Prayer Badly Worded

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

James 4:3

On numerous occasions I have heard complaints from people who ask God for things they never receive. The rationale for such people is that God is not interested in settle their problems. They say that Heavenly Father is probably very busy on other matters or simply He has forgotten them. As almost always those persons are looking for people to blame the other side, almost never stop to ponder whether their prayers are certainly on the correct order from the perspective of God or not.

Consider an event that can happen in private life. Suppose you want to take a trip somewhere and talk to your boss in the workplace to cover travel expenses to you. The answer may be yes or no. If the trip is going to serve a purpose that benefits the company, it is likely that he or she pleased. But if you wish to go for enjoying a holiday with your family on a Caribbean beach, certainly your boss will deny you the funds to cover such a trip.

During the course of my career I have enjoyed many trips which have not cost me a penny. For many of them I have not even asked but the company I worked for sent me to a congress or training. In some of those trips I went with my family paying for that part out of my pocket. It is true that in addition to conferences or training I had always space to enjoy things such as knowing the vineyards of Napa Valley in California or the museums of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington; but undoubtedly the main purpose of each of those trips was in accordance with the plans of the company.

God will not answer a prayer if made with a selfish purpose. Definitely if we ask Him to give us money to spend on things we like it is unlikely to obtain it. But if we ask this blessing in order to expand the Kingdom of God and go for the nations proclaiming the good news of salvation, it is more likely to receive it. It is also likely that God will allow us to enjoy the journey knowing places and people. I tell you from experience, since I have been on mission trips and also doing my task for God, I had time to enjoy and meet wonderful places such as Macchu Picchu in Peru or El Peñol in Colombia.

In Psalm 23 we see that God, as our pastor promises to give us wonderful things for our enjoyment. This shows that God’s intention is not that bad move on. However there is something He wants us to do first, as Psalm 37:4 says: Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. If we seek His presence first and we delight in Him, then our prayers will be answered. Let our prayers seek first meet God’s purpose not ours. Our chief delight is Him and not to satisfy our passions. As our Father, He has promised to meet all our needs, everything we need. We have to please His heart. God bless you.


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