“You don’t get it because your motives are all wrong.” Jas 4:3 NLT
Another obstacle to answered prayer is selfishness. In the Lord’s Prayer, you won’t find the words “I,” or “me,” or “my,” or “mine.” What you will find instead, is: “Give us this day our daily bread; forgive us our trespasses; deliver us from evil” (Mt 6:11-13). Are you getting the idea? The man who prays, “Lord bless me, my wife and two children: us four and no more,” won’t get a favorable response from heaven. Jesus said, “Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mk 11:24 NKJV). But that Scripture isn’t a blank check: God’s answer to selfish prayers is always no. James writes, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (Jas 4:3 NKJV). Maybe you’re thinking, “The Bible says if I delight myself in the Lord, He will give me whatever my heart desires” (See Ps 37:4). Yes, but your desires must be in harmony with God’s will. God blessed Abraham so that he could become a blessing to others (See Ge 12:2-3). God knows what you want, and He also knows why you want it. Is it only for your own comfort and convenience, or also to fulfill His purposes? Only when you have answered that question honestly, can you pray with confidence. When you look out only for your own interest, only one person is working on your behalf—you! But when your goal is to bless others, God goes to work and answers your prayer in ways you never imagined possible. Try it, and see for yourself!