Reality check today: are your prayers ever self-centred? Is there a possibility that your prayer is going off at a tangent from God’s destiny for you? ‘…God will hear our prayers when we ask for what pleases Him.’ God isn’t some kind of genie that comes out of a bottle to grant your every wish. Too many prayers are about our human wishes not God’s holy plans. Three examples: 1) The trivial. We pray for good weather for our day out when maybe it hasn’t rained for ages and the farmer down the road needs water! If you remember when you pray that your life is part of God’s bigger picture, then your prayers will become stepping stones to wisdom and maturity. 2) The selfish. Listen: ‘…your prayers are not answered, because you pray…for selfish reasons’ (James 4:3 CEV). One young woman at a prayer group said, ‘My boyfriend’s army unit just got called to the Middle East. Please pray he won’t have to go.’ It’s easy to understand her worries, but her request is a bit selfish. He’s a soldier who has signed up for a very dangerous job. Our lives often include risk and hardship, so God promises peace and protection, not immunity and comfort. 3) The controlling. Jesus said, ‘Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need…’ (Luke 11:10 TM). Why ask God to make the people in your life conform to your wishes, when He doesn’t even force them to conform to His? Jesus taught us to pray ‘…your will be done…’ God always answers when we ask ‘for what pleases him’.
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