All too often as believers we approach God in prayer like we do our earthly boss. IF we ask for something in the right way or have been good employees, performed well, been committed to the job, we feel we are good to go. But God has never said in His Word that He would only accept us if the conditions are right, if we say the right words or act the right way. In fact it is quite the opposite because His Word clearly says He will never reject us…no conditions attached.
One of my managers years ago taught me the “open door” principle of management and this could not be truer than with God. He invites us to go to Him just as we are, any day and any hour. God’s arms are always open, He is the originator of the open door policy.
So, let me establish that it is Biblical for us to pray from a place of expectation – Psalm 5:3: In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” If David prayed expecting, so can we, but how do we get to a place where we remove our self-imposed limitations and pray from a place of expectation?
By definition, expectation is “the belief that something WILL happen or be the case in the future.” If we go to a U2 concert, we expect to see Bono singing. If we go to a pizzeria, we don’t anticipate being served fruit salad. The same is with God, when we go to Him, we can expect answers (mind you not always the ones we like or on our timetable). Here are some guiding principles for us to learn to pray with expectations in our hearts.
WE MUST GO TO GOD IN PRAYER
We won’t get answers if we don’t ask the question, similarly, we won’t get answered prayers, if first we don’t pray. “But doesn’t God already know what we need?” He does, but He also looks for our desire and the proof of desire is pursuit. God can read our minds and knows all things but He looks for our hearts to be directed to Him in earnest and fervent prayer. How badly do we want it?
ABBA, GOD IS OUR FATHER
When the reality that God is our Abba (our Daddy/Papa) will sink into our hearts and minds, there is nothing we will be afraid to ask because we know that Daddy has our back. Unfortunately, not everyone has a positive image of God as a Father. Perhaps because their earthly father was just not there or their example was not a positive one or perhaps they feel God has disappointed them with His silence or not given them what they wanted. We have all had poor human examples, but we are all responsible for the truth that we know and this point is clear in scripture. We are to go to the Father in the name of Jesus, realizing He is a loving, caring and gracious Father. Embracing this truth will position us to ask audacious requests, because we trust His heart and believe that He is a good Father.
LET’S CHECK OUR MOTIVES
James 4:3 reminds us we are to check our motives when we pray, because our selfish nature tends to get in the way and satisfy its own pleasures. You see, God knows what we can handle. Just as I would not allow my 10 year old son to drive my car, God will not give to us what we cannot manage. When God is silent or we get a no, we tend to blame Him when all along God was protecting us. What we believe is for our good can end up being our very destruction. All things will work together for our good, even when we don’t understand, when we check our motives and trust God’s heart for us.
APPROACH HIM WITH CONFIDENCE
1 John 5:14: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
Hebrews 4:16: “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Psalm 5:3: “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice. In the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”
Christianity is to be experienced; therefore, a relationship with God is at the center of our belief. When we get to know our spouses intimately, we learn their personality and character and develop a trust for each other. As we develop our relationship with God, we grow in the knowledge of His ability and power. We become unashamed to ask for anything because we believe and expect that God will fulfill His promises.
We must come to the realization that we are children of the Most High, He is our Father therefore we don’t have to beg or try to coerce Him. He knows what we need before we ask. He will cover our inabilities simply because He can, and so we trust in a God who is all powerful to accomplish the impossible. What prayers are we praying? What miracle are we in need of? “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20)
You can also check Mark 11:24; Matthew 7:7-11; John 15:7; John 16:23-14
His power truly has no end.
James 1:5-7: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”
The word doubt is literally defined “to separate one’s self in a hostile spirit, to oppose, strive with dispute, contend.” And “to be at variance with one’s self, hesitate, doubt.” Basically doubt means we are being double minded and in disagreement with ourselves. A double minded person is unstable, (James 1:8) therefore, I choose faith over doubt, trust over confusion. Will you?
Let’s realign our expectations and begin to pray with anticipation. God hears and He will answer us!
Davide has a unique communication style that has given him a platform in the marketplace to use his “get the job done” skill set.God has instilled in Davide a passion to equip the body of Christ through teaching, mentoring and speaking life through experience and wisdom of years.He is deeply passionate about pursuing and cultivating the presence of God. He currently lives with his wife of 31 years, Lois in Charlotte, NC. They have 3 amazing children with their married spouses.