Should we expect an answer we want every time we pray?
Prayer is not like a combination lock, if we get the right numbers, it opens to our desires, but that is not how prayer works. There is no set formula we can use to ensure a hoped-for answer to prayer every time we pray. We can pray long, loud, passionately, even with fancy words, and none of this guarantees the answers we want.
However, it is good to always pray with faith and expectation! We can be confident that God will always be God and always do good, even if something doesn’t work out how we thought or wanted it to.
So what is God looking for when we pray in faith? An important thing to God is a true heart:
1 Samuel says, the Lord looks upon the heart.
Jeremiah 17: 10 I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.
2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.
So let us ask ourselves, as we come to prayer, is my heart right before God? Is my motive pure, is my living right, are there any areas I need to repent in, what is God seeing when He looks at my heart?
Another thing we need when it comes to prayer and expectation is to have confidence that God hears all of our prayers. Be assured of that. He hears every prayer, and even our sighs and tears!
1 John 5:14-15 assures us: 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.
In other words, God answers prayers according to His will.
The reality is that sometimes we pray in tune with His heart and will, inspired by the Holy Spirit. But sometimes, truth be told, we pray outside His will. Maybe we pray our hearts/thoughts desire for a person or a situation, or our prayers can even come from a wrong place. Those prayers won’t be answered as they aren’t according to God’s will.
Desperation in prayer doesn’t always mean the answers we want either. But be assured, no matter what we pray, He hears us, and He will do according to His will, which is always good.
Okay, so we need right hearts, faith, and confidence that He hears us, what else? It boils down to this: we need to believe God can do anything in any given situation. He can do anything. He can save, heal, deliver, and even bring someone back to life. But we also need to expect God to be God and be good in every situation. Our expectation isn’t just to be in what we want to be answered – the biggest expectation is that we should trust and allow God to be God. He sees the bigger picture and is working out His will. Dot forget He loves you deeply!
Do we still pray big prayers and believe God in impossible situations and for the breakthroughs? Absolutely yes!
Heavenly Father, help us not get disillusioned when things don’t go how we think they should. Help us to pray big prayers, but at all times to expect You to be God and good in any given situation. Help us be so connected with You that Your desires are automatically on our hearts and minds simply because we are dwellers in Your presence. Amen.