Question:

I thought prayer is about telling God about everything, such as how your day went, what you want to achieve, what you hope for, etc. But now I see that it is not actually that. For example on one of the questions I see that asking something that is only for your pleasure is wrong. So it is wrong to ask for a promotion in your job, ask for a better house, ask for a better car, etc? If yes, then God actually just want our needs to be met and not our wants? If so, then getting a promotion at your job or something like that is actually not a blessing from God.

I am currently looking for a casual job because I am still in school, and I asked God to bless me with one, but is this wrong? The reason I want to get this job is mainly to get more food to workout. My metabolism is very fast so I need about 3000 calories a day. I also want to buy things that I want. So I actually should not pray for this because it is for my own personal pleasure?

The thing is, I see a lot of Christians who are rich, and they say they are blessed, but if God only wants your needs to be met and your own personal pleasures (wants) are not from God, then they are not actually blessed? In other words, I should not ask God for anything other than asking that my needs are met every day and that asking for anything other than that is just wrong?

Reading over the answers of similar questions make me disappointed for the fact that I cannot come to God for my wants.


Answer:

You missed a very important point. The passage that your question is based on is:

"Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God" (James 4:1-4).

James is talking about pleasures that conflict with the will of God. Jesus had stated, "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it" (John 14:13-14). The phrase "in my name" is key. It means that you are asking for things that Jesus authorizes or approves of -- things that are in accordance to Jesus' purpose and mission.

Therefore, to ask God to let you have sex with your girlfriend is not going to go over well with God. It would be a request to do something sinful and God is not about to aid you in your sin. If you are stubborn about it, He might just let you trap yourself in sin, but He isn't going to promote it. "And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (II Thessalonians 2:11-12).

When it comes to things like a new car or a new house, the question is what is your motivation? Is it an ego thing so that you can look better in the eyes of your friends? Then you are talking about personal pride, which is a sin. "Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble"" (James 4:6). But if you are asking for help with transportation because you need to get to your job so you can support your family and your current car is making that difficult, then this is to accomplish something that God says is right. "For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat" (II Thessalonians 3:10). If it is something that you would like to have, but could live without, you can always ask God that if it is His will or if He thinks it would do you good, you would like thing particular thing or this particular outcome.

For example, David begged God for the life of his son. "David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground" (II Samuel 12:16). David's prayer was denied because while it was what David wanted, it wasn't in the best interest of either David or Israel. "However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die" (II Samuel 12:14). It wasn't good for David to profit from his sin. God's displeasure with David's sin had to be shown in a way that all knew that David had done wrong.

In the same way, what we might think would be great to have might not be the best for us or for those around us. We have to acknowledge that while I might want something, God knows better than I do what is best for me to have. In this way, I no longer behave like a spoiled child telling God, "Give me, give me!" Instead, I see God as someone who works with me and for my best interests.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).


I just want to thank you for replying. I literally smiled when I was reading this. Thank you so much for making this clear to me.