Do you know where your fights and arguments come from? They come from the selfish desires that make war inside you. You want things, but you don’t get them. So you kill and are jealous of others. But you still cannot get what you want. So you argue and fight. You don’t get what you want because you don’t ask God. Or when you ask, you don’t receive anything, because the reason you ask is wrong. You only want to use it for your own pleasure. James 4:1-3
The Lord God knows exact when to act.
Lailah Gifty Akita
Praying to God is talking to God. Praying is like talking to a friend. Are conversations with your friends ever a one way conversation; where you speak and they only listen? Is it ever a conversation where you spend the entire time making requests from your friend? Are you always venting to your friends? I’ve been thinking about prayer, and just like conversations with friends I’ve noticed many people miss out on a few things regarding their relationship with God. From personal experience, I have learned that to pray is a struggle. The flesh is not for praying, at all. It does not want the will of God to be done here on earth, and neither does the flesh want to submit to God. The flesh is selfish. It likes to be pleased. It is somewhat like friendship, when we don’t know someone too well we are very hesitant and tend to wonder what good can come from speaking to this person? This person will judge me. This person may hurt me, betray me or be phony. Or even some people think, let me use this person for their money, their energy or even their companionship. This is the flesh, the flesh is self minded.
Additionally, we must wrestle in prayer, not only against our flesh but also against the spirits of darkness. The bible says there are rulers in heavenly places. We have to battle against the assignments that are dispatched at the command of leaders in the spiritual realm working for Satan. This is true about things we battle with people as well, in areas where we lack self control. Things like fits of anger, jealousy, envy, competition or even bad habits like promiscuity, stealing, lying or substance use are battles we wrestle with in the Spirit realm.
And, finally I have also learned that God wants us to slow down, take our time and listen to Him. God wants to speak! What if your friends called you to talk and talk, and when they are done, say okay thanks, talk to you later.
This year, has been quite the year for me in regards to receiving God’s promises and answers to my long time petitions. And God brought these scriptures to mind the other night. I found myself praying for someone’s long awaited petition, then asked myself why should I pray for that? is that even Your will God? To be honest I responded in this way, because I know many people who are miserable; not because there is anything wrong with their lives, but because their mindset is. Their way of thinking is self centered aka selfish. The scripture says that sometimes we will not receive what we want, because we ask wrong! God will give us what we pray for, when we pray we the right motives. What are motives anyway?
- a reason for doing something, especially one that is hidden or not obvious: reason, basis, purpose, intention.
a thing intended; an aim or plan
We have to pray with purpose, other than self centered aims. We need the right motivation, the right mindset and the right understanding, of why we are asking for things. Obviously I am not going to go wayward and suppose that for healing, or deliverance we need to meditate beforehand about what God’s will is. But in matters of desires of hearts, plans and blessings, I will urge you to stop and really think about the reasons for your petition. EVERYONE HAS NEEDS, Pray for others! What should I pray for?
- Pray for other people’s salvation, healing and liberation
- Pray for all missionaries and church leadership
- Pray for marriages and for children
- Pray for health, encouragement, and wisdom for your church and ministry leaders
- Pray for healthy relationships with people
- Pray that you would serve God with a cheerful heart
- Pray to make make disciples
- Pray for evangelism
- Pray for finances and other resources to keep your church building going
- Pray for social media and the people who follow you
- Pray for your purpose on earth
- Pray for your friends dreams and spiritual health
- Pray for your parents joy and peace
We can never run out of reasons to pray. May 2018 be a year that you see God do great things because of your own prayers!
Lord Jesus, thank you for your love and mercy. Thank you for reminding us that prayer, is not a wish. And that You are God, not a genie! I’m grateful that you are the lord who understands our prayers even when we can’t speak them or figure them out ourselves. I thank you for your joy, and ask that you fill our cups Lord to desire prayer more than other things we waste and spend our time on. In Jesus name, Amen.