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Praying with Expectancy

Over my last few Blog posts I’ve focused on several Hebrew and Greek words for prayer and crying out to God. These are strong words that hold within them a meaning of boldness and fervency. We see Jesus crying out to God (this doesn’t always imply loud volume) and we should follow His example of praying earnestly, and pursuing our desire in a steady, sincere, eager way because it
is a FOUNDATIONAL way of praying in the New Testament.thumb-1

At the same time, we need to pray with a deep sense of expectancy and belief.

Let me ask you a question—when you pray, do you expect God to do something because you know He is able to do it? Or, do you half expect to be disappointed because you doubt God would be willing to do something awesome and out of the box for you?

Jesus is speaking in Mark 11:24 and He says, “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” R. A. Torrey in his book, How to Pray, wrote, “There must then be confident unwavering expectation. But there is a faith that goes beyond expectation, that believes that the prayer is heard and the promise granted.”[1] Friends, God is looking for people who dare to believe Him.

James refers to Elijah’s expectant praying. He wrote, “And he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit (James 5:18).” E.M. Bounds calls Elijah’s prayer “expectant prayer.” He wrote, “[Elijah was] watchful for results, looking for the answer. He had the inward assurance of the answer even before he had the rain.”[2]

We must pray, not only asking with strong desire—begging and craving—but also with hearts that overflow with expectancy and faith.

Friends, it is faith that creates expectancy in our hearts. It is faith that deeply connects us with God and His promises of His Word. It is faith that will give us the peace of knowing, like Elijah and others, that God will deliver according to His will, His plan and what is best for us.

Expectant prayer is different. It comes from a deep knowing in our hearts that the God is able. Expectant prayer is exciting.

We must remember to pray expectantly and that if our prayers are going to be filled with passion, our hearts must be filled with desperation. If our prayers are going to be filled with faith, our hearts must be filled with God’s Word. Without passion and desperation, without faith in God’s Word, we’re not really praying, we’re merely talking — “Lord teach us to pray!”


[1] Torrey, R. A. (1900). How to Pray (Chicago; New York: Fleming H. Revell company), 61

[2] E. M. Bounds, 30 Day Prayer School, (Memphis, TN: Matthew Bryan, 2010), e-Book edition

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