Praying in faith
But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. James 1:6-8 NLT
From the text, James tells us that the key to understanding how God wants us to live is wisdom and also how to obtain it. He tells us that successful prayer for wisdom, or for anything else, is based upon a solid faith in God. Having a wishy-washy faith gets us nowhere with God. To ask in faith is to ask God without doubting. James likens those who are wavering in faith “as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.” The image is like a cork bobbing up and down in the waves of the sea. There is an ongoing debate within where there is a desire to have faith but is overcome with unbelief. At one point, faith prevails then after a minute unbelief overtakes. James said, referring to the double-minded people, “loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” This attitude is in contradiction with the goal of maturity that God wants from His children. This is what Paul told the believers in Ephesus; “Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth” (Ephesians 4:14). People have a mistaken notion about faith. They think it means that we pick something out that we want God to do, and then we psych ourselves up to believe that He will actually do it. Faith to these people is just like having God like a genie that when they ask Him He will respond, “Your wish is my command.” This is why there are those that get disappointed with God when they do not get what they wanted. They tried it by asking God what they want but it did not work. The problem is not with God. Rather it is with a mistaken understanding of faith. Faith is not about believing that God will do whatever we want done. Faith is believing that God will do what He promised from His word. James tells us that God’s promise is that when we ask in faith for wisdom, He will provide it for that is what will help us deal with difficulties in life. We must both ask and believe that God will grant us the wisdom for this is what He promised.