The Prayer God Stopped
One man told of praying for a fellow pastor by saying, "O God, You know that brother, how cold...."
Immediately the Holy Spirit stopped him and rebuked Him for judging. His role was not to accuse his Christian brother. Satan is the accuser. (Revelation 12:10)
While confessing his sin of judging, he remembered the verse, "If there be any praise, think on these things." He began to praise God for the man's hard work, his tact, his faithfulness. Later he learned that while he had been praising, God gave his friend great spiritual help.
We tend to judge ourselves by our motives but others by their deeds. Yet, unless we allow ourselves to be under the revealing gaze of the Holy Spirit, we often don't even know our true motives.
Often our prayers need a divine editing. If a small percentage of self fills our requests, our subtle pride or a critical or unsubmissive spirit hinders our faith. Malachi promises that there is a great Purifier of all our selfish motives. "He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering...be pleasant unto the Lord" (Malachi 3:3, 4).
God was giving this wonderful promise through Malachi: "I'll give you the ability to give an offering and pray prayers that are one hundred percent pleasing to Me."
Thank You, Jesus, for teaching me to allow You to purify my motives as I pray for others.
"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).