Are You Using This Verse the Wrong Way in Prayer?
When we go to prayer, it is common to use Scripture to claim God’s promise, to encourage our heart and to remind ourselves of what God said he will do. However, sometimes Scripture gets taken out of context, and there is one Scripture when it comes to prayer that so often gets misquoted, or maybe a better word to use is misapplied. Here is the verse:
Again, what we see here is that not asking is not the primary reason you are not receiving. What God is looking at is what is in the heart. In this case, the person has asked, but even in asking they still have not received. The reason why is quite obvious — they are asking with wrong motives. What this simply tells us is that it is not just important to ask, but why you ask is just as important.
I think it is safe to say your motives are more important. If you are asking from a greedy motive, a covetous motive, or some other kind of selfish motive, then you shouldn’t expect to receive anything from God because he does not answer those types of prayers.
How do we flush out our motives in prayer?
One way to get to what is really in your heart is to engage in worship as part of prayer. One of the roles of worship is to flush out your motives so they are pure before God. When you worship, you enter God’s presence and when that happens God has a way of exposing what is really in your heart. Knowing this will help you make sure that your motives in prayer are pure. Without pure motives, you position yourself to not have your prayers answered, whether you ask or not.
Because motives matter so much in prayer, let me give you some things to consider when you go to prayer.
What are you asking for?
Why are you asking for it?
Whose glory are you concerned about if you get it?
Sometimes the only way to discover the truth is to ask the right questions. Therefore, it is proper to examine your heart, especially when you are going before God in prayer. In fact, what is even better is to ask God to examine your heart.
Should God reveal anything in your heart, make sure you are ready to deal with it. The next time you pray or get ready to say you have not because you ask not, recognize that may only tell part of the story.
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Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, and co-founder of The Bible Study Club. He is the author of The Pursuit of Purpose which will help you understand how God leads you into his will. He has also just released his new book The Pursuit of Victory: How To Conquer Your Greatest Challenges and Win In Your Christian Life. Do you want to go deeper in your walk with the Lord but can’t seem to overcome the stuff that keeps getting in the way? This book will teach you how to put the pieces together so you can live a victorious Christian life and finally become the man or woman of God that you truly desire to be. To learn more about his ministry please visit clarencehaynes.com.