Not so great expectations 

I was never a Boy Scout, but for some reason I remember getting Boy’s Life magazine during my growing up years. I’d thumb through the articles, ignoring most since I was not in the running for any merit badges, but pausing on some that talked about making a weapon or surviving in the desert… both necessary skills for a 9 year old boy, right?

Beyond Expectations Ruler Exceed Results Great Job

Without a doubt, my favorite part of the magazine were the advertisements in the back. They were amazing items, and I was dumbfounded that you could only find them in that publication.

There were the x-ray glasses that allowed you to see through almost anything, with just a few exceptions; you know, just like Superman.

Then there was the amazing invisible skin frog that made it possible to see the inner workings of an amphibian without having to dissect the poor creature.

Or, maybe you checked out the Joe Weider Body Building program guaranteed to put you on the path to a Mr. Universe frame in just six short weeks. It didn’t work, or so I’ve been told.

What still amazes me is how expectant I was for those mail-order treasures to be real. I would save the money, get my mom to write a check, and wait ever so impatiently at the mailbox for weeks until that little package would arrive!

But, now we are all adults and we don’t fall for such deceiving literature, and our skepticism is a mark of our maturity and intelligence.

Good for us…?

Maybe we have lost something. Maybe there is a piece of our childhood that wasn’t so immature. Maybe as adults we are hampered by our loss of… expectancy.

A lack of expectancy is most clearly seen, I believe, in the prayer life of the church.

We offer blanket prayers, trying to cover everything in just a few words. We have formulaic responses that fall from our lips without thought or effort. And, our requests are vague and wishy washy, usually tagged with an “if it be Your will”.

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a request and supplication in the biblical text? A supplication is a passionate, urgent plea!

Don’t forget Jesus’ amazing teaching on prayer from Matthew 7.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

We have an amazingly good Father who wants us to want the right things, and when we do He desires to give us those things.

Let’s make 2015 a year marked by passionate, powerful prayer. Let’s ask God specifically for what we know is on His heart and then live expectantly.

Let’s pray for God to move specifically and boldly.

  • Would you pray that your church would experience revival and that you would reach 10% of your community?
  • Would you pray that your church would double its number of baptisms this year?
  • Would you pray for the opportunity to share your testimony with (insert name here) this week?

Let’s pray some bold, specific prayers and then live in the expectancy that we have a great Father who wants to give us His good things in life!




An article of mine printed in the Baptist Digest Jan/Feb 2015 edition