Have you ever wanted something you thought you had to have and you wanted it right away? We are the microwave society that wants instant results. When I was a teenager, I wanted a guitar so I could be cool like my friend Kelly. I asked my Mom to give me one for Christmas, but I got a six-hole flute instead, go figure. I was so disappointed. I now understand that my divorced mother was poor, and she could not afford to buy me a guitar. But, instead of telling me that, she said if I could playing the flute she would get me a guitar the next Christmas. Well, I practiced a lot of songs and gave her an audition, but still no guitar. Have you been disappointed when you didn’t get something you wanted? Many times, God does not give us the things we want right away.
James 4:3 states, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” Passion is a strong desire for what gives you pleasure. A passion is not always because of selfish pride. If the passion is for self-centered reasons, then it could be motivated by pride. If the passion is zeal to do good and be God-centered or other-centered, then your motive is good. So, what is your motivation for asking God to give you what you desire? My motivation to play the guitar was from self-centered pride. I bought a guitar many years later, and I had no musical ability to play it. God knew that, but I didn’t.
Reason 7: Pride Turns God Off.
Humble prayers are the prayers God answers. James 4:6b states, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” And, 1John 3:21-23 states, “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22) and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23) And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.”
The sin of pride blocks your prayers because pride keeps you from obeying God and loving others. To know if you have a self-centered pride issue, ask God to search your heart and examine your mind. Jeremiah 17:9-10 explains, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? 10) I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” And, Psalm 139:23 states, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!” Also, Obadiah 1:3a states, “The pride (arrogance) of your heart has deceived you, …”
Billy Graham believes, our motive for petitioning God must be humble. Suppose your prayer is self-centered and only concerned for the gratification of your own pleasures and passions. In that case, God cannot, in faithfulness, grant your requests.1 Another way our pride turns God off is how our pride wants immediate results and does not want to wait, but sometimes we have to wait for God’s perfect timing.
Reason eight: Sometimes we have to wait?
God wants us to grow in our faith and character more than give us our desires. Trials of temptations and adversity are necessary, so we can become stronger in our faith and character. Lamentations 3:25–26 states, “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait on the Lord quietly.” Dr. Lloyd-Jones believes that God sometimes delays His answer to deal with selfishness or things in our lives that should not be there.2
Isaac Breese believes that too often we look to prayer to solve all of our problems instead of focusing on meditation. We always feel the need to voice our concerns to God constantly telling him what we need forgetting that he already knows.3
God hears the prayers of those who are humble and accepts a “no” or “wait” answer. A humble person waits patiently for His response. Often, we ask God for things that may not be good for us at the time or is His will for us. This post is the last in the series of why prayers go unanswered. To know all the reasons why God may not answer you prayers, read my previous posts:
2. Page 16, Lloyd-Jones D. M., (1987), Faith: tried & triumphant. Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI
3. “It’s Not That God Didn’t Answer Your Prayers, It’s That You Didn’t Get The Response You Wanted” https://medium.com/publishous/its-not-that-god-didn-t-answer-your-prayers-it-s-that-you-didn-t-get-the-response-you-wanted-1b0bf4be9c24
How I became free from pride: The Core Negative Heart Issue
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P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).