What causes fights and quarrels among you? 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. James 4:1-3 (NIV)
I know that I have had plenty of wrong desires. I have wanted something that I did not get. I have often coveted what I could not have. I know that my wrong desires have created conflict within me. I have been discontent. I have been discouraged and disappointed. I have been upset and angry. I have not given thanks to you for all the good things you have given to me. I have been ungrateful. Forgive me. You are forgiven, you know that. Yes, I do. I am thankful for your forgiveness of all my sin. I am grateful for your cleansing of all my unrighteousness. That’s good.
How have your wrong desires motivated your prayers? I have prayed for the wrong things. Like what? I have asked for everything I wanted. I have prayed for everything that would bring comfort and pleasure to my life. I have asked that every burden would be lifted and every inconvenience would be removed. I have asked for smooth and happy sailing every day of my life. My prayers have revolved around me. I am tired and weary praying for me and my wants and needs and desires. It is not wrong to pray for your wants and needs and desires. It is my delight to meet your needs and wants and desires. Yes, I know. You have richly blessed my life. But, I want to pray prayers that will make a difference in the world. How so? I want to pray prayers that come from you. I want to know your will. I want to walk in your ways. I want to do what is pleasing to you. I want to ask for what you want. What do you want me to pray for? That is a very good question. Yes, I want that question to dwell richly in my heart and mind and life. Keep on coming to me. Keep on asking me that question. I will guide your motives and give you prayers to pray. Your prayers will make a difference in the world. Do you know why that is? I’m not positive. I will give you prayers to pray that I will hear and answer. I will give you prayers to pray that will bear fruit for my kingdom and bring glory to my name. That is what I want. That is my desire. That is the motive of my heart and mind and life. Yes, I know. That is very good.
Lord, I want to pray according to your will. I want to have right desires within me. I don’t want to covet what I can’t have. Help me to pray according to your will. Help me to ask for what you want to give to me. Help me to pray prayers you will hear and answer. Amen
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