Prayer: Details and Motives

When me and wife first started dating she suggested this hot dog joint to eat at and I fell instantly in love with this place. One of the items I loved on the menu was their jumbo hot dogs, hits the spot every time. Anyway whenever we would go and she asked for a hot dog I would get her a hot dog and myself a jumbo hot dog and think nothing about it. It took a long time but one day after several months she finally spoke up and complained that I never buy her a jumbo hot dog. I was honest with her and told her I never knew that she wanted a jumbo hot dog. All she ever asked for was a hot dog. There is a difference.
James 4:2b,3a says this “…yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss”. God knows what we need but He wants us to put our faith in Him into action by asking or praying to Him for what it is. On top of that He wants us to give some specifics.
I have a friend who has fallen victim to drug addiction. My prayer was for him to be delivered from it. After talking to a pastor friend of mine I changed my prayer, because I not only want my friend drug free but restored to the pulpit and his family.
Finally we need to check what our motives are for asking such things. That word “amiss” means wrongly or improperly. In other words wrong motives. Are we asking selfishly or greedily? Do we seek to hurt someone in some way or to be an encouragement? Motive matters just as much as details to God, just like it matters toward each other. Don’t just assume because God knows He will take care of it either, He says to ask, seek, and knock (Matthew 7:7).

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