Praying with an Expectant Heart

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There is something about the innocence of a child that can so quickly put life’s great mysteries into perspective. A few months ago, my extended family and I were gathered around the table for Sunday dinner (a long-standing after-church tradition), and my aunt asked my four-year-old cousin what she wanted for her birthday, which was coming up in a few weeks. Without pause or hesitation, our sweet girl replied, “I’m not going to tell you because then I’ll know what you’re getting me.” We laughed, and we laughed some more, amused by her both precious and precocious sense of self and of the world around her. But later that evening, I began to reflect on her words, and I found myself asking the question, “How much different would our lives be if we presented our hearts to God with that same level of expectancy – if we went to Him with the wholehearted belief that He would satisfy our every need?”

Luke 11:10 tells us, “For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

If you read my post on five mantras to carry you through the New Year, you know that one of my goals in the coming months is not only to pray more but to be more intentional in seeking the Lord first in those moments when I am so tempted to gather input from worldly acquaintances instead. I think this tendency comes from craving control. It comes from the misguided belief that if I collect enough opinions, read enough books, or weigh the pros and cons of enough possible outcomes, I am sure to come up with a solid action plan that will get me what I want. Don’t get me wrong, I still pray for God’s hand in the flawless execution of so-called “action plan,” yet somewhere along the way, it seems I’ve begun to give Him suggestions instead of asking Him for them.

Now, I’m not sure whether I believe God has a sense of humor, but I KNOW that he exudes a level of tolerance and mercy that surpasses anything our mortal minds can comprehend – and I praise Him for that.

Let God and Let God

I want to share with you the chorus of one of my favorite gospel hymns:

“Leave it there, leave it there,
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there;
If you trust and never doubt, He will surely bring you out—
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.”

You see, it doesn’t say, take your burden to the Lord and then pick it back up and carry it around until the weight of the world comes crashing down on you. It says LEAVE IT THERE. What if my little cousin had told my aunt exactly what she wanted for her birthday, but then turned right around and bought it for herself? Okay, so four-year-olds don’t generally shop for themselves, but you get the picture, right? The point is that so many times, we expend our time, money, energy, resources, and what’s left of our sanity unnecessarily, only to find that [SURPRISE!], God was in control the whole time. And not only that but what He had in store for us exceeded our every expectation.

Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” (John 15:16) Friend, whatever your heart desires today, He has you. Take it to Him and leave it there. His yoke is easy, His burden is light, and He has all the answers.

May God bless and keep you; may you find joy in the journey; and may you remember that all of life’s storms are “survived by sunshine.”

Until next time,


Why it's time for you to let go and let God

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