Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | October 24, 2015

October 24, 2015 “Check Your Motives”

“You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4:3)

Good Morning Dear Friends!

“Lord…please let me win the Powerball jackpot! I’d use it wisely. I’d bless others with it.”  “God, I would love to have a new car like my neighbors are driving. Mine is uneconomical and unreliable. Besides that, my neighbor watches football on Sunday while I and my family go to church. and you have blessed him. What about me?” “Lord, a trip to Disneyland this year would be so much more fun than another trip to Aunt Bertha’s. Would you please bless us with the where with all to go?”

Have you ever prayed like that? Truthfully, I have done so, usually not with very satisfying results. In this passage in James, we discover on of the most common problems in prayer- asking God for the wrong things. “But pastor, doesn’t James say ‘You do not have, because you do not ask God’? Clearly he does say that, but let’s look a little closer at this passage and not lift up this directive out of context. When he says “You do not ask God”, he then says, “When you ask you do not receive.” I believe James is noting that such prayers involve asking for the wrong things and for the wrong motives. Such prayers seem more of a demand than a request, don’t they?  When you pray, asking God for thus and so, what do you talk about? Are you “asking” only to satisfy your desires? Are you seeking God’s approval for what you have already determined in your own heart? Powerful prayer occurs when you allow God to change your desires to correspond with his perfect will for you. Now there is nothing wrong with desiring a pleasurable life. God is the giver of “every good and perfect gift.” But embracing that which the world values often involves seeking life’s pleasures at the expense of obedience and submission to God. Pleasure that keeps us from pleasing God is sinful; pleasure that comes from God’s rich bounty is good. Trust in the giver of every good gift. Check your motives as you pray. We are here to glorify God and enjoy him forever. Let’s pray!

Good and Gracious God! We trust in your exceeding blessing as we pray. Indeed, you know what is best for us, far better than we do ourselves. Thank you for your bountiful blessings we have enjoyed without merit. Create a thankful spirit within us as we seek your continued blessing. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen

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