If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. James 1:5-8 (NIV)
It seems the one thing we can’t ask for in prayer is help with a divided soul. The doubter is told up front, “Don’t bother.” The unstable aren’t eligible for answers. Being uncertain or undecided disqualifies one from divine assistance. And James isn’t alone in warning of the dangers of doubt: Matthew 21:21; Mark 11:23; Luke 11:18; Acts 10:20; Romans 2:4; 4:20; 14:23.
The Greek for, “not doubt” (mhden diakrinomeno) is the present passive participle of diakrinw, which means “to discriminate” and has the idea of being “divided against oneself.” Hence the charge of being “double-minded,” literally “double-souled.”
I could see the restriction applying to unbelief, a settled conviction that God doesn’t exist or isn’t interested in his creation. But honest doubt or unresolved questions?
What am I missing here?
What do you think?