Praying James 4 – Learning to Submit Ourselves to the Lord


What are your dreams, desires, goals for the future? Goal setting is huge in our culture. We want to succeed and that’s not a bad thing. God has given us a driven-spirit, a spirit that can push through and conquer amazing things. But we are settling for temporary things if we are not submitting ourselves to the Lord in the process. God has given us such a wonderful purpose. It usually involves the desires and talents He has given us, but it involves us giving up self and submitting to Him.

I’ve struggled with this at times. Have you? It seems like a daily struggle. Believing that God has our best interests at heart and submitting to His dreams, desires and goals for our futures will create a positive lasting impact for generations throughout eternity, is an amazing reason to submit ourselves to our Lord. Allowing His power to work through us instead of letting our selfish desires overcome us will bring Him honor and glory and will bring us more joy than we can even fathom.

James 4:1


What is hidden from our sight, Lord? What do you see that we do not see in ourselves?

In the midst of conflict, we want to point the finger at others because it’s their fault! If they hadn’t of done this or that, then all would be well.

Oh, Lord, but you show us where much of the responsibility lies…within ourselves.

When anger starts to well up and we want to point our finger, intervene with your Spirit so that we will come to you instead of of fanning the flame of conflict with the other person.

It may be our desires for things, accolades, or position. It may be our desire to defend ourselves from accusations that are not true…whatever the reason, Lord, help us to not engage in the quarrel.

Help us to let you be our defender when false accusations arise. Help us to see where our personal desires are starting conflicts and presenting opportunities for the devil to work.

Whatever the case maybe, let us humble ourselves to you, guard our hearts and our actions so that you will be honored. Let our faith and trust in you shine through instead of trying push our agenda to make things happen on our own.

In the One who is trustworthy in all circumstances and sees the heart of the matter instantly – Amen!

James 4:2


What “thing” could possibly be worth killing for?

Coveting, killing, greedily assuming that we deserve something more than someone else. These are all from Satan. Of course, we, the church body, wouldn’t think to do anything like that…and yet we do.

We do when we believe something in a building is more important than a person’s soul. We do when we fight over topics instead of delving into your Word together in a loving grace-filled way. We do when we choose to make the issues more important than you.

Satan is sooooo sneaky. He tries to get us to think that quarreling among ourselves is ok as long as we are on your side. But how can quarreling be the best way to resolve a situation? It’s not. Your solution calls for humbleness to quickly squelch out any need for a quarrel.

Oh, Lord, when we start to notice Satan is planting the seeds of ungratefulness and discontentment in our hearts, help us to weed them out quickly.

Let us ask you for what falls into your will instead of our own, so that we may have so that we may bless other by what we have been given.

In Jesus’ powerful name – Amen!

James 4:3


Of course, we wouldn’t pray with selfish motives, Lord! We aren’t selfish people. We are your followers after all! These are our first thoughts as we read James 4:3.

Look at us,we sacrifice things for you. We give you time in our day, we pray, and we talk to others about you. This passage must be talking to those who know of you and just want your help to get a new car, a fancy job, a new house, lots of money…that’s not us! We share what you give us. So when we ask for us, we are really asking for others. Of course, you’re not talking to us in this passage…

But when we drop our defenses and look at the motive behind our prayers, maybe it is a little more self-centered than we thought….ok maybe a lot. Lord, we just want to live a comfortable life and love you! Is that too much too ask?

Stripping the selfishness away, we see you don’t call us to a life of comfort. You call us to live for you in a world that does not like you, actually it hates you. The devil tries to twist everything beautiful you’ve created even our prayer time with you.

Oh, Lord! Help us to be more like you. Help us to live by the Spirit and not by the stuff of this world. Let us acknowledge before you what we want while begging for your will instead of ours. This is what Jesus taught us. If it’s your will, then so be it. But if it’s not, may our hearts be so conformed to you, that we will willingly accept your answer and trust you anyway.

