Pray with Expectation
Our topic this month is effective prayer. Now when I think of this I can’t help but share my favorite illustration on the topic. That is: A mother told her young son to head up to get ready for bed. She told him to brush his teeth, put on his pajamas, say his prayers, and get in bed, then she would be up to tuck him in and kiss him good night. The boy dutifully did as his mother said, but when his mother found him in bed she also found a rope tied to his bed post. “What’s the rope for?” she asked her son. He said, “Tonight when I said my prayers I asked God for a pony.” Brothers and sisters that is a prayer said in faith. He prepared for God to answer his prayer. I wonder how many of us pray that kind of prayer? I hate to admit my spiritual shortcomings but a fews weeks ago I failed miserably at that kind of prayer. I have been trying to pour some concrete for a sidewalk at my house for nearly a month now, but the rain keeps interfering and keeps my workplace a mud hole. This past Monday, in anticipation of my day off the next day, I prayed that it would not rain so that I could get this job done. I was tired and discouraged at all the rain keeping me in a mess, so I prayed for no rain on my day off. Well, the next morning the first thing I did was consult the weather report and sure enough it was calling for rain. I checked it hourly through the morning and it just kept calling for rain, so I decided not to pour the concrete lest it get rained on. Well it did rain. It rained on the north side of town, the east side of town, the west side of town, but it did not rain on the south side of town where I live until well into the evening. I could have poured the concrete and it would have had plenty of time to cure before evening when I could have safely let it get rained on. Here’s the problem. I prayed but then I consulted the weather. If I had prayed the type of prayer that little boy prayed I would not have consulted the weather I would have just gotten to work believing it was not going to rain on my project. I would have gotten the job done. I’m afraid that’s most often the prayer we pray. We pray, but then check the weather, not really believing God would honor our prayer. I learned a great lesson that week, that is to pray the kind of prayer that brings a rope along with it. That is the basis of effective prayer, a prayer said in faith.