How do we pray expectantly without the expectation?

Most of us know that God is not Santa Claus. Yet, most of us, if honest, would admit to praying in a bartering, begging, give-me-what-I-want-oh-pretty-please kinda way from time to time (or all the time!)

Only God in his infinite time can determine the future. Does this mean we go through life with no hopeful expectancy, ignoring our hearts? Do we just sit back and exclaim, “well, I am not in control so I’ll be over here in the corner until you decide to make me useful.” Are we not to go forward in faith that God can accomplish HUGE things with HUGE proportions? He can heal the sick and bind the broken. There are miracles abound all day everyday around the world. To move forward without knowing the outcome is the very essence of faith.

But, see, here is where I get tripped up. My expectations. Lately, I say, “Ok God, I’m praying for big things this Easter. We, at EVERGREEN, are going to reach and teach more people for Jesus than we EVER have! Lives will be changed and hearts will be healed and everyone that I invited will come and every current Evergreener will bring people who not only attend our Easter Celebration, but drop whatever their life was before and take up a calling to follow Jesus no matter what!” The problem is, I have now presumed to know the truth without truly knowing the outcome (only God knows outcomes,) so when the outcome is different than what my lil ‘ol head has fantasized, I get discouraged & doubtful and this is a slippery slope down a rabbit hole I’d rather not venture in. Anyone catch what I’m throwing?

Here are some principles I found that explain how to face a future that is unknown.

Planning without Praying is Presumption. We need to set goals according to God’s direction, therefore we need to start by praying, “God, what do YOU want me to do?”

“We may make our plans, but God has the last word.” Proverbs 16:1

Live One Day at a Time. To be mindful of God and organized allows me to do things today that help propel me forward, much of it “failing forward”.

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:34

Don’t Procrastinate. We will never make a difference if we just complain about the state of the world but do nothing to contribute change.

“Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave.” Proverbs 12:24

What principles do you follow to face an unknown future expectantly hopeful?

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