Expectations, Experiences, and Prayer

By in Faith, Inspiration

I heard a great reminder recently. It was simply that when your “experience” does not line up with your “expectation,” God is trying to reveal Himself to you.

My experiences have truly revealed God when my expectations were not met. (And I admit I am guilty of high expectations.?)

I can say with confidence that God DOES reveal Himself through our life’s experiences.

In 1970, I was a young wife with our first baby on the way. I had not yet experienced the highs and lows of real life experiences.

My “expectation” was simply that God would reveal Himself. I had a full-blown belief that God will give me “whatever I ask, whenever I ask, according to His will.”

During that period of my life, I received many answers to prayers and witnessed many miracles.

However, my faith journey has had its ups and downs. It’s easy to be up when you pray and the answer seems to instantly be on the way. What messes with me are the prayers that seemingly go unanswered.

Now after many years, I have learned unanswered prayer simply requires surrender. The trials and troubles of my own life have given me a more patient expectation about God answering prayers.

In our humanness, we expect specific answers to the prayers we pray and when we don’t get relief through prayer and doing all the right things, many times we go to alternative methods. What we experience is temporary relief.

Eventually, the grief, tears, and pain of life take its toll on our body, soul, and spirit.

Once again, we cry out for relief.
We ask God for peace.
During the dark nights of our soul, we sigh.
We ask God to hear and answer our prayers.

What I didn’t know back in 1970 when answered prayers seemed to be “just a prayer away” was that it is necessary to know pain. It’s in our pain that we experience the nearness of God and we learn to connect with others in pain.

I know now that there are no simple answers to the complexities of life but I still pray in faith believing ALL things are possible. I pray because I believe God hears my prayers.

I’ve lived a lifetime of praying and hoping. I’m sure I’ve complicated many prayers by asking for too many things that are more about answered prayer than about knowing God. When my prayers go unanswered, I hope anyway. When my expectations are not met, I pray anyway.

My experience has proven to me that prayer may not be instantly answered but I know that when we pray God hears.

I know He is near to us…
when we grieve,
when we sigh,
when we cry,
and when we wait.

As we wait for answered prayer, we experience God and that in itself is answered prayer.

Remember, when your “experience” does not line up with your “expectation”, God is trying to reveal Himself to you. Anticipate that God will reveal Himself to you as you wait for your prayers to be answered.

This article first appeared in Anne’s Weekly newsletter! To subscribe, click here. Each week, Anne sends a short inspirational email straight to your inbox. As a subscriber, you’ll also have first access to new events, books, and more! Click to subscribe.


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