“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:6-8
In this section James issues a major challenge to our prayer life – we must pray in faith without doubting. Often we come to God in prayer with very pessimistic attitudes – adding get-out clauses to our prayers like “if it is Your will” or not expecting God to respond positively. And while absolutely we must always be surrendered to the will of God and be aware that the things we ask for in prayer may not be in line with His will, if our default position is to assume God isn’t going to answer our prayer then praying “if it is Your will” is not a sign of submission to God’s sovereignty but a sign of a lack of faith in God to give us what we ask for.
James warns us not to be double-minded, asking God for something but simultaneously doubting God will come through for us. We must pray with the confident faith that God, our good Father, will bless us if what we are asking for is in line with His will and His plans to prosper and not harm us. We should not treat prayer as wishful thinking but rather as conversation with our loving Father whose desire is always to give us what is best for us and for the world around us, that His name may be glorified.