Prayerful Expectation

eyes open

2 Samuel 17:14 Since the LORD had decreed that Ahithophel’s good advice be undermined in order to bring about Absalom’s ruin, Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The advice of Hushai the Archite is better than Ahithophel’s advice.”

As a child, I had pretty high expectations at Christmas. I knew my parents loved me and I knew they loved to gift me. So, like many kids, on the big morning at the crack of dawn (or before) I would sneak into the living room and do the obvious; look under the tree. Can you imagine doing anything else? What strange kid would ask his parents for that special bike, that semi-automatic Nerf gun or some other novel item and then awake on Christmas morning only to hang out in his bedroom and play with his old Lego set? Never happens. Every kid does the same thing. First thing, he looks under the tree.

In 2 Samuel 15, although it wasn’t exactly like Christmas, God certainly gave David want he wanted.  In verse 31, Scripture says David pleaded with the Lord, “Please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness!” Ahithophel was David’s top advisor and had betrayed David, defecting to Absalom.  And God heard his plea and as it reads in 2 Sam 17:14, He “decreed” it so.

Dad delivered exactly what David wanted.

It reminds me of the words of Christ concerning God’s love for us, “What father among you, if his son asks for an fish, will give him a snake? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?”  So what would make us think that God doesn’t want to answer our prayers, bless us and gift us? Many of us support this common sense, but few are actually “looking under the tree” after they ask. We ask for help, healing, intervention, a miracle, or a gift and then often move on through our day to day trials without keeping our eyes open for that which we’ve pleaded.

It’s like that kid on Christmas morning who sits in his room instead of looking under the tree. It’s as if we pray for help and then close our eyes to the possibility of His supernatural intervention.

David prayed with his eyes open.

Immediately after he pleaded with the Lord to confuse the counsel of Ahithophel, David watched with expectation for his Father to deliver the request. In the next verse, 1 Sam 15:32, David meets Hushai the Archite and considers that he might be the answer to the prayer. So David sends him to Absalom to counter the advisement of Ahithophel.

It was the turning point for David and his men. The people and Absalom listened to Hushai’s advice rather than Ahithophel’s just like David had pleaded and God had decreed. I believe Hushai could have given any advice that day and no matter how militarily unsound it may have been, they would have listened to him because God had decreed it.

But Hushai did need to be there.

Had David prayed on the Mt. of Olives that day, but then kept his eyes closed, he would have missed the gift. He would have considered Hushai a mere patriot sympathetic to his plight and invited him along on the journey of defeat. But David prayed and kept his eyes open, seeing Hushai as the supernatural answer to his prayer.

We should do the same. How many times have I prayed for something and then passed right by the very answer because my eyes were closed to expectation of His real intervention?! Today, when I pray for my family, for my ministry, for health, for finances, I’m going to model David and keep my eyes open for the gift.

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