When severe drought hit a small farming community in the Midwest, a local church called a prayer meeting and everybody showed up. Crisis has a way of getting our attention! As the pastor stood before his packed church he noticed an 11-year-old girl sitting in the front row, beaming with excitement. Lying next to her was her bright red umbrella poised for use. The beauty and innocence of this sight made him smile as he compared the faith of this child with that of the rest of the people in the room. You see, the rest of them had just come to pray for rain; she had come to see God answer! One of the dangers of praying, is praying, yet not really expecting anything: 'Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that...he rewards those who earnestly seek him' (Hebrews 11:6 NIV).
You say, 'So how do I get more faith?' By filling your mind with the Scriptures! 'Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God' (Romans 10:17). When you immerse yourself in God's Word an amazing thing happens; faith takes root and begins to grow. And faith is what makes your praying effective. But what if your prayer lines up with God's Word, yet the answer is delayed? Keep praying and believing! 'Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised' (Hebrews 10:35-36 NIV). So when you pray for rain, bring your 'red umbrella!'