Praying with Expectation

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.  For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord. – James 1:6-7, NKJV

When you pray do you expect God to answer your prayers?  Do you expect Him to answer satisfactorily? If I am honest with you and myself, the truth is, sometimes I doubt.  Someone said to me recently that he believed me to be a prayer warrior.  I find that laughable.  There was a time, many years ago, I would have said that prayer was the weakest area of my spiritual walk.  So I embarked on a spiritual journey to strengthen my prayer life, and strengthen it I did.  It wasn’t too long before I had to analyze what other area was now the weakest part of my prayer life.  But I still doubt.  But there is hope!

 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. – Matthew 17:20, NKJV

I recently made a terrible error with our finances.  Thankfully, when years ago it could have bankrupted us, a couple of months ago, I just blew our budget.  But, all the same, I was devastated that I had been such a terrible steward of God’s financial provision, albeit by honest mistake.  In my regret, shame, and sorrow, I cried out to God for forgiveness for the mishap, and asked that He would somehow replace those funds.  While my grief was sincere, my prayer was not so much.  I had doubts. I had no idea HOW or IF God would answer that prayer as I requested.  Four days later, we received an unexpected financial blessing four times over the amount that I had misspent.

This is the most recent spectacular answer to prayer that I can think of, but it is not the first and I suspect won’t be the last.  It also should not undermine His everyday answers that many times go unnoticed.

I don’t know what your prayer life looks like.  Perhaps like myself, you struggle with doubt.  But with every answered prayer, sometimes right away, and sometimes not for a while, God proves His faithfulness and genuine love and concern for us.  The only way to eradicate the doubt is to keep praying and keep expecting Him to answer.


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