Once again, I have been thinking about prayer. When I heard this story, I was struck:
Two farmers desperately needed rain. And both of them prayed for rain, but only one of them went out and prepared his fields to receive it. Which one do you think trusted God to send the rain?
We must pray expectantly. We must have faith that He is able to do as He promised. We must believe that God is able to do not only what we can ask or think, but also all that we can ask or think; and not only that, He is able to do above all that we can ask or think; and not only that, He is able to do abundantly above all that we can ask or think; and not only that, He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think!
Do we really believe that our God is the One who created and holds in motion this great and vast universe in which we dwell on a microscopic speck, and which, compared to a fraction of God’s glory, is itself a mere speck on a single grain of sand? Do we really believe that the God we speak to is the One who stopped time and made the sun go backwards, who defied gravity (only a minuscule part of His creation) to part the waters of the sea (He made water STAND UP! I mean think about it! Is that amazing or is that amazing?), the One who allowed a shrimp of a shepherd defeat a fully armed giant with nothing but a sling and a stone? The One who saved eight people and thousands of animals in a wooden box through the churning waters of a raging global flood (a flood He created and amidst which He sat enthroned as King)? The One whose feet trod on top of the water, whose command calmed a storm immediately, whose hand raised up the lame, whose voice woke up the dead, whose spit opened blind eyes, whose sandal the great prophet, God’s messenger, was not worthy to stoop and loose? Who died for His evil, cursed creation to give them never ending life? This is real! These are not fairy tales! This is the truth!! Do you believe it?
How can we help but pray expectantly when we know to Whom we are speaking?
So what are we to expect? God does not promise to give us everything our flesh wants. We can’t just say, “God, today I want a free pizza and a free Starbucks latte for lunch and everyone at work should give me at least 1.5 compliments and then I want to find five dollars on the sidewalk and don’t charge it please and thank you very much You’re the best” – it doesn’t work like that.
We are to expect God to move those mountains (Mark 11:22-24). When His children cry out He does not ignore. Prepare your fields for that rain because He will give it!
He does not always answer how we anticipated or wanted. Maybe it seems like you’re running in circles. Maybe you think you know how God should have worked. Maybe you want to offer some advice to Him on how to correctly answer prayer.
But look around! Open your eyes! Expect to see how He’s working – because He is! – and you’ll see it! He’s working it all together for His good and perfect plan. Look expectantly to His hand like a servant looks to the hand of his master (Psalm 123:1-2); prepare your fields for the rain He is going to give; don’t doubt (James 1:5-8), but rather expect to see Him orchestrate His perfect plan in your life. Watch His hand move, see the rain fall, and joy in His plans.
“Which farmer do you think trusted God to send the rain? The one who prepared his fields for it. Which one are you? God will send the rain when He’s ready. You need to prepare your field to receive it.”
Jesus said to him,
“If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears,
“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
– Mark 9:23-24