Pray With Boldness and Expectancy
Pray with boldness and expectancy
-Pastor Allen Snapp
Acts 4:23–24,31 (ESV)
23 When they [Peter and John] were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, ... 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
Notice that God answers their prayers with a great evidence of His power - He rocks the house. They didn't even ask for that - it was just God showing Himself to be powerful in the face of puny men that were opposing the advance of the good news of Jesus Christ. It gives them the boldness to speak word of God without fear - that is what they asked. But the best answer of all is that He gives them Himself - He fills them with His Spirit.
Whatever it is, it is a good thing to want to see God's hand move in our lives. It's a good thing! We can believe great things of God, but we also have the privilege to ask great things of God.
In book of Acts we see that the church in its earliest days was also a church that prayed. They were in prayer together when the Holy Spirit descended on them in upper room. After Peter preaches his first message and 3000 people were saved (not bad first attempt!), among other things they "devoted themselves to...prayer." God was moving powerfully - and those first disciples were praying powerfully!
If the church loses a strong and vibrant faith that God answers prayer, then prayer becomes a nice religious activity, and prayer meetings become the sleepiest meetings on the church calendar!
God always answers the prayers of His people! Always! That doesn't mean He always answers them in the way we ask, or even the way we want, but never does He neglect our prayers and leave them unanswered. Many times in my life I have lifted prayers for a situation to God with hope of certain results only to see God answer those prayers in very different ways than expected, but still knowing a distinct sense of His sovereign hand answering. Often I can see that His way was better, sometimes I can't. But rest assured,His way is best.
If you are a Christian, it is important that you pray with confidence that God hears and answers your heartfelt prayers. He answers them in the way that is best for us and for the advance of His gospel.