What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
James 4:1-3 NLT
Let’s talk about the motives for our prayers.
James tells us we often have quarrels and fights because we aren’t getting what we want. We become jealous of what others have and this leads to conflict.
The solution is that we should ask God for what we want, and we should do this with pure motives. Often times our motives in our prayer request is about giving us more pleasure.
A few years back I was challenged by the question, “If God answered all your prayers today, how would the world be different?” I took time to look over my prayer list and the things I prayed over daily. It was a bit concerning that a lot of my prayer time was for me and my family. The requests were for things that would make our life better.
I was convicted about how little I prayed for God to do things that had nothing to do with me. From that day I have tried to be sure that my prayers included the needs of others as well as things that would advance God’s kingdom in my world.
I began to pray for other churches, missionaries, and works that had nothing to do with me. When God answered those prayers, I would get no personal benefit, nor would I be recognized. My prayers were for others to advance, prosper, and experience God’s kingdom in a great way.
I still have moments where I must check the motive behind my prayers. I want to always be sure my motives are right so that when God answers my prayers the world is a better place, and the kingdom of God has advanced.
How will the world be different tomorrow because of your prayers today?
Holy Spirit help me today in my prayer life to seek first Your kingdom. Help me to pray prayers that are advancing Your kingdom.
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