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ELEVATING EXPECTANCY
Capt. Ben Marler

Let’s be absolutely honest, OK? Do you feel like your prayers are rarely answered? Do you feel like your prayer life resembles a broken record? I believe most Christians would reluctantly say, “Yes” to these two questions. Well, today is your day and now you can begin to enjoy a deeper fellowship with your Heavenly Father and where you can be much more expectant! Won’t that be great?

 
The answer is in John 15 where the Lord tells us, “If you live in Me [abide virtually united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine.“ [Amplified Bible] Can it be much more clear to us than these simple words from Jesus Himself?
 
All Christians are not the same even though we should be. Denominations have accomplished their purpose of dividing us into camps. God must be very upset over this and we will know for sure when we stand before Him one day. The good thing to remember is that those of us who are born again of the Spirit, regardless of denomination, will be there for reward and not for punishment. Jesus has already born our punishment on the Cross, bless Him.
 
It will be revealed how our daily service for God’s Kingdom benefited His eternal purposes. We should quickly realize that we are here to serve God and represent Him to the lost so that they too can come into an intimate relationship with Him. God loves all His kids and that is what we have become regardless of our age. And, as His very own we have special privileges mostly unknown to us.
 
Prayer is really a two way street. I need to read this again as I am most guilty of many times sounding off to the Lord and not giving Him a chance to answer. He has spoken to me many times over the last 36 years and I remember the words as if He had just spoken them.
 
The first time I heard Him was before I come to know Jesus personally. I had planned a hunting trip to Texas and was on my knees at my bed giving God some instructions as to what I wanted Him to do. I heard Him say, “DON’T GO” very loudly three times as I politely argued with Him why I just had to go. I went and experienced a horrible trip which would take a long time to outline here. As I looked back upon it later I could see that He loved me so much He was trying to save me from an expensive and bad experience. From that time on I listened carefully when asking His guidance on trips.
 
The purpose of this message is to get you to see that God has rules for us to follow. He isn’t a “Heavenly Santa” but an extremely Good Father to us. He knows that as we live in His Son Jesus and allow the Word of God to be our daily food we won’t be asking for things that are contrary to His perfect will. In other words if we come to understand what God wants and ask for that, it will be a slam dunk!
 
For instance, God has allowed me to pray for women who were unable to become pregnant. The prayer I use is the one He gave me to pray for my first grandchild, Amber. It is very simple and should make the point of this message. I visited our church building in the wee hours every morning for a time of praise and worship before going to our pier to operate our deep sea fishing business.
 
As I entered, the day following I learned that Beth was pregnant”, I said, “Father, you have said that I can have anything that I can believe for, therefore I am asking for a perfect baby, inside and outside; a baby born with a very bright mind; a baby already in love with Jesus and a baby that will cause others to love Him as it grows up.“
 
The second morning I used the same words but changed them into praise. Like, “Thank you father for our perfect baby, inside and outside. Thank you Father for our baby who already has a very bright mind. Thank you Father that our baby that already loves Jesus. And, thank you father our baby will bring many to know and love Him.” I did this until Amber was born. God doesn’t care for repetitious prayer but when it is in the form of praise it is a different matter. Praise is based upon the fact that He is faithful and we know it!
 
For many years following Amber’s birth I was able to pray for couples and later to enjoy seeing a picture of their child or children which God had given them. I had asked them to ask God one time and then to praise Him daily until they received their child just as He had taught me.
 
Now you hold the key to elevating your own expectations of God answering your prayer as He doesn’t change. Trust me, we can’t talk Him into anything that isn’t good for us and I know this first hand as I’ve tried real hard. He has been very faithful to not answer some prayers that would have been bad for me. However, He has answered so many that my favorite name for Him is Faithful. His love is new every morning and we who know Him intimately are refreshed daily just by spending some time in the Bible feeding upon His awesome promises.
 
The greatest gift we have is our salvation testimony. We can share it and it allows anyone to know that God is no respecter of persons. He loves us all and will accept us as we come repentant [wanting to turn around] and willing to accept Jesus Christ as the Lord of our lives. When we do, He instantly becomes our Savior too! Glory Hallelujah!
 
Start asking Him to allow you to do the works He has planned for you [Ephesians 2:10] and you will have many other powerful testimonies to go with it.