Details matter. They’re important. They bring joy to certain people who notice them. I usually notice the details. But there’s also days when I’m walking along thinking about something else and then I look up (or down in this case) and notice an unexpected surprise.
A few months ago, I was working through what I wanted my next job to be, all the way down to the details of my workspace, the kind of people I wanted to work with, and wanting to leave work for lunch at home. These were all things that needed improvement at my last job as I learned how valuable they were to me.
The message this morning at church reminded me about praying the details with expectation and faith. Not only did the message have scriptural truth referenced, but it also surfaced a few verses I have memorized about expectation, faith, and believing what I’m praying for. It reminded me about this made up job I prayed for a few months ago and now I’m seeing that job in real life and experiencing the things I could only once imagine about a workplace.
In the scriptures, I am told to pray with expectation, pray with faith, and don’t doubt. I’m told there is a time for every season and God’s timing is perfect. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit. Patience is something I lack.
This military life has taught me that I’m not as flexible or as patient as I think I am. I tend to think of patience at best is passive. It doesn’t worry or have anxious thoughts, it just is. It accepts whatever is and goes no further.
But we are not created to settle or accept life at face value. We were created with eternity in our hearts, a yearning for something more than what we can see with eyes. Yes, my eyes get clouded with the present view, but the soul is always wanting more. So you see, there is more than passivity at work here. I can’t just accept. When I feel the pull to simply accept, this is when I feel a lack; something is missing but I can’t name it.
Anticipation. Expectation. The hope of prayers answered. Desire to one day see more than what is right in front of me today. I was made to dream and when I stop dreaming is when I begin to feel hopeless. All my asking feels selfish and the asking is riddled with doubt telling me the details don’t matter.
But not only do the details matter, they also hold great significance when used in prayer with expectation. They wrap our minds around what we desire. Our vague prayers turn into a heart pouring out of the possibility for God to move in big ways.
In Matthew 8, a centurion went to Jesus because his servant was paralyzed. He stated the facts and when Jesus asked if he should go to heal him, the centurion replied with “Just say the word, and my servant will be healed.”
He recognized Jesus’ power. But he also came to him, believing what would happen and how it would happen. FYI, Jesus’ response was, “Go, let it be done just as you believed it would.”
He believed in the miracle before the miracle happened. I wonder how many miracles I’ve missed out on because I didn’t believe, or because I only believed xyz was possible. How many times have I placed God in a box due to my lack of faith?
I write this from a place of renewed hope. I write this in retrospect, knowing there is truth in it. I also write this being disappointed at the beginning of this year after hearing the house I and several friends had prayed for was given to someone else. I write this sitting on the couch in lodging, hoping February will be the month we finally can say we are home.
I write because my soul needs this. It needs reminding of crafting a dream, imagining the yet to be details, and placing faith in God for what he will do with this hope as I try my hardest to believe in it now.
Will you join me in praying with details in mind and written down as we wait in expectation for a hope fulfilled? Is it possible that we can move the later to right now with our faith? Could we be so bold to approach the throne with not a request, but faith that says, I don’t only know you are capable, but I actively believe you are capable and in faith I choose to plan for …
This is the faith my soul desires. This is the faith I choose. To be bold. To touch the tassel of his robe, believing in what was impossible without him. Will you join me?
Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.Psalms 5:3, New Living Translation
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.James 1:6, English Standard Version
In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.Ephesians 3:12, New International Version
So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all the same testings we do yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.Hebrews 4:14-16, New Living Translation