We come near to the throne of grace to petition God for specific needs. Let us look at an important condition—our motives. God searches every motive; He is very conscious of the reasons for which we pray. James 4:2 says, “You do not have because you do not ask.” The main reason that Christians do not have is a simple failure to ask. But then, James said in verse 3, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” In other words, self-centered prayers indicate that our motives are wrong. We are simply aiming to get some creature comfort, personal satisfaction, or indulgence.
What is the correct motive? Jesus has already stated it: “That the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:13–14).
That is the motive behind the prayers that God answers. The prayer must be prayed sincerely so that God, in answering that prayer, may be glorified through Jesus Christ. As Paul explained in 2 Corinthians 1:20, “For all the promises of God in Him [Jesus Christ] are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”
The whole purpose of coming to God and claiming His promises is so that God may be glorified through us in answering them. As we claim more and more of God’s promises, we glorify Him more and more. The more we fail to claim God’s promises, however, the less we glorify Him. The person who glorifies God most is the person who claims God’s promises in Christ the most.
The motive that is acceptable to God is one that seeks answers to prayer so that He might be glorified. These prayers must be offered in the name of His Son Jesus Christ.