I had led a family to Christ. They soon joined our church and were baptized the following Sunday. My notes remind me of something the grandfather said. He was chairman of deacons in a church 3 hours away, and of course, they were excited about what had happened. He said to me, “We’ve been praying for this family, but one by one. We had no idea they’d all get saved at the same time!”
Expectations. Dale Caston told me something that took place in a high school class when he was a teen. The teacher asked the students, “What do you expect to get out of this class?” She looked at one student: “Eddie, what do you expect?” Eddie said, “Well, I’ve had you before–and I don’t expect nothing!” — What do you expect when you pray? The curse of modern Christianity is that we expect little from the Lord, too much from the church, and nothing from ourselves.
“Thou art coming to a King; Large petitions with thee bring; For His grace and power are such, none can ever ask too much.” –John Newton
Okay. Now, some quick thoughts on what the Lord has taught and is teaching me on prayer….
One. You don’t have to be perfect to pray.
That’s almost funny, it’s so obvious. But you might be amazed to know how many of us shirk from praying because “I’ve sinned.” Well, duh. “He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust” (Psalm 103:14). He is under no illusions about us, friend. He who created us knew He was getting no bargain when He saved us. When we sin, the only one surprised is us. So, go on and pray.
Two. You don’t have to feel like you deserve to pray, have lived so righteously that you have a right to have your prayers answered. It’s all of grace, friend. How we feel has nothing to do with anything.
Three. The best advice I was ever given–and the best I have ever doled out–on this subject is: “Pray Anyway.” In spite of how you feel, what others say, what you know about a situation, how little or much you know on what the Almighty wishes to do in a situation, or a thousand other things, it is all right to pray.
It is urgent that we pray. See Luke 18:1. “Pray or quit.”
Four. Honesty in prayer is always best. If you don’t feel like praying, tell Him that. He who created you understands tiredness. If you have a fear or doubt or question, He can take your admitting that in your prayer. We worship in Spirit and in truth.