‘I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.’ Psalm 5.3
What do you expect to happen after you have prayed? If we are totally honest many of us turn to prayer at times of anxiety, but after praying we pick up our anxieties again as if nothing had ever happened! This verse provides us with a wonderful lesson in what is meant to happen after prayer - we are meant to wait expectantly.
There is no longer any need to return to the anxiety because we now have an expectation that God is going to act. His timing may not always be what we would choose, and indeed his answers may not always be what we long for, but to wait expectantly is to move our prayers on to a whole new level. It is to make the assumption that God is going to do something.
On a practical note it can be useful to write down the things about which you are praying, and next to each entry leave a blank space to record the ways in which God answers your prayers. The very act of leaving a space is, in itself, an indication that there is an expectation that God will act. It also encourages us to look out for God’s hand in a new way. Try it!
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission