PRAY AND EXPECT THE ANSWER!
Do you know you can pray from morning till evening with fasting and yet you are not expecting answers from Him? Yes, this is common even among wonderful children of God, we pray as routine, just to pray because we are Christians, we devote ourselves to pray in our personal life, in our family and in our churches but without faith in God for answer for the prayer, without expectation for the prayer. Prayer without faith is in vain. We pray because we serve God that answers prayer, who delights in our prayer. Prayer is an exciting activity because God listens and answers, but when prayer becomes boring to you, it means you do not have faith that God listens or will answer your prayer.
When you surrender your life to Jesus Christ by becoming born again through genuine repentance and you experience forgiveness of God through Christ Jesus, you have access to the throne of grace.
But many times we pray, as in seriously pray and even with fasting without expecting answers from God. Do you know you can observe night vigil, fasting and prayer without expecting anything from God? Yes, it is possible and many times we are doing such unconsciously. Why will a Christian be praying, be sweating, and yet expecting nothing from God? It sounds funny but it is a fact. And you also wonder why will a Christian be so prayerful and fireful, and even right in the place of prayer he is already planning how to solve his own problems by himself.
Let me give you example of a group of Christians in the Bible, who prayed earnestly, prayed fervently and yet expected no answer from God, is that not funny, but it was so.
In the Book of Acts 12:5, “Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.”
This church of God heard that Peter was arrested by Herod and immediately without wasting time, they gathered together to pray for Peter, and not just prayer but constant, consistent, non-stopping prayer, without going home, prayer was offered to God for Peter. But do you know as seriously as they were praying, they were not even expecting answers for their prayer?
In the same Acts 12:7 to 10, God sent His angel to miraculously deliver Peter from Herod’s prison. And in verse 11, “And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.”
Peter said, “Now I know for certain” Do you know for every child of God is an assigned angel of God serving Him? Do you know that? That when you give your life to Jesus and you are living your life to please Him, God assigns an angel for you to keep and protect you?
So what now happened to Peter? He went straight to the prayer meeting of the brethren praying for him. In verse 12, “So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying. 13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate. 15 But they said to her, “You are beside yourself!” Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, “It is his angel.” You know what they meant? They were telling Rhoda like “A beg no dey use that kind thing play, what type of joke is that when we are in the prayer mood?” But Rhoda said, no, this is not a joke, I’m serious I heard his voice, it is Peter’s voice” So when they saw that she was so serious and sure of what she was saying, then they said, “Ok, that must be Peter’s angel then”
These children of God believed Peter had assigned angel just like every child of God, but they thought Peter was already dead and his angel that followed him all around is not unemployed and roaming about. That was the reason they told Rhoda it was Peter’s angel.
You need to know that this church was like this before, but before the matter of Peter, somethings happened which lowered down their faith. From the beginning of the Book of Acts, they were fervent, and after they received the baptism of Holy Spirit, salvation of souls, miracles, signs and wonders were following and they were increasing in number and everything was going on well until Acts chapter 7 that Stephen was killed, what? Deacon Stephen, Evangelist Stephen was stoned to dead just like that? What? What? Then they moved on in serving God and got over it. But not long after in chapter 12 James was killed by Herod. James? Which James? I mean Apostle James, brother of John son of Zebedee who went with Jesus to the Mount of Transfiguration! What? How? Why?
These two events had really affected the church of God so when Peter was also arrested, they were not expecting miracle even though they were praying constantly for miraculous deliverance for Peter.
And this is happening to many children of God today, because of what happened in the past, you have lost your hope and confidence in the miraculous power of God and your faith has gone down, though you are still praying and fasting but you are expecting nothing miraculous again. You served God faithfully in school and you had that great faith for good job but after several unsuccessful job applications with prayer and nothing has happened, your faith has really been affected, though you are going for another job interview but you are not expecting anything.
How can such a wonderful child of God have delay in getting job, have delay in getting married, have delay in getting children? How can this child of God have such sickness? Why? What happened?
Now listen, even though your faith is not as strong as before, yet the Lord will surprise you with a miracle you do not expect in Jesus name. it would be like a joke, like a mistake, but it will be a miracle.
Let me give you another incident from the Bible, there were 2 sisters, Martha and Marry, they had a brother called Lazarus, but bother Lazarus was sick, they tried to reach Jesus as early as John 11:3, but Jesus delayed and delayed until the young man died. But why would Jesus delay in such an urgent situation? Well, I wouldn’t know.
But later Jesus went there, and as Martha met Jesus, in verse 21, “Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”
Martha was like, “Lord, though you came late but I know you can still do something, you can do anything” then in verse 39, “Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.” This is the same Martha that said Jesus could still do something to the matter but she is saying something else. “Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” habba!
When Jesus is the Lord of your life, He never comes too late, He turns the lateness into the latest.
You know what the Bible says in Isaiah 43:18? It says, “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old.” This is the word of God for you my brothers and sisters in the Lord. Remember not the failure of old, the sickness of old, the disappointments and delay of old, but then He says,
“Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.”
The word of God says, “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.” Hebrews 10:35. Do not cast away your confidence in the Lord, do not cast away your service, commitment and devotion to the Lord, your time of reward is coming. Stay strong the Lord, do not compromise into sin and do not join the fast track way of the people of the world, find and renew your faith in the Lord them for He who has promised will do exceedingly beyond your expectations in Jesus name.