“You ask and you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” – James 4:3
A man was late for a job interview because he couldn’t find any place to park. As he circled the block one more time, he cried out, “Please God. This interview is so important. If you will provide a parking space, I’ll be on the front row of the church every week!” Just as he spoke those words, a space opened right in front of him. “Oh, never mind,” he said. “I found one.”
Perhaps this man exemplifies the extent of many of our prayer lives. But after all, some may say, The Lord’s Prayer does tell us to pray for our daily needs. Yet one of the ways prayer can disappoint us is when we confuse needs and wants. We can get so wrapped up in praying for our wants that we begin to see God as somebody we can use to get what we want! And that’s a terrible misunderstanding of God.
Is God going to give you everything you ask for? Absolutely not! Loving parents don’t give their children everything they see in a toy store, and likewise God is not some genie saying, “Your wish is my command.” James 4:3 says, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
God wants us to seek His will so we can learn to understand our needs versus our wants. When we do, we can knock on the door of heaven and see God pour forth blessings to meet the needs of our lives.