What do you expect when you pray? Do you actually expect God to answer or are you content with the knowledge that He hears your prayers? There is a difference, you know.
Expectations are interesting. If you hold high expectations in a given situation you may be disappointed when your expectations are not met. Low expectations are much safer. After all, if you don’t expect much you won’t be disappointed, because your low expectations will likely be met.
Some say prayer isn’t about asking God to intervene or expecting Him to do something. They conclude that the purpose of prayer is really to change us and our desires. But in looking at Psalm 55:1, we see a different expectation for prayer. David says, “Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; hear me and answer me…” (Emphasis added). David is boldly asking God to not only listen and hear, but to answer.
I confess there are definitely times when my faith is weak. I pray, but I don’t really expect God to answer. My expectations are low and safe. Can you relate?
Great and Awesome
But did you ever stop to consider how God feels when we have low expectations of Him and what He can do? Our God is a great and awesome God, and yet we don’t really expect much from Him. “O, Lord God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O Lord, and your faithfulness surrounds you” (Psalm 89:8).
Christian author, Ellen White, encourages us to expect big things from God. In Christ Object Lessons, p. 146, she advises, “You need not go to the ends of the earth for wisdom, for God is near. It is not the capabilities you now possess or ever will have that will give you success. It is that which the Lord can do for you…He longs to have you reach after Him by faith. He longs to have you expect great things from Him.” (Emphasis added.)
Do we have confidence in what God can do? Do we believe His promises are true and that He wants to fulfill them in all the areas of life? Then let’s pray with confidence and thanksgiving, believing that God can and will do as He has promised.
God gives us permission to boldly pray for those things He has promised and are in accordance with His will (I John 5:14, 15). He wants us to expect great things from Him and, I would go so far as to say, He is honored by our high expectations of what He can do.
I hope you will join me. Let’s step out in faith and pray with great expectations for our amazing God!