What exactly does it mean to pray amiss? It means to pray away from the correct or expected course. James records in the New Testament what happens when we pray amiss:
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, (James 4:3)
Wow. So you mean we can pray incorrectly and because we pray incorrectly, we will not receive what we ask for? Yes, and it happens more often than we’d like to admit.
I’d like to quote from an author by the name of Chip Brogden who has made some very insightful statements that I believe are worth looking at.
GOD REMAINS SOVEREIGN OVER ALL NATIONS, PAST,
PRESENT AND FUTURE
“God is indeed at work among the nations of the world today. Nothing escapes His attention. Every promise God makes to a nation, whether it is for blessing or cursing, good or evil, is conditional on how that nation responds to Him (Jeremiah 18:7-10). God is sovereign, and even though all authority in heaven and earth belongs to Him, He allows the sons of men to have the run of the earth (Psalms 115:16). Yet, this is still within the realm of His authority. He can permit, or He can not permit. He can allow, or He can not allow. When He opens a door, it will not be closed. When He closes a door, it will not be opened. When He determines to bless a nation, you cannot curse it (Numbers 23:11,12). And when He determines to curse a nation, you cannot bless it, or even spare it, without bringing down a curse upon yourself (I Samuel 15:17-19).
So man is free to do as he wills to a certain extent, but God still retains His authority. If necessary, God will intervene in the affairs of men to bring about a major course correction if they get too out of hand. The Flood of Noah was just such an event. So was the confounding of the languages at Babel. So was the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Jesus Himself says that there will come a time in the future when, apart from God's direct intervention, man would totally annihilate one another and destroy all life on earth (Matthew 24:22). So while it is true that God has "given the earth to the children of men" it is also clear that, "The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof: the world, and they that dwell therein (Psalms 24:1)." Given the extent of man's inhumanity to man, this should be of great comfort to all of us. Ultimately, GOD IS IN CONTROL.
THE SORT OF PRAYER GOD REQUIRES
We are not the first saints in history to be called upon to pray in this manner. When Japan invaded and viciously attacked China in World War II, a Chinese brother named Watchman Nee gave us some perspective that very much speaks to our present situation and call to prayer. He attended a believer's convention, and by accident was seated next to a Japanese brother. The tension was palpable among the onlookers. But brother Nee was unruffled, and when asked to offer prayer, he prayed as follows:
‘The Lord reigns. We affirm it boldly. Our Lord Jesus Christ is reigning, and He is Lord of all; nothing can touch His authority. It is spiritual forces that are out to destroy His interests in China and Japan. Therefore, we do not pray for China; we do not pray for Japan; but we pray for the interests of Thy Son in China and Japan. We do not blame men, for they are only tools in the hands of Thine enemy. We stand for Thy Will. Shatter, O Lord, the kingdom of darkness, for the persecutions of the Church are wounding Thee. Amen.’
I believe we as God’s priestly nation here in America are being called upon to pray the prayer that God requires where Israel and her opposition are concerned. Just as was spoken, “Therefore, we do not pray for Israel; we do not pray for her opposition; but we pray for the interest of Thy Son in Israel and the interest of Thy Son in those who may oppose her.
WE STAND FOR THY WILL. SHATTER, O LORD, THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS, FOR THE PERSECUTIONS OF THE CHURCH ARE WOUNDING THEE.
We cannot afford to pray “amiss,” too much is at stake. The demonstration of the preeminence of Jesus Christ as All in All is the very heartbeat of God. (Colossians 1:18)
"May Your Name be hallowed, may Your Kingdom come, may Your Will be done: in earth as it is in heaven, this is the End we have in mind: "all things in Christ, which are in heaven, and which are in earth.
Oh Lord, may you have the preeminence in our lives henceforth and forever”!