Expectations – Through Prayer

Posted: October 12, 2011 in Expectations, Wandering Thoughts

Unrealistic Expectations

Sometimes i have felt that my prayers lack the power to penetrate my ceilings. It seems as though my petitions fall on deaf ears and God remains unmoved or unconcerned about my passionate pleading. Why do these feelings haunt me?

There are several reasons why i may sometimes be frustrated with my prayers. One is that my expectations are unrealistic. This, perhaps more than any other factor. i make the common mistake of taking statements of Jesus in isolation from other biblical aspects of teaching, and blow these few statements out of proportion.

i hear Jesus say that if two Christians agree on anything and ask, it shall be given to them. Jesus made that statement to men who had been deeply trained
in the art of prayer, men who already knew the qualifications of this generalization. Yet in a simplistic way i interpret the statement absolutely. i assume the promise covers every conceivable petition without reservation or qualification. Think of it. Would it be difficult to find two Christians who would agree that to end all wars and human conflict would be a good idea? Obviously not. So what’s the hold up? If two Christians agreed to pray for the end of war and conflict, would God grant their petition? Not unless He planned to revise the New Testament and its teaching about the future of human conflict.

Prayer is not magic. God is not at my beckoned call to satisfy my every expectation. In some cases, my expectations within my prayers must involve the travail of the soul and agony of heart,  such as Jesus experienced in the Garden of Gethsemane. Sometimes i and others alike have been bitterly disappointed in “unanswered” prayers, not because God failed to keep His promises, but because i a well-meaning Christian made promises “for” God, that God never authorized.

How do i avoid expecting and praying for unauthorized God things?

Stay connected with God and His word. John 15:7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for
you.”

Make sure that my expectations in prayer are seeking to please the Lord. 1 John 3:22 “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.”

Remove any unconfessed sin in my life. 1 Peter 3:12 “For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.”

Check the motive for my expectations? James 4:3 “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”

Where does God’s will fit into what i am expecting and praying for? 1 John 5:14-15 “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”

Do i actually know how to pray? Luke 11:1 “…Lord, teach us to pray…”

Is there faith in my prayers? Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and
that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
My faith can also be “built up,” by praying in the Holy Spirit (Jude 1:20).

What if my faith wavers? James 1:6-7 “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;”

When i pray and expect i must apply spiritual authority. Mark 11:23 “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, Be removed and be cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.”

How long am i in it for? Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

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Comments
  1. Ann Marie says:

    Interesting first sentence “penatrate YOUR ceilings” How are u aware of your ceilings or that you have them? Because they aren’t answered when u think they should? Do u “feel” they are bouncing back? Similar question except what instead of how, What makes u aware of what you call your ceilings? Things that make you go HMMMMM….

    • meandiam says:

      My ceilings are the things i see when i take my eyes off of God. When i allow circumstances to be more real than God’s promises. Ceilings are usually self imposed limits such as a child being ill and i can not see them healed. That’s a ceiling. I have limited vision and see no way for God to do His will regardless of what that looks like in the natural.

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