This just in from our global tribe of nearly 900,000 online followers: When I pray, I don’t expect God to answer me. Where am I messing up?
This is a great question that applies to any Christian who prays with at least a little DOUBT. And that’s all of us at one time or another, to one degree or another.
Praying with conscious or subconscious DOUBT has dangerous outcomes: Compromised Dreams; Escapism; Low Self-Confidence; and Fear-based Worry to name but a few.
The alternative–what I call “AS IF” praying—avoids fixating on the imaginary barriers we construct around the negative things we think “might happen.”
“AS IF” praying ignores the negative outcomes we cook up and, instead, acts “AS IF” God will answer our prayer.
But this is NOT praying “AS IF” God will give us what we want. It’s praying “AS IF” God will answer.
Christians who block out the futility-based negative outcomes that compromise prayer are at peace in their conversation with God.
God always answers our prayers. Sometimes he says yes. Sometimes he says yes, but not now. And sometimes he says no.
The “NO’s” are not UNANSWERED prayers. “AS IF” praying must include trusting God’s answer.
Think of the child who asks mom or dad for something. The answer might be yes; yes but not now; or no. After getting the answer, the child would not say mom or dad did not answer. Regardless of the outcome, there was an answer.
Just like that child, we need trust that God’s answers are for our best.
If we do not pray “AS IF” God will answer, we DOWNSIZE the prayer’s possibilities.
On the other hand, praying “AS IF” he will answer puts the FOCUS on a future full of possibilities. Importantly, it IGNORES a present riddled with man-made limitations.
I ask God to remind me continually to pray “AS IF” he will answer and give me the wisdom and strength to trust his answer.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Are you praying “AS IF” God will answer?
“Everything is possible for one who believes. Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’” Mark 9:23-24