When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
Children frequently ask their parents for things which are not good for them, but their desire for a third cookie or a second helping of ice cream inspires them to brave the "no" they will most likely hear in the hopes that, this time, mom will relent or dad will cave in. Parents who want the best for their children learn early on how to stand by their "no" despite all the tears and remonstrations on the part of the child. If they fail to do so, as their children grow, so do the demands; Susie has to have those overpriced, too-tight jeans because all the girls are wearing them, or Johnny has to have the latest cell phone because all the kids at school have one. It is a lose-lose situation: Children think they can have anything they want when they want it and their permissive parents shake their befuddled heads, pathetically wondering how they ended up with such selfish, demanding brats.
When we ask God in prayer for something to be, or change, or happen in our lives, often we are just like children who don't know what is best for us. When He doesn't answer us in the affirmative, we react by throwing a mental temper tantrum, not understanding that His "no"means we have either made our request from the wrong motive, or He has other plans for us which are so much better than we could ever conceive of if we will wait upon Him. He wants us to develop a gratitude attitude, not succumb to instant gratification. Whether we hear, in answer to our prayer, a "no", a "yes", or a "not yet", we need to trust that God hears our pleas, knows our hopes and dreams, and, as our loving Father, wants only the best for us. Will you pray with me?
Heavenly Father, you give me all good things in your time and season. Help me to be discerning in my prayers, knowing that you have my best interest at heart. Help me to be patient in waiting for your answers. Create in me a heart of acceptance for whatever your answers may be. Grant me the grace to know, in all times and in all places, that you hold me close in your steadfast love. Amen.
Psalms 37:1-18 or 37:19-42
1 Kings 11:1-13