Friday, May 20, 2011

Praying Expectantly

When Isaiah was only a few months old we had a little problem with him.  He couldn’t poop.  It had been something like 5 days since he had went potty and we were starting to get concerned. 

Isaiah made a good amount of trips to the doctor in his first few months because he had what is known as GIRD.  That’s the medical term for exorcist puking.  Seriously.  Somehow my little guy would drink four ounces and spew up six—or at least that is how it appeared.  Because his belly was like a trampoline we were frequently worried about dehydration.  One way to check how well a little guy is hydrated is to monitor how often they are peeing and pooping.  So, when little guy hasn’t pooped for 5 days mommy and daddy start to get a little worried. 

So, Nikki and I did the only thing we knew to do.  We prayed. 

It felt really weird praying for my son to poop.  I realized that I had entered into a new phase in my life when I was praying that another human would be able to go potty.  But we prayed, and we prayed pretty desperately. 

No sooner did I say, “Amen”, then my son let out a wild grunt and filled not only his diaper but a good portion of his back too.  God answered prayer.  Nikki and I were completely shocked.  Maybe not shocked that he had answered our prayer but that he had done it so speedily. 

But why is that?  Why are we so often shocked when God comes through and answers our prayers. 

Apparently we aren’t alone in that.  When we read the story in Acts 12 we see that these pillars of the church are praying fervently for Peter’s release*.  Peter has been arrested and now the other disciples are together, probably praying for Peter that the same fate as James will not befall him.  In verse 13 the story gets somewhat humorous:

13 And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 Recognizing Peter's voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. 15 They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, “It is his angel!” 16 But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed.

First of all, it is hilarious that she didn’t let him in but shut the door in his face and left him outside.  Secondly, notice that the men can’t believe that God would have answered their prayers so quickly.  It’s not Peter—it must be his angel.  Certainly, he’s dead. 

Now, again, we do not know for certain what these men were praying.  But it is not a leap of imagination to believe that they were praying for Peter.  But maybe they weren’t praying with a ton of faith or at least they weren’t praying expectantly. 

I want to learn today to pray expectantly.  As for me, I don’t think it is God’s power that I doubt.  I have to humbly confess that it’s his love and care that I doubt.  I don’t want to do that.  So, would you pray for me today (expectantly even) that God would continue to convinced me of his absolute love and dedication to me.  I’m still growing in learning that.


*This connection is not original with me.  The first time I had heard this point made it was from one of my college professors, Dr. Morgan.

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