Do you feel your prayers are going unanswered? Would you believe me if I said there are three questions you can ask yourself that may lead to the reason why God has yet to answer your prayers?
Now, don’t get me wrong; I do not think we should focus our attention so much on why God does what He does, and sometimes we just have to accept God is working things for our good despite all our circumstances. However, I also believe there are times when we need to evaluate our walk with God and see if there are areas in our lives in which we can improve.
This week, ask yourself these three questions:
- Are my motives Godly?
- Are my words supporting my prayers?
- Am I seeking the will of God?
Now, these may seem like simple questions, questions that one tends to gloss over, but I promise you they pack a wallop of a punch on closer examination.
Today we will focus on question number 1:
Are my motives Godly?
Sometimes we can convince ourselves that it doesn’t matter why we do something as long as we do it. We all love the scripture that lets us know that we don’t have because we don’t ask, but we are very quick to forget what comes after.
James 4:2-3 (NLT): Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
When you ask and your motives are wrong….God will not answer.
Furthermore, any works done with wrong motives will not be eternally rewarded.
1 Corinthians 4:4 (NLT): So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.
I Corinthians 3:13-15 (NLT): 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.
Judgment day is the day we will all give an account of our lives. It is my understanding that, graciously, those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, will not be judged on their salvation because their names are already in the Book of Life, rather we will be judged on the works we have done and be rewarded accordingly. Please, please, hear me:
Our works won’t save us from judgment, only a belief in Jesus Christ (His grace) will save us from judgment, but we will be rewarded for the works we do on earth.
Our motives are important. A lot of times our selfishness, ambition, and short-sightedness keep us from the very things God wants to give us.
What are some Godly motives behind prayers?
Well, in her book, I Dare You, Joyce Meyer gives us some helpful suggestions for Godly motives:
- Being led by Holy Spirit (H.S. lays a person, want, need, or desire on your heart);
- Pure love;
- Faith (Romans 14:23);
- To Be a Blessing to or for others;
- For the sake of righteousness (it is simply the right thing to do);
- To be obedient to the Word of God (sometimes we need to pray for the strength, faith, power to be obedient to God’s Word);
I would also add, TO GLORIFY GOD!!! (John 14:13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.)
In all honesty, I have had to take a hard long look at some of my prayers, and I found a few with some purely selfish motives. In praying for God to build my ministry, I must, must, must have the desire to disciple and lead other closer to Christ as my number one motivator rather than to make a name or career for myself.
What is motivating your prayers?
Join me tomorrow as we examine question #2: Are my words supporting my prayers?