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February 04, 2021 · Bob Gass

Obstacles to answered prayer (2) 

“You don’t get it because your motives are all wrong.” James 4:3 NLT 

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Another obstacle to answered prayer is selfishness. In the Lord’s Prayer, you won’t find the words I or me or my or mine. What you will find instead is this: “Give us this day our daily bread; forgive us our trespasses; deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:11-13). Are you getting the idea? The man who prays, “Lord bless me, my wife and two children: us four and no more,” won’t get a favourable response from heaven. Jesus said, “Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24 NKJV). But that scripture isn’t a blank cheque—God’s answer to selfish prayers is always no. James wrote, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3 NKJV). Maybe you’re thinking, “The Bible says if I delight myself in the Lord, He will give me whatever my heart desires” (see Psalm 37:4). Yes, but your desires must be in harmony with God’s will. God blessed Abraham so that he could become a blessing to others (see Genesis 12:2-3). God knows what you want, and He also knows why you want it. Is it only for your own comfort and convenience or also to fulfill His purposes? Only when you have answered that question honestly can you pray with confidence. When you look out only for your own interest, only one person is working on your behalf—you! But when your goal is to bless others, God goes to work and answers your prayer in ways you never imagined possible. Try it, and see for yourself!

Bible in a year - Exodus 23-24 and Matthew 20:1-16

The Word for You Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from Celebration Enterprises, Inc. Copyright © 2021