Prayer and expectation – this can be a difficult subject for many and even a confusing one. Am I to expect God to answer every prayer I ever pray? You’ve maybe prayed prayers before and expected Him to do something but nothing happen. What then?
There is no set formula we can use to ensure answered prayer. I have a lock on my shed with a combination of numbers to let me open it, that is not how prayer works. Even if we pray loud, passionate, fancy worded prayers, we aren’t guaranteed the answers we want.
But what are we guaranteed in prayer? When our hearts are right before God, we are guaranteed that He hears us, every time! We might think God only really listens to the pastor, the missionary, or somebody “better” than ourselves. But every child of God is heard by God. Be assured of that. He hears every prayer, even our sighs and tears. 1 John 5:14-15 assures our thinking on this when it says:
And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him.
God answers prayers according to His will. The reality is, sometimes we pray in His will, inspired by the Holy Spirit’s leading, in tune with Gods heart and some other times, truth be told, we pray outside His will. Maybe we pray our personal desire for a person or situation, or maybe our prayers are coming from a wrong place. Those prayers won’t be answered as they aren’t according to Gods will. Also, desperation in prayer, although it shows deep desire, doesn’t always mean we get the answers we want either. Sometimes desperation can show a lack of faith. But be assured, no matter what we pray, He hears us, and He will do according to His will, which is always good.
So how does this work with prayer and expectation?
I believe it boils down to this. In any given situation, we need to believe God can do anything. Literally, He can do anything! He can save, heal, deliver, even bring someone back to life. But we also need to expect God to be God in every situation. Our expectation then isn’t to be in what we want answered – but the biggest expectation is that we should trust and allow God to be God.
Should we pray expecting and believing every time? Yes 100%, but the biggest expectation should be for God to be God in any given situation. He knows and He sees the bigger picture.
How can I see more answers to prayer? One of the keys to seeing God answer more prayer is being so connected with Him that His desires are automatically on our hearts and minds, simply because we are dwellers in His presence. In John 15 the main message is ‘abide’ in Him. The more we abide in Him the more we will see happening. Personal Positioning is important.
John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Heavenly Father, I thank You for every prayer You have answered; You are a good God. Help me pray big prayers believing and expecting You to do what only you can do. God teach me to pray, teach me to trust and help me abide and dwell in your presence daily. Amen.