Expectation Prayer and Patience

Psalms 37:1-4

1 A Psalm of David. Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Jesus our Saviour has wonderfully provided Himself as the ransom to redeem us from the snare of the enemy. When we were taken captive by the wiles of the devil through the sin of Adam God had not given up on us and reconciled us Himself to Himself restoring the harmony that we once had. We were the joy that was set before Him. In like manner we need to have an objective in view in order to endure for others what Christ endured for us. Christ has to become our joy and passion. We have to esteem Him as the object of our desire. So then as we find our comfort and delight in the Lord we will find more of Him.

1John 3:20-22
20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

As we seek the Lord allowing Him to be our refuge our defense and our trust, we will come to the place where we can ask the Him for the things that we need. Understand that God has already said that He would provide all that we eat drink and wear (Matthew 6). Since we have His word on it there is nothing more we need to be concerned about in that area. All other things are to be asked for and that asking based on need.

Mar 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Jas 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

These two verses go together in that one says ask for what you desire and the other says if you ask to consume it upon your lusts you have no right to expect it. Secondly, the word desire in Mark does not simply mean want really bad. Desire has expectation of receiving. If there is no expectation in the desire it is wishing only.


1. An emotion or excitement of the mind, directed to the attainment or possession of an object from which pleasure, sensual, intellectual or spiritual, is expected; a passion excited by the love of an object, or uneasiness at the want of it, and directed to its attainment or possession. Desire is a wish to possess some gratification or source of happiness which is supposed to be obtainable.

So we see that in our Lord’s words, to desire is to have an expectation. So then for other items that we find ourselves in need of, that are not driven by our lust to have, we can confidently expect that we will have what we ask. Again in our hearts condemn us God is greater than our heart. The thing that we desire in prayer in prayer should not testify against us as we pray. A man may say that he needs a new car. But in fact does he need a new car? A new car may come with the comforts of a warranty but that does not mean that he needs it. So then he sets to pray for a new car. He visits car dealerships looking for the car that the Lord may give him. In the meanwhile he is offered a car by a friend. The friend has just gotten another car and this one being offered is a few years old but has lots of life left in it. It has been faithful to the previous owner and he would like to give it to his friend. The man turns it down saying he is in expectation for the Lord to give him a new car. That the man needs a car is not in question. Whether the man needs a new car is. God has graciously offered this man a car that runs, has lots of life left, has never been a problem and yet all he can see is that he wants a new car. All too often this is what we experience in prayer. We are aware of a need so we ask for more than necessary because we think that God will give it to us. God has promised to take care of our needs; all needs that are in addition to food water and clothing.

Php 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:11-13
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Here is where many of us have missed the point in prayer. God has so arranged that our needs will be graciously met by His mighty power. However, in His sovereignty, he has decided to allow us to suffer in our needs for His own purposes. I believe, first of all, our sufferings in needs are to build character in us.

Romans 5:3-5
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Patience is a necessary tool that we will need throughout our Christian life. Without it we will fail. Remember Paul said above that he knew how to “suffer need.” Needs are tools that God uses bring character in our lives.

Secondly, God uses needs to produce life in others. Some others may be in a state where they will fall. We in our sufferings, while dying in ourselves to ourselves, are producing life in others.

For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. 2Cor 4:11, 12

Thirdly, we suffer need because there has been a delay in the heavenlies in the answer getting to us. Daniel prayed for a vision’s answer and an angel was dispatched to deliver the answer. However the angel was held up 21 days before the answer arrived. So then we see that delays in answered prayer for needs are not a NO but could be the result of battles being fought in the invisible realm.

As we meditated on God and His word, may these truths bring us to greater spirituality with the Lord.