Prayers should be made with expectation that the Lord is listening

Saturday, July 25, 2009

One of the most valuable lessons I learned in my high school driver education class was to always watch were you are going. We were taken out on the interstate. I promise you this teacher was not paid enough to take teens on the interstate in a car. We were told to briefly look to the blind spot to make sure it was clear. But do not look to long because where you look is where the car will go. If you look to long to the right, you subconsciously move the car to the right. If you look too long to the left, the car moves to the left. He was right. Where you looked is where you moved.

The Gospel records Jesus saying, "And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith." (Matthew 21:22) Some will read this verse and come away with the understanding that if before going to sleep you pray for a new shiny red sports car in the driveway when you wake it will be there. I respectfully disagree. While there is much in this verse the most basic message is to pray with expectation, not that you will get something but that God is listening.

When we come before God, whether it be in a time of worship or personal devotional or in prayer, do we really look for him to be there? How often do we come to church with the expectation that we will actually hear from the Lord? That we will actually experience his presence in worship? When is the last time you prayed with the expectation that God was standing on tiptoe waiting to hear what you had to say?

Praying with expectation in no way, shape or fashion puts us in a position to demand anything from the Lord. The universe is his footstool. Who am I but a blade of grass to demand anything from my Lord? Praying with expectation does mean, though, that where we look our hearts will follow. If we pray out of habit, guilt or even desperation we come to God with a motivation of desperation, not expectation.

Should we come to the Lord in times of desperation? Absolutely, but times of desperation should not outnumber regular times of prayer. Pray with the expectation that God stands ready to answer his children who call upon his name.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at

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