Tag Archives: motives

Teach Us to Pray - July 2019

Self-absorbed people can’t truly pray because their motives are so self-focused

Five People Who Can’t Pray
Self-Absorbed People – Part 1

Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:5-10

Key Verse: Proverbs 21:13

If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor,
he too will cry out and not be answered.

Many years ago Solomon wrote about self-centered or self-absorbed people. In our Key Verse for today, he reminds us that their cries for help will not be answered. Self-absorbed people can’t truly pray because their motives are so self-focused. The Apostle James adds his inspired thoughts to this discussion: “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3).

I don’t pretend to understand all the depths of effective praying. I can understand that prayer was never meant to be a “self-centered list for Santa Claus.” If prayer has become a tool for you to use to get what you want, you are saying words and God is not listening! Read the words from Proverbs and from James again. To get answers—to enter into effective prayer—we can’t be self-absorbed!

For me, it is a little like marriage. If my perspective is that I’m getting married to be “made complete and happy,” I’m in for some disappointing times. If I see marriage as a covenant to serve and complete my spouse, the byproduct is my completion and happiness.

Prayer is to be focused on others. God should receive the first part of that focus, thanking Him for His Fatherhood. Others should receive a second large focus in our prayers. We are to be intercessors for their salvation and their daily living in victory. Our needs can now come into focus, as we come boldly to God’s throne in prayer.

Father, forgive me when I get so focused on my stuff that I lose sight of you and others! Protect me from myself. In Jesus Name, I pray, amen.