When was the last time you prayed and expected God to respond? When was the last time you attended a church service or small group gathering and really expected God to show up in an incredible way?
There was a time in my life when I might have thought it was arrogant to expect anything of God. Many times I tagged “thy will be done” onto the end of my prayers not out of a healthy reverence for God, but out of a fear that he wouldn’t answer at all (I thought it would save me some embarrassment if he stayed silent or chose not to act the way I had asked him to). I was praying, but not in faith.
“Faith” in the dictionary is defined as belief in a person or thing. “Expectation” can be defined as belief that a person will act in a certain way. I think that in the church, just as in the dictionary, we’ve divorced these two words from each other, even though they’re really nuances of the same idea.
See, those of us who know God can expect some things from God, not because he owes us anything, but because we understand his character. We understand he is good, loving, just, generous, faithful, and more, so why not expect him to answer our prayers in accordance with his character?
I’m currently reading through the Psalms, and I recently came across this little morsel from King David:
“Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.
Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.”
(Psalm 5:3, emphasis added)
I want to live a life of expectation, one where I’m constantly excited about what God could do in any situation. I want to pray “thy will be done,” but out of honor and reverence rather than fear. I want to trust that my Father wants what’s best for me, because he’s told me that he does.