In a few short minutes of discussion with a fellow pastor this morning, I realized that I regularly ask myself “Why should I?” when it comes to praying. I may not verbalize that phrase to myself but I definitely say it. I say it when I have a headache and first grab a pill. I say it when I am short on finances and immediately send out an email blast to my prospects. I say it when my kids won’t obey and I quickly punish them with something I know will hurt them. With the exception of a few specific environments, I typically don’t address needs with prayer first. Instead I think of what I can to do to fix or provide.
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. James 4:1-3
In the verses above, James is basically saying that my problems fester because I am not asking the right questions, to the right Person. “Why should I” is easily answered with “because God wants me to” and “because God knows what’s best”. God wants me to be fully dependant on Him, not myself. God may direct me to the headache medicine, a new client, or grace instead of wrath. Or God may say no. And even if God says no, I can rest in that because God saying no means that he has something better for me down the line or knows this won’t be good for me in the moment.
I wonder how much hurt, heartache, and frustration I could have avoided over the years but not saying “Why should I”? Prayer is so powerful and yet it is the most under-utilized tool in my life. I am committing to more prayer and I encourage you to do the same.
January 21st, 2014 at 11:24 am
Amen. Prayer is so vital to our lives. We all need to do more then what we doing.
January 21st, 2014 at 11:48 am
Yes Desiray. I completely agree.
January 22nd, 2014 at 12:51 am
I’m really thankful for this message this morning.
It never ceases to amaze me how our God works! For me, this is direct answer to a continuing dialogue I’m having with God at moment about a certain aspect of my character in which I’m asking Him why I’m getting angry and frustrated with some people and what to do with it.
Clear instruction here!
Its so funny how, even though you can here this message on prayer a thousand times and it not hit home like it has today, because today the timing is perfect!
I definitely recommend to anyone to read those verses of Scripture in the Amplified version too…they’re amazing!
Thanks for this pastor!
Be blessed :)))
January 22nd, 2014 at 10:56 am
Thank you! I am so glad God spoke to you through this.
I am going to go and check out the amplified version.
January 22nd, 2014 at 1:54 am
Sorry to pop up again, just wanted to share that the continuing verses in James (in Amp) are so powerful and challenging but, in verse 6 we are given abundant hope…”But He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully)….”
Hallelujah & Praise God, that He hasn’t left us orphaned but has given us a Counsellor, Guide & Teacher! :)))
January 22nd, 2014 at 10:57 am
Yes. Thank God He continues on with us more and more each day!