Great Expectations in Prayer
There was a time that I naively thought that if I followed God, and sought His ways for my life that hardship would evade me. That all I had to do was pray hard and everything would be okay. I was deceiving myself because the Lord says if we follow Him, we will suffer as He suffered. Praying doesn’t exempt us from difficulties. I needed to get rid of my unrealistic expectations of God and trust in Him.
Life’s difficulties can make us weary and we are told to pray and trust in the Lord at all times. Sometimes, He doesn’t answer in the way that we want Him to but does that mean He isn’t listening?
No, exactly the opposite. He hears our every word.
A Lesson From Gideon
A couple of days ago, I read about Gideon in the book of Judges. At the time Israelites were being oppressed by the Midianites for seven years because they had been worshiping the gods of the Amorites. As Gideon was going about his day threshing wheat an angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!”.
His response surprised me, and yet I’ve had these thoughts before.
“Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.”
For seven years the Israelites had been struggling with cruelty and being left to nearly starve at the hands of the Midianites. I’m sure it caused Gideon to doubt the if God loved them and that maybe their prayers were falling on deaf ears.
The reality was, that God was using the Midianites to teach them.
“But by means of the suffering, he rescues those who suffer, For he gets their attention through adversity.”
Job 36: 15 NLT
The hardships we endure serve a purpose, and that purpose is to grow us. It brings me comfort to know that the Lord uses these moments to grow our relationship with Him and that God wants us clinging to Him. We have to remember to go into it with realistic expectations knowing that we might not get the answer we want, but God is still with us.
This week I chose to feature a post by Leslie at Journey to Imperfect called “How to Handle Unrealistic Expectations in Your Prayer Life”. She does a terrific job of demonstrating three ways we can be disillusioned about prayer and how to have more realistic expectations. Please make sure you read her post before linking up today.
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