You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. James 4:3-4
There could be different reasons why God may not answer the way we expect him to respond. From the text, one reason of unanswered prayer is asking with wrong motives (v.3). The tendency is that we get frustrated when prayers are not answered. Yet, God’s admonition is for us to trust Him and His will for our lives. The Apostle Paul has that resolve in his life when he was facing his impending imprisonment and possible death when he decided to go back to Jerusalem. “But he said, “Why all this weeping? You are breaking my heart! I am ready not only to be jailed at Jerusalem but even to die for the sake of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 21:14). This is why the disciples realized that Paul will not be stopped because he believed that this is the will of God. “The Lord’s will be done” (Acts 21:14). Most frustrations experienced by Christians come as a result of patterning their lives after someone else's life, rather than finding God's direction for their lives discovered by listening to God through prayer and study of His word. God wants you to trust Him even if you do not see what is ahead of you. Even though we are bombarded daily with doubts concerning the future we must not doubt that God is in complete control. Do not panic and do not allow yourself to be governed by fear of the future. Keep your commitments to God, pray without ceasing, and trust him without reservation. As Jesus told His disciples, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Matthew 6:33-34).