Pray with Expectation
Peter was in prison, and members of the Jerusalem church were gathered at the home of John Mark’s mother to pray for him. Their prayers were answered; Peter was miraculously delivered and found himself free on the streets at night. So he went to the common gathering place and knocked on the door. In one of scripture’s most humorous moments, the servant who opened the door went and told those who were praying so fervently for Peter that he was at the gate. “You’re out of your mind,” they told her. They were so busy praying for Peter to get out of prison that it didn’t occur to them that he might have (Acts 12:1-17).
That’s often how we pray: with great fervency but little expectation. Our prayers are so focused on the problem that we hardly have room in our hearts for the answer. God loves the fervent prayers, but he wants us to be far more captivated by his solutions than by our predicaments. The answer, when it comes, should be no surprise to us.
Pray with that kind of expectation. Know that whatever problem you face, God already has a solution for it. You may not know what the answer will look like, but you know there is one because you know the God you’re praying to. Focus on him, and let your heart expectantly hope in his goodness.
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