Expect an Answer

As one versed in prayer, it is easy for me to say that I understand. It is easy for me to hide behind a mask that makes it look like I know what I’m doing. It’s easy for me to claim that I’m an experienced prayer warrior, but the truth is, I’m not. Here I am, helping to lead loveOSU, an organization completely based around the idea of prayer, and some days I find myself struggling to pray at all. Some days, I come to the prayer house and simply cannot focus and leave having prayed no more than when I came. It’s easy for me to pray big prayers over other people, but hard for me to pray them myself. If I pray over someone else I don’t have to deal with the potential disappointment of unanswered prayer. I’ll admit it, I often struggle to pray.

Part of my problem, and part of our problem as a culture, is that we’re too busy. No, not too busy for prayer, too busy for the answer. We pray, we ask things of God, and by the time an answer comes we’ve prayed 20 other things and forgotten about what the answer pertains to. We pray, asking for an answer, but we talk the whole time. It’s as if we’re scared that God won’t answer, we’re scared of the potential for silence when we might actually have to examine ourselves and discover the sin inside of us that we’ve tried to ignore for so long.

There is sin in my heart, and only Jesus can fix it. But I don’t let Jesus fix it because I’m too scared of facing it or being found out. I’m too scared that in the silence my secret will be found out and so I talk the whole time. I say God is distant and I blame my sin, I blame God, but I refuse to admit that I am holding God at a distance because I’m too scared to let go of this sin I know in order to gain a holiness I’ve only read about.

These past several weeks I’ve learned about prayer. I’ve learned about praying, and expecting an answer. I still struggle with my sin. I still don’t know what I’m doing. I’m still scared. But in spite of me Jesus is. In spite of me, Jesus moves. In spite of me, Jesus speaks. And he chooses to use me. And he chooses to use you.

I know that God answer our prayers, but this quarter I have learned the necessity of waiting for and expecting that answer. I find myself praying prayers like “What should we write on the prayer focus board?” and actually expecting an answer. When no words popped into our heads after praying that prayer we opened our Bibles. I started reading from Ezekiel 22, only to discover that we were all in Ezekiel 22. We proceeded to read through the chapter and pick out which verses we felt like God wanted us to put on the board. We agreed on every one.

To some that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but to me it is a huge indication of how far we’ve come as a leadership team. If we trust God with something as small as a prompt on the wall, can we not trust him with something slightly bigger? And can we not keep trusting him  a little more each day until we are trusting him with all that we are, living on the edge of faith? Along the way we will be forced to confront our sin as we sit in the silence, waiting on God. But in that confrontation we are not alone, Jesus has gone before and paid the price on the cross. We are free, now we need only claim our freedom in Christ.

So this quarter I challenge you to pray expecting an answer. When you’re at the prayer house, do not be afraid to write your prayers in the journals or on the paper in the prayer closet or in any of the other places available. And when God gives you an answer, write it down too. May the walls of the prayer house bear witness to the prayers of the saints that those who come after us would be encouraged because they serve a God who hears our prayers and gives an answer.

  • December 27th, 2011
  • Posted in Blog