You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. – James 4v3
There are many false teachers out there who will tell us that if you don’t get what you pray for it is because you don’t have enough faith. Their prosperity gospel has Christians defeated and discouraged because they believe that their faith is too weak to name it and claim it.
Not only do we fight and squabble and cheat and steal satisfy our own lusts and desires, but we often forget to pray. Then, if we do pray we don’t get what we ask for? Why?
James doesn’t say it is because of our lack of faith. James says that we don’t have what we ask for because we are asking wrong. We don’t get what we want when we ask for the wrong reasons. We don’t get what we ask for when we ask in order to spend it on our own pleasures. As the King James translates this – you ask that ‘you may consume it on your own lust.’
God is not some genie in a bottle where we can rub the lamp and get our three wishes. He is God. He alone knows what is best for us. When we pray He knows if we are praying for what is best, or if we are praying to consume it on our own lusts.
How many times do we not have simply because we ask amiss, to fulfil our own vile lusts?