“Dear Lord, I know You can heal him if it be Your will…”
“Oh Father, would You reveal Yourself to her?”
“If it’s possible, God, will You…?”
Have you prayed prayers like these as I have? Wanting to see miracles happen but not wanting to be disappointed? I often feel that my prayers become a spin cycle of repetition. I have less and less faith the longer I pray for something or someone until I cease to pray about it.
Honestly, I can’t say I often expect miracles. Sometimes, I pray and hope for them, but expectation is different. It requires waiting in anticipation with a firm foundation and trust that what I expect to happen will certainly, without a doubt, happen. This is how God’s word calls us to pray, not just with words that will hopefully float toward heaven, but with anticipation and expectation that the God of Heaven hears our heart’s cry and knows its deepest desires.
One of my very favorite stories in the Bible is of King Hezekiah. He was a great king and an even greater man of God who sought to serve and honor the Lord in everything he did. He destroyed all the former idols made of stone and tore down the Asherah poles so that the people of Israel would see that the Lord is God alone (2 Kings 18:4). He sought the Lord’s protection from the kingdom of Assyria and God destroyed the Assyrian army and delivered Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:17-19:37). Despite all the idol worship and doubt from neighboring people, Hezekiah remained faithful the Lord and His teaching. That’s quite a resume!
But my favorite story of King Hezekiah is his great prayer for healing. Hezekiah was very sick and at the point of death. Even the prophet Isaiah had told him to prepare because death was imminent. But Hezekiah prayed to the Lord, expecting a miracle. He cried out, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” The Lord heard Hezekiah’s heart cry, and He sent a message to Isaiah: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you.'” Hezekiah was expecting a miracle, and that’s just what He got!
The Lord had promised Hezekiah fifteen more years of life, but Hezekiah asked for another miracle to affirm this promise. Here’s the best part: The Lord promised that the shadows on the stairs would move backward ten steps! (2 Kings 20:3-11) Can you imagine? Hezekiah saw God perform another miracle. Hezekiah’s expectations were great. He was willing to pray big prayers in faith, knowing God was able.
Living in Expectation
If we will lead others well, we must be led well. Since Jesus is the greatest leader of all time, we must seek Him and know Him more and more every day. Jesus knew the power of prayer. He prayed often and with conviction, knowing His Father heard Him. He went to quiet places to pray (Luke 5:16), and he got up early in the morning to pray (Mark 1:35). I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly not a morning person, so this one is hard to commit to. And in the garden, experiencing the greatest stress of His life, Jesus prayed (Matthew 26:39).
I see and hear stories of miracles all the time. Protection in a dangerous place, financial provision for a family, healing of the deadliest disease, even amid the world’s chaos. But all these seem to happen from the wealth of other’s prayers. I want my prayers to accomplish great things in Jesus’ name.
What would happen if our staff meetings became prayer meetings? What if we prayed with the expectation of Hezekiah? What if we prayed with the determination of Jesus? If your desire is mine, pray with me:
Dear Father, You are great and worthy of our praise. Thank you for giving us the power of Your Holy Spirit. Teach us to pray in expectation, knowing that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us to accomplish even greater things as Jesus promised in John 14:12. In Jesus’ name, Amen.