You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions (James 4: 1-3).
This passage makes this very plain. It addresses some of the problems present in the original audience.
When I was young I learned this lesson, I alway told people the God never answered “My” prayers, I never understood the reason why.
We read in verses 1 and 2 that there are many quarrels and fights that are motivated by covetousness and inordinate desire. Such motivations are just like the jealousy and selfish ambition that characterize earthly wisdom. What is covetousness except the jealous desire to have what belongs to our neighbor? Is not selfish ambition often the result of coveting another power or position?
These desires were resulting in murder. Some commentators take the word murder literally since the audience was formerly Zealots and not above taking the lives of others. This not probably the best interpretation since the condemnation would be harsh if those in the audience were actually killing one another. The word used for murder can be used for murder here can be used figuratively and such used in keeping with James’ warning concerning the tongue. The murder being discussed here was not being perpetrated against physical life, but rather against another person’s character.
If we manifest the disorder of vile practices that result from earthly wisdom our prayers will be in vain.
It is not until you can with a kind heart and the will of God to come forth that our prayers will be heard.
For example: Year’s ago I was praying that my daughter-in-law would have I’ll done to her, because of the way she treated our family. I prayed some pretty awful stuff. She hurt me so I wanted to hurt her. And my son and her relationship had taken the brunt of all this hate. They were struggling and in turn my son would call me to vent. Little did he know I was praying about. God brought to my attention that I was hurting my son as well as her.
It was not God’s will for any of us to be hurt. So, I switched what I was praying towards her. Praying for peace and happiness for them and for myself to accept my daughter-in-law as the one my chose to love and take as his wife.
Their relationship problems stopped and although they don’t come to visit often. I have come to accept this as normal.
If we pray negative prayers they will not be answered that way we want. We have to pray our will as God’s will. With love and respect if we want to have them answered.
When we pray we need to pray this way:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed thy name, they kingdom come; as earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (Matthew 6:9).
God is about love and peace not about anything negative. I can pray for 100000 dollars God will not ever answer that prayer cause he knows I’m going to spend that money on earthly possessions. But if I pray for a person that needs a blessing of some food in their cupboard that is much more likely to get answered.
Be consistent in your prayers. I’ve prayed for my marriage to be saved and it was in God’s timing only. Not mine. I prayed for God to heal my cancer, and I was healed. It takes focus and time with God to get a breakthrough in anything. It has to be within his will.
When we do not ask the Lord to meet our needs, or if we ask him to do so with the motives, we will miss out on the wisdom and all the other blessings that God offers to His children. Do not doubt whether you will receive it. Believe and receive your prayers as truth. Don’t pray for your own agenda. Search your heart and ask God to purify your motives so that you might pray in a manner pleasing to Him.