Misfired Prayers James 4.1-4
Introduction • Water balloon in a potato gun.
Take-Home Truth • Our prayers misfire when our passions and agenda are the ammo.
Our prayers misfire when our passions and agenda are the ammo. • Our passions cause turmoil. (1-2) • Prayer is not to be spent on our passions. (3) • Our passions betray our Lord. (4)
Our passions cause turmoil. (1-2) • Greek here for ‘passions’ is rendered ‘lusts’ in KJV. • Word is hedone from hedona. Which we get the word ‘hedonism’. • It means ‘sensual delight’ or ‘lustful pleasure’
Worldly pleasures are not now where we gain pleasure; the stuff of earth is immaterial now. • Illustration: The color of the carpet.
I John 2.15-17, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of the Father abides forever. ”
Application • Our prayers misfire when our passions and agenda are the ammo: • Our passions, the passions of the world, cannot be mixed with a desire for God. Putting our priorities above God’s has and always will cause dissention.
Prayer is not to be spent on our passions. (3) • Illustration: “O Lord, Won’t You Buy Me a Mercedes-Benz” • I Timothy 2.8, “I desire that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarrelling;”
James 5.16, “…The prayer of a righteous person has great power while it is working.” • I Peter 3.12, “For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
Application • Prayer is not to be spent on our passions: • Perhaps our prayers are unanswered (or a no) because our heart, attitude, and/or motives are out of place. God is not required to answer the prayers of unrighteous or answer favorably to pretentious intent.
Our passions betray our Lord. (4) • I John 1.6, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” • Illustration: “But, this is for the kingdom!”
Matthew 6.22-24, “’The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can serve two masters, for either he will love the one and hate the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.’”
Application • Our passions betray our Lord: • When we pray with our agenda first, it betrays our trust in God. We need to “seek first the kingdom”, and pray our out pure motives, not fleeting passion.
Conclusion • Do you pray for things that will hinder your relationship with God? • Do you pray for things that may cause you or others to stumble? • I challenge you to be selfless and godly in your prayer life.