to be reconciled and healed and another thing to pray for that other person to learn his or her lesson. The motives are completely different.
Think about a prayer request that has been on your heart.
- What have you asked God for recently?
- What would you like him to fix?
- How would the situation be resolved that would satisfy your evil desires?
- How would the situation be resolved that would most honor God?
Consider if you are praying the right things with the right motives.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.