“You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”

James 4:3

Many times the reason our prayers are not answered is because we ask with the wrong attitude, spirit, and motive. We may be praying for the right thing, it may even be the will of God, but because we pray with the wrong motives our prayers are not answered. Many times we feel God is not hearing our prayers because they are not being answered, the truth is, He is hearing our prayers and He has chosen not to answer them. He knows if He does, it will cause more harm than good.

Some people see God as a supernatural change-agent who answers their every whim, a kind of divine genie who stands before them to grant their every wish.

Take the well-meaning fan at a football game who said, “Our team’s behind. Pray!” Or the exec- utive who left 30 minutes late for an important sales presentation and asked her colleagues to pray that she would get there on time.

People who are preoccupied with such self-centered requests have a very shallow view of God and His redemptive purpose in the world. They see Him as One who exists to provide for their wants and needs, alleviate all their suffering, and make their lives as pleasant as possible. They may get that kind of picture of God from secular novels but not from the Bible.

All attempts to manipulate a sovereign God into serving our own selfish purposes insult Him. And James related selfish praying to “friendship with the world,” which he said is “enmity with God” (James 4:3-4).

The danger of praying amiss or praying with a wrong attitude is that you will be led into captivi- ty. The devil hears your prayers; many times he is right there leaning over your shoulder listen- ing and eaves dropping on your conversation with God. And if he knows your attitude is wrong he is going to try to answers your prayer, knowing it will lead you astray and into bondage.

For the next few days, let’s analyze our prayers. If they are usually for our own convenience, comfort, or pleasure, it’s time to change our praying. Prayer isn’t a time to give orders but to report for duty.


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Garment of Praise

Monthly Insights for Spiritual Growth, Encouragement and Personal Victory.

Oluyemisi Onanuga

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.

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