What Do You Expect When You Pray?

What Do You Expect? - Grace Fox

I expect God to respond. His answer may not be what I wish, but I expect it to be the best answer possible because He is too wise and loving to make a mistake.

This morning at the gym I overhead two young women talking. One of them complained of a sore shoulder. She said she’d gone to a massage therapist for treatment but it hadn’t helped. “Oh well,” she said with a shrug. “I didn’t really expect the massage to do anything anyway.”

Sometimes it seems we approach prayer with the same attitude

Perhaps we’re not convinced that our needs warrant God’s attention when He has global-sized issues on His mind.

Maybe we’re unsure about the effectiveness of our prayers. Have we used the right wording? Have we prayed with sufficient passion?

Perhaps we’ve prayed over the same concern for a long time and have given up hope of ever seeing change.

I’ll confess—I’ve experienced these thoughts

But then I read David’s words in Psalm 5:3, and I realize that my thinking needs a tweak:

“Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my request to you and wait expectantly.”

What do I learn from David’s example?

He expected God to listen to his voice.

Why? Because he and God had an intimate relationship. He knew God as a good friend, and he expected Him to communicate with him. As believers, we have every right to expect the same.

He expected God to respond.

That said, God’s response might not look like what David anticipated. But maybe David expected that too. As believers, do we expect God to respond?

The past fifteen months have grown my prayer life, and I’m learning to approach it with an attitude of expectancy. I expect God to listen based on truths such as Jeremiah 29:11:

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”

I also expect God to respond. True, His answer might not be what I wish, but then I’ll expect it to be the best answer possible because He is too wise and too loving to make a mistake.

Your turn:

Do you have a favorite Bible verse that gives you the confidence to believe God will listen and respond to you?

Know you are loved,


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