james 4.1 (niv), what causes fights and quarrels among you? don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? you want something but you don’t get it. you kill and you covet but you can’t have what you want. you quarrel and you fight. but you have not because you don’t ask GOD...verse 3 gives us another reason why our prayers are hindered: when you ask you don’t receive because you ask with the wrong motive that you may spend what you get on your own pleasures. james here is saying motive is important in prayer. why you pray is more important than what you pray for.
is it possible to pray for the right thing with the wrong motive? sure. it’s possible to pray for the right thing with the wrong motive. should you never pray for your own personal needs? i’m not saying that. JESUS says to pray for your own needs. HE says to pray, give us this day our daily bread.
in mark 11, HE says you can even pray for your desires. but the motive is, are you willing to share your blessing with other people or are you going to horde it all to yourself?
GOD is not interested in simply satisfying our selfishness. the conditions of prayer are one, an honest relationship to GOD; two, a forgiving attitude toward other people; three, a willingness to share GOD’s blessings, with other people.
i heard of a multi-multi-multi millionaire. he lives in another state. He’s a fine CHRISTian man. GOD has blessed his business. he had been bankrupt a number of years ago and now is a multi-millionaire. the interesting thing about this man is that he gives away 97% of his income and lives on three percent and still has a higher standard of living than probably any of us here on the front porch today. why? how? what makes the difference? how did you do this? he said when he was a young man he began to give from the blessings GOD had given him. he found that he couldn’t outgive GOD. he said the more he gave, the more GOD blessed him. he kept increasing his tithe – 20% to 30% and now 90% – and he's still a multi-millionaire.
if you want GOD to bless you, you must be willing to be a channel of blessing to other people.
just a thought from the front porch…