Your Actions Ought to Mirror Your Prayers
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Delivered By
Pastor Ed Dinkins
Delivered On
December 13, 2015
Second Sunday Service

Data Commentary - Brief Excerpt - James 4 Commentary - Courtesy of

     "James makes his point in two stages, and each stage reflects a theological premise he has asserted in chapter 1. First, in 4:2, You do not have, because you do not ask. (The NIV adds God.) The theological premise is that God is graciously generous (stated in 1:5), by which James is convinced that one may ask God and rely on him for what one needs. This emphasis on prayer is another manifestation of James's consistent reliance on God's grace (refuting the portrayal of James as self-reliantly focused on works).

     However, God is also pure, and he will have nothing to do with evil (as asserted in 1:13, 17). This is the basis for the second part of James's point, stated in 4:3: a warning that one may not expect God to answer prayer when one's motives are wicked. He warns against asking kakos, wrongly or wickedly, which the NIV paraphrases as with wrong motives. Adamson considers it stronger language than the KJV's "amiss" and paraphrases it "Your praying is corrupt" (1976:168). Then James explains the wrong motives: they ask in order to spend on their pleasures, emphasized by the same noun hedone translated desires in 4:1.

     The conclusion for us is that our fights reveal a wrong relationship with God which is manifest in our prayer lives. Either we do not pray, because we do not trust in God's grace, or we pray with wrong motives, because we do not follow God's purity.

     In all this, James is again taking his Lord at his word and applying it in full belief to a practical situation of life. Like the references to judgment in 3:13-18, James's flow of thought parallels that of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.".

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