James 4:1-6 Praying Right-Start And End With Grace.
Wars or battles, and fights stem from sinful desires, a lust for power, prestige, and possessions. The sinful pursuit of mere pleasure shows itself in covetousness, envy, murder, and strife. When we covet what we cannot obtain we are consumed with envy. If what is not ours cannot be obtained this also issues in wars and fights (v. 1-2ab; 5 Cf. Gen. 6:5; Rom. 7:23). James firmly believed that this kind of thinking and behaviour was unnecessary, since God has promised to answer our prayers for what we need, and even more (v. 2c Cf. Eph. 3:20). However, James also warns that it is not enough to simply ask for things, this avails nothing if we are simply asking to fulfill our sinful desires or pleasures (v. 3 Cf. Job 27:8-10; Ps. 66:18). So upset is James about the condition of his readers/hearers, that he calls them “adulterers and adulteresses,” because with such sinful desires one shows their friendship with the world, which is to sin against one’s covenant LORD, “friendship with the world is enmity with God” (v. 4 Cf. I Jn. 2:15). On this point there can be no neutrality. However, there is hope, because we can always ask for more grace, and if we do so humbly, He is ever willing to give it (v. 6 Cf. Ps. 66:16-19; Pr. 3:34; Rom. 7:24).