James keeps the punches rolling as we read on in chapter 5. But instead of focusing on that, let’s look at how he ended his letter. Prayers are answered. Truth be told, we don’t always get what we want, but our prayers never go unheard. James gives us a few historical examples in his last chapter.
James doesn’t let us off easy though. He mentions that there are two things that must absolutely happen when we offer up our prayers. We aren’t to simply shoot our desires up to the sky hoping we get what we want, but we first must have a pure heart. Going back to yesterday’s post we must not lust after the things we want, but submit to his will and our desires will match.
There is a right way to focus your prayers
If we are not supposed to pray with a lustful heart, how are we supposed to pray? In the last chapter of James, verses 13-16, James gives a few examples to show us that we don’t need to be afraid to ask. One common thing is that these desires are not for material possessions or change in our status, but in pure desires of the heart.
Lastly, he talks about confessing our faults one to another as well as praying for each other. These are two acts that carry the label of selflessness and there is a reason James encourages us to do so. Praying for selfless desires helps align our hearts to ask our savior for what really matters.
Real life application
I recommend journalling your prayers. I started doing this about 90 days ago and it has revolutionized my prayer life. A weird thing happens when we start writing down our prayers. It is more challenging to know in your head what a selfish desire is and write it down. I like to think there is a built in filter that helps us out. Try it for a few weeks and let me know how it goes. Happy prayer-journaling.
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