Tuesday, July 6

Are Selfish Prayers Answered?

There are no specific verses in Scripture that teach that selfish prayers are not answered. Actually, Christians are highly encouraged to pray for what they want - forgiveness, daily food, deliverance from sin, etc. These prayers are for things that people want for themselves, so you may say that they are selfish, and you may not. Think of this. A child may be selfish in asking for food and drink, but it is not wrong. However, if your desires are not pleasing to God, that's when the prayer might not be answered. James 4:3 tells us, "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." (NIV)

To ask with wrong motives would be to ask something that is wrong. When your desires are wrong or hurtful, that's when God does not answer your prayers. For example, if you pray, "Lord, please let this girl break up with her boyfriend, so that we can date." Or, "Lord, make this person like me." Or, "Lord, help me to get a new Ipod for Christmas." Prayers like those may be seen as selfish. What about those who say that God cannot help them with something? I answer by quoting Scripture. Job 42:2 says, "I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted." God can do anything. It is merely a matter of - are your motives selfish - and - while things get hard at times, do you recognize God in all of the hard times?

I have had people ask me, "Where was God when this trauma was happening in my life, why didn't he stop it, even when I prayed for his help?" I answered, "You are still here. You still have God on your life. You still have your Christian friends." The issue was that this person was blaming God for their situation. So I asked, "Who was it that told you to go to that party? Were your friends Christian? Why were you there? Was it God's choice, or yours?" The answer was that it was their friend's party, where they were drunk and high. They had gone because they were invited, Christian though they are. All of that being said, recognize where God is in a situation. Was it God's fault you went to that party? Was it God's fault that they died while driving drunk? Was it God's fault that they decided to go sky-diving?

We blame God for many things. But understand this: Even in the hard times, God is with you. Jesus himself told us we would face trials and tribulations. Life for Christians is not an easy one, but the pay-off (Heaven) is certainly worth it. If you live your life for Christ, turn from your ways, repent of your sins, and spread the Truth of God's Word, he will mold you into a great evangelist, minister, workman, teacher, the like. Give God your all, in everything you do. So to answer your question, "Are Selfish Prayers Answered," the answer is: It depends on the motives. Take Care, and God Bless.

Troy Hillman

1 comment:

  1. Very well put! As a Christian it is really hard not to be with the world because you so want to fit in and try to walk that line "well I'll go to the party but not do anything" when really you cant. You will just tumble over. I know, I've tumbled. So much we want to think that our actions don't justify the results however what we must realize is that our on corruption (though satin) of the world God intended that made things "unfair". When really, it is God who is so gracious and loving to still give us a chance even though we've completely turned our backs on Him over and over.