James 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
In my prayer life, I sometimes find myself separating my ways from what I’m asking God to do in a situation. Meaning, God I got this part of my life, just help me with the rest or the problem at hand. Those things I think I got, might be the things God would say “you don’t got” and until I give him access to those things my prayers will be hits and misses.
To explain…I remember praying over and over to take a horrible addiction away from me. One I had for about 13 years. Why would I have to go thru 13 years of prayer waiting for him to answer. Was I asking with the wrong motives? Well, God is in the business of saving souls, what good would it be removing my addiction if I’m still not saved. God wanted to fix what drove me to addiction. He wanted to answer my real prayer which was saving me from myself and using me for his glory and giving me purpose. I finally realized I needed to surrender my “entire” life to him, not just the addiction. He answered that prayer because the motive was right and the pleasure was his. He wanted to bless more than I was asking. I just didn’t know it.
My story might be a bit extreme but you can exercise this in prayer at any level. One prayer size fits all. Remember…In order for us to ask the right things, we have to be right with the Lord. This is done by giving him our entire situation. King David started prayer with “Search me Lord, create in me a clean heart. When we are right with the Lord our motives will be right. When our motives are right, our prayers are heard and God can do his thing because it pleases him. That’s why he says ask anything in “MY NAME” and it will be given to you. He’s only going to give you what’s right for you.
Lord I pray that we would come to you surrendering ourselves to you each day. Show us Lord that you want to work… not just in the big areas, but in the tiny places of our hearts that we think we have control of. May your wisdom motivate us to ask according to your will and not our own. Thank you for this connection we have with until you come to get and we see you face to face.