What’s the Expiration Date of a Prayer?

IMG_4945Slumped on the ground among my Irises, I wanted to quit.

I’d spent almost three hours trying to fix my drip-line sprinklers while a platoon of blood-thirsty mosquitoes dive-bombed my forearms.

On the brink of surrender, a Praying Mantis landed nearby.

His prayer-like posture and calm repose made me realize how easily I’m defeated in the dirt and sweat of life.

Reminded me that prayer is vital, it’s not a last resort.

“Be earnest and unwearied and steadfast in your prayer [life], being [both] alert and intent in [your praying] with thanksgiving. (Colossians 4: 2)

Earnest, unwearied, steadfast, alert, intent, thankful…hardly describes my prayer life these days.

More like good intentions, and microwave prayers that make me grumble if I don’t see immediate results.

Knowing God’s Word regarding prayer, impacts how I pray.

But knowing ain’t the same as PRAYING……….

I can be a Prayer Warrior or a Prayer Wimp.

A warrior is a brave, experienced fighter.

A wimp is a weak, timid coward.

Why would I choose the latter?

Knowing I can “come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Hebrews 14:6)

 If there’s a problem, maybe it’s because

  • My prayers have an expiration date.

        I’ve been praying for this situation for two months. It’s impossible. Nothing’s going to change. I give up.

  •         I make excuses why I don’t pray.

       I promised that person I’d pray for them, but I forgot. Besides, I don’t know what to pray. God knows their needs better than I do.

  •          I dodge prayers so I don’t have to obey.

        I should pray for _Fill in the blank_ but I’m afraid God will say, “NO!”

       I’d pray but I’m afraid God will tell me to forgive that person.

  •     I neglect specific prayers to avoid disappointment.

        I’d rather pray Thy Will Be Done and accept what comes than ask for specific…test results, needs, healing, loved one’s salvation…because if God doesn’t come through, my faith might flounder.

But God is faithful. Last week, He used a Praying Mantis to get my attention, and answered a prayer through an unlikely person when I least expected it.

That’s how I KNOW that God sees me and loves me.

Just like Hagar who “gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” (Genesis 16:13).

Photo by: Jennifer Wrede

Author: Karen Foster

I'd like to say I've changed, but after decades of living, I still have the same four passions. My relationship with Jesus, spending time with family, attending live theater, and writing devotions & first-person stories about a loving, faithful God who reveals Himself in our every day circumstances.

9 thoughts on “What’s the Expiration Date of a Prayer?”

  1. I liked the concept you highlighted of one of the problems with our prayers is that they have an “expiration date.” We give up way too easily, especially considering the great thing God has planned may be just around the corner. That helps me hang in there and stay motivated when I running on empty.

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    1. I believe that thought came to me last week because I had given up on one particular prayer that I’d been praying for years. God convicted me to keep praying…thus I realized I can’t put an expiration date on a prayer. If there’s a need, I NEED to keep praying. Thanks for the feedback. 🙂 I know you’ve seen some awesome answers to prayer.

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    1. Yes, when I was young I thought God would only speak to me in a church, or through His word. Then I learned God speaks to me through the details of my day. I just have to be listening. 🙂

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  2. Oh, how many times am I guilty of the “Prayer Wimp”! Sitting in church on Sundays, its easy to claim the powerful tag of “Prayer Warrior”. But when those prayers aren’t answered according to my timetable, or according to how I think, I go from warrior to wimp…Thanks for the reminder of what God desires from me! Now I’m ready to hit that spiritual battlefield 🙂

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    1. Interesting that you would use the word timetable. I wrote that word in the rough draft of my blog because I do expect God to abide in my timetable and agenda, instead of me abiding in Him as His purposes. Glad you are motivated…I am right there beside you on the battlefield.

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