What to Expect When You Pray
Written by Jenn Arman | October 5, 2014
If you’re a Christian or if you’ve spent much time on Project Inspired, then you probably have an idea about how much importance we attach to prayer. The Bible is full of references to prayer (especially in Psalms and the New Testament).
But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44)
Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
The Lord has heard my supplication [plea], the Lord receives my prayer. (Psalm 6:9)
God loves to answer prayers that are in line with His heart, but many times, it seems like our prayers go unheard or at least unanswered, even when we’re praying for things that align with God’s heart and character. So what should we expect when we pray?
Well, prayer isn’t a magic wand.
Let’s say I’m praying for more patience. I don’t just wave my prayer in front of God’s face and abracadabra—suddenly I’m filled with patience. God rarely fulfills prayers that way. He can if He wants to, and occasionally He will, but usually He answers our prayers differently.
God’s greatest desire is that we trust and rely on Him completely, building an intimate relationship with Him.
If I pray for patience, the most likely way that God is going to answer that prayer is by putting me into a situation that requires more patience than I have. Now, if I choose to trust God, He will use that situation to place/build more patience in my heart, thereby answering my prayer for more patience. This is a perspective shift we learn to make as we mature in our relationship with God.
If, however, I choose to get mad that it seems like God hasn’t answered my prayer, then I’m probably going to find myself in a very frustrating situation for a while.
This is a common technique that God uses to answer certain prayers for His children. I’ve seen this happen with adults and students, and God has been confirming it to me as Dave and I deal with our current health battle.
It doesn’t only apply to patience, either. God often answers many of our prayers in such a way that He forces us to rely completely on Him because that’s the only way that He can build lasting character into our lives.
So ladies, whether your prayer is for strength, wisdom, patience, love, kindness, etc., if it seems like your prayers aren’t being answered and things are only getting worse, shift your perspective and ask God to show you how your situation really is a part of His answer.
I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. (Mark 11:24)
Girls, can you think of a situation in your life that might actually be a way that God is answering one of your prayers?
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