James 4:2b -3 – …You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
Some times we look at God as being the big Santa in the sky. We have our wish list all ready to present to him. And we think if we are just good enough we might receive blessings from him and get what we always wanted.
I often pray with my check list of needs and request. It’s not that I am asking for selfish things. Most of my request are usually for someone to be healed or for comfort for the suffering. When I pray for my own interest it is usually that God will bless me or protect my family. Sometimes when the old car starts acting up I ask God to bless me with something that has heated seats and blue-tooth phone system. Yes, we all have our little list.
But Oswald Chambers brings up an interesting point when he says, “Whenever we insist that God should give us an answer to prayer we are off track. The purpose of prayer is that we get a hold of God, not of the answer.” Wow, I could have been wearing steel-toed boots and still felt that one. How often my motives for prayer are so wrong. Even if they are well meaning.
Jesus said it best in Matthew 6:33 when he said, “seek first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.” Our first motive should be to seek God. We should want to get up next to him so that we can see his will and his ways. We need a relationship with God that is built on love and not on what he can do for us. After all, God has already richly supplied us with everything we need when he gave his son to die for us. In one swoop he gave us life, hope, and a mission. He has given us his Spirit and his Word to guide us.
So let’s put aside our prayer list and our wishes and wants and seek God.
Dear Lord, Please forgive me for making this relationship based on what you can provide and do for me. I want to seek you, follow you, and do your will. Help me to humble myself. Thanks for the blessings you bring to my life and especially for the eternal life that you have given to me through the death and resurrection of your son, Jesus Christ. I humbly pray this prayer in the name of Jesus, Amen.