Who and what is God to you? What does he represent in your life? I had to ask myself this question because I recently questioned my prayers. Many times we pray to God and wonder will he honor our prayer request or if he is even listening. In my mind, I wondered if my prayer request seemed shallow, superficial, or even selfish. For I know that if my prayer request exemplified any of those characteristics it wouldn’t reach God. In many of my prayers, I find myself asking God for more money, my dream house, and possibly an ideal career.
I didn’t think God was listening until he asked me what were my motives?
This wasn’t an easy question to answer. I had to question myself and my values.
Lord, I desire more money so that I can be able to put more inside your Kingdom, not for my own selfish pleasures. Lord, I desire a house so that my children can have a safe and comfortable place to call home not to brag or boost. Lord, I want to advance in my career so that I set an example of hard work, not for how people will perceive me.
When you are not right with God or yourself, it will show in your prayers. In all actuality, we can pray to God for anything. God is my father. He is the beginning and the end. Nothing is too big or too small for my God. Therefore, as a father, I can ask for anything and know that God will bless me with the desires of my heart. But my motives have to be good! If you are asking for things to draw attention to yourself, that’s not of God. And even if you receive those things without his blessings, they will soon flourish. Because he knows your heart.
What causes fights and quarrels among you, asks James. Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. 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.