In the One who cried tears of blood asking for the cup to be passed from him, but walked in your will anyway – Amen!

James 4:4


How often, Lord, we try to walk in the middle of your ways and the ways of the world. It’s impossible! We are either on your side or an enemy of yours. There is no in between!

We pray we will not water down what you say simply so the truth doesn’t hurt others. It hurts them more when they don’t hear your loving truth.

We would never tell our kids to go play with rattlesnakes because their rattles are cool and yet we do this with some of the things the devil waves in front of others so we don’t offend. Instead, we say back away from the rattlesnake or chop it’s head off with a shovel.

In the same way, let us back away from the sins that ensnare us, and cut off the temptation by running back to you instead of playing around it. May we speak the truth so that others can be free from the bondage of sin as well.

We don’t want to be your enemies, Lord! We love you and want to honor you with our lives and we want to share this with others.

In the One who gives us strength when temptation is strong – Amen!

James 4:5


Lord, we are so blessed to be called your bride!

Your love for us is what we’ve always dreamed. You literally left heaven and came to earth to be our night in shining armor. You saved us from the clutches of the evil one. With all our heart, we praise you and love you!

We confess, Lord, that sometimes we fail and disrespect you. We sin against you by flirting with this world and the things the evil one lies before us. Help us, Lord, to fix our eyes on you, our true love. Let our eyes not wander or lust after the things of this world and make you envious for our affection.

Let us only treasure you and show the world that we choose to stand by you through the ups and downs of this life.

You are faithful to us! Lord, we pray that even when facing the greatest temptations, we will be faithful to you.

In the One who laid down his life for us – Amen!

James 4:6


Your grace saves us and your grace covers our sins!

We don’t want to sin against you, Lord, but sometimes we do. When we stumble and fall and our hearts stray from you, your grace brings us back. We can return to you with humble and contrite hearts and know that you truly forgive us.

We pray that any remnant of pride left in our hearts will be cleared out. Our pride makes us stumble and it leads us away from you.

May we humble ourselves to you so that we can be filled with the Holy Spirit. May we let Him guide our lives instead of our selfish desires.

In the One who extends grace to the humble – Amen!

James 4:7


Someone is always fleeing, Lord! We are either running closer or farther from you. And the devil is always running closer or farther from us. As we run to you trying to hurdle the temptations that are being thrown our way, you simply remind us to humble ourselves to you, so that you can help us resist the devil.

Through your Holy Spirit we have the power to resist, just like you did. Praise you, Jesus, for giving us your strong Spirit!

Let us take full hold of it and use it. Let us stop running, and in your mighty power proclaim your name, and RESIST the devil. He will flee for your powerful name. He cowers in your presence and your presence is in us! Let us not forget the amazing gift of your Spirit that we carry with us everywhere we go.

In the One who promised that when He left The Counselor would come – Amen!

James 4:8james-48

The chance to draw near to you, Lord, is so comforting but at the same time so painful.

In drawing close to your holiness, we have to acknowledge the sins we have committed against you. We have to bring our unconfessed and unrepentant sins to you so that our hearts can be purified by you.

Oh, Lord, let us willingly wash our hands of the sinful things we have held onto up to this point. Let usclean not only our hands by turning physically from the things that are pulling us away from you, but also our hearts so that we will not continue to sin against you.

It is in your powerful name that we proclaim purity over our hearts knowing that you have cleansed us – Amen!

James 4:9-10



We think way too much of ourselves. Sometimes we choose to do things that feel good physically instead of things that would be pleasing to you. We let our anger spew instead of letting your grace wash over our hearts. We blame others for causing us to stumble instead of taking responsibility for our own actions and drawing closer to you.

Lord, we are flawed. We need you more than we can say. We pray that we will put our pride aside…this pride that keeps tripping us up and keeping us from treating others better than ourselves.

We pray that we will humble ourselves to you and your ways so that instead of pride in ourselves, we can boast in you!

In Jesus’ name we pray – Amen!

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