James 4:2b-3a: “You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly (amiss).”
Sometimes we simply pray wrongly, especially for the sick and suffering.
After a hard day of roofing on the World Changers-Waco mission trip, we would come into the campus at about 4:00 pm. We would grab our clothes, toiletries and towel and head for the gym. There, we would always find a line for the six showers for about 120 guys. The girls had their own six showers.
The problem; the gym was not air conditioned and the showers increased the humidity to almost unbearable levels. There was always a line. You tried to pick which of the two shower rooms had the shortest line.
Hot, tired and exhausted, you would have to stand in line for 20-45 minutes. Some of the kids ran back and forth across the gym looking for the shortest line. Time drug on; not anything you could possible enjoy after spending eight hours on a hot roof in 100+ temperatures, particularly when you had hardly enough energy to stand anywhere.
Finally, you would get to walk into the cool shower. The water itself seemed to send energy and life into your whole body. The difficult wait was over. Refreshing had come at last.
When someone is sick, in pain and dying, we are often praying that God extends their life, like praying they have a long wait before their shower. For the believer, what awaits them in death is life and refreshing, and we sometimes pray as if this life, no matter how painful and troublesome it is, is all they have.
I am not saying to pray for someone to have a short life. I believe the best prayer is that God will use the remainder of their life to get them ready for the “shower of His love”.
“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” IJohn 3:2.