Open for me the gates where the righteous enter, and I will go in and thank the Lord.
Drawing close to the Lord should be your lifetime pursuit. Sometimes, however, that process is hindered. James writes about two stages you may have to pass through as you attempt to enter God’s presence.
First, James says to “humble yourselves before God” (James 4:7). Pride, lust, and friendship with the world will block your prayer requests. Also, you may be asking with wrong motives: “You want only what will give you pleasure” (v. 3). However, if you humble yourself and submit your life to God, then your requests will be made from right motivations.
Next, James says to “resist the Devil, and he will flee from you”
(v. 7). Satan may be hindering your requests from coming to pass, even though God has granted them. When Daniel prayed, his prayer was actually answered from the first day, but Satan hindered it from coming to pass for twenty-one days (Daniel 10:12-13).
After you humble yourself and resist the devil, you will be able to “draw close to God, and God will draw close to you” (James 4:8). God loves you and is waiting for you to draw near through the gate of the Lord!