"You desire things and don’t have them. You kill, and you are jealous, and you still can’t get them. So you fight and quarrel. The reason you don’t have is that you don’t pray! Or you pray and don’t receive, because you pray with the wrong motive, that of wanting to indulge your own desires."
James 4:2-3 CJB
Is YHVH an ATM for blessings or does He have discernment as to our motives in prayer? I would bring forth the above verse to show that He does use discernment when answering prayers. What is the proper motive for prayer then? Are we asking for YHVH to submit to our will when praying? If we choose not to pray, are we acting alone and then presenting Him a circumstance that He then has to deal with? When we pray, many times we come to Him and ask Him or, dare I say, outrightly demand of Him that He do what we want.
Every time we enter His presence introspection happens. When Isaiah stood in the throne room of Heaven, his first response was:
“Woe to me! I [too] am doomed! --
because I, a man with unclean lips,
living among a people with unclean lips,
have seen with my own eyes
the King, YHVH-Tzva’ot!” Isaiah 6:5 CJB
Anyone who shouts at the ceiling without first recognizing YHVH's presence and authority will not have his prayers answered. In the above passage, James is showing us that without introspection and analyzing our own motives when offering prayer will result in an impotent attempt to order YHVH to listen to us. Come to Him rightly and ask forgiveness for your sins before attempting to ask for anything and you will see that His ears are open to the repentant.
"Repent when I reprove — I will pour out my spirit to you, I will make my words known to you." Proverbs 1:23 CJB
Cole Davis and Other Contributors