Philemon 1:22 (amp). “At the same time prepare a guest room for me [in expectation of a visit], for I hope that through your prayers I will be [granted the gracious privilege of] coming to you [at Colossae] “
There are a few things in my life that I have been praying to happen for a long time. One of the big ones for me is that my family and I will all attend church together and be following Jesus. It can get hard during the waiting time, more so when it is about someone/something that is dear to us. When I first started praying for them I had zeal and spoke with confidence that what I was praying for would happen. When I had conversations with others I talked with no doubt about my prayers being answered. But some where along the line, (the waiting line) my words began to change. I started to express fear about what might happen if my prayers were not answered. My mind would run down a deep rabbit hole of “what if’s?” I started to imagine all sorts of calamities. Fear would rise up in me. What had changed from when I first started praying? In my physical world nothing had actually changed. My family were and are still the great people who, I love dearly. There have been no tragic events and God’s power to reach them has not changed. I changed, I began somewhere deep in my mind to let a small seed of doubt to enter. That tiny seed, opened up the door of fear, and my imagination, to all sorts of bad scenarios. What can we do when that happens? When over time we start to let a seed of doubt enter or thoughts and change our actions or words?
When Paul wrote the above scripture/letter to Philemon he was in the Caesarea Maritima prison. Yet we see here that Paul was remaining hopeful and encouraging Philemon, to prepare in expectation of God answering Philemon’s prayers for Paul to visit. When we pray what are we doing in expectation of those prayers being answered? If we think of when the doctor tells us that we are pregnant. Most of us begin to prepare for the birth, we do all sorts of things to get ready. We prepare by making room for this child to come in our homes, decorating rooms, in our finances, we purchase items that we will need and we see dr’s to check on how things are progressing. During the 9 months of waiting when people ask about or comment about us being pregnant, we don’t deny that we are pregnant and speak negatively about the unborn child. We do the prep work waiting for the child to come. So what prep work are you doing while waiting for the answer to prayer? What are the things that will change when that prayer is answered in your life. Start making plans for when that happens, use your imagination to visualize the event of answered prayers. (Often when the church is not overflowing with people I put my purse on the seat next to me. I imagine that my purse is my family members sitting beside me. I visualize them worshiping with me. During my drive home I often think of conversations we will have about how God spoke to us through the sermon.) Keep going to the Great physician to check and ask to see what is going on in the spiritual realms to bring forth the answers to your prayer. (like how you go the dr to see how your unborn child is doing.)
Move away from doubt and move into expectation in both your actions and your words. Trust God to hear and answer your prayers.