Prayer is one of the most powerful weapons a Christian has in their walk with God. The ability to go to God as our Father, our Protector, our Provider and ask Him for anything is something beautiful. God always answers our prayers, even when we don’t like/or agree with what He has to say. Like the ultimate parent, when He answers us He sometimes tells us no, often tells us to wait, but we love it when He tells us yes.
God has given us a point of reference to help us understand how He answers us. There's a scripture in James that talks about asking and not receiving because we ask amiss.
James 4:3, "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts"
I’m ashamed to admit that often the things I ask for are selfish and more often than not, materialistic. Which may or may not be in God’s will for my life - a prime example of asking amiss. So as I was asking God to help me humble myself and show me how to pray in a way that pleases Him, He dropped a little nugget to put me on the right path.
Sometimes praying amiss includes misdirected prayers.
Sometimes we are asking God for "A" and we really should be asking God for "1".
Here’s an example that hits close to home, I had developed poor money management skills. I was struggling to pay my tithes, my rent, my credit card bills, and my student loans on a non-profit day care worker’s salary. I was already in a bad situation and I kept making it worst because I kept making the poor choices that got me there to begin with.
I began to pray and ask God for more money so that I could pay my bills.
God pointed me to a friend who runs a money management blog.
I was praying for “A” when I should have been praying for “1”. God can’t/wouldn’t bless me with more money because He knew that not having enough money wasn’t the problem. My problem was not spending/saving/using the money I already had properly.
At first, I was frustrated with the answer because it’s not what I thought I wanted. I didn’t necessarily want to do the work that being better at handling the money I have would take. I didn’t want to give up going out, eating fast food/out at restaurants, going to the movies every week and lose the freedom to just get up and do whatever I felt like doing.
However, my friend Touya of Break Free and Win isn’t just a financial counselor she is also a Christian. Reading her blog and having already the faith foundation convicted me into action. I wasn’t being a good steward over what God has already given me, so I began to understand why I was stuck.
It hasn’t been easy, and to be honest everyday I have to make a choice. Some days are better than others, but I know that this journey is God ordained and my godly success is at the end of it.
I had to accurately identify the threat to my finances before I could get what I needed from God.
I was asking and not receiving because I was asking amiss.
John 10:10 can also help you to identify the threats against you so that you can pray more specifically to God for what you need. John 10:10 says:
"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
Do you need protect from something that has come to kill your joy? Do you need strength to endure a thief of peace? Do you need love to overcome and adversary trying to kill your dream?
One of my aunts always encourages me to be specific in my prayers. This helps in two important ways:
1) It forces you to self reflect and objectively look at your situation to look beyond your want to your need
2) It strengthens your faith to know that God can and will answer every one of your prayers.
Take a look at your situation. How are you praying about it? Are you praying for a quick fix or are you looking for how God can get the glory out of it?
I challenge you to look at how you are asking God for help in your life. Ask God to help you grow in your situation and allow Him the autonomy in your life to do so.
How are you going to change how you pray this week? Leave a comment below!
Touya has a fantastic free download available on her website for a 3 Step Financial Cleanse. Check it out here: https://page.co/9K4v