For the next two days we will be looking at some of the problems that we face when we pray.
Mat 6:7 But when ye pray…
This one is pretty self-explanatory. When Jesus spoke He did not say, “But if ye pray” He said “…when ye pray.” There was an assumption in Jesus words – He assumed that we would pray. He did not suggest or command it here, He just assumed that it would happen.
Jam 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
James tells us that one of the main reasons that we don’t get what we want is because we don’t ask for it. He says that people fight and war and kill, all for the purpose of having stuff, but the lack that many people suffer boils down to the fact that they never bother to ask for it. People are mugged and robbed all the time, but the majority of people are generous enough that if a person expressed a genuine need to the public, most people would be happy to help them. Not asking for it is the only way to be absolutely sure that you don’t get it.
Jam 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
James says that another big reason that people do not get the things that they ask for is because they ask for them simply out of their own lust or jealousy. Praying to God is not rubbing a magic lamp and waiting for the genie to grant your three wishes. When we pray, we should be seeking the will of God for ourselves and for others, not just trying to get “stuff” for ourselves.