They say they’re no ‘foxhole atheists’. When the chips are down-I mean really down, most people will cry out to God. Prayer in those situations is pretty straight-up. “Get me out of here” or “Please send help before it’s too late” or “I’ve GOT to make this huge decision. . . please God, if you’re out there, tell me what to do!”
‘Jesus-followers’ pray the same way in a crisis. But in calmer times, we’re seeking God’s guidance on all kinds of things . . . spending decisions, disciplining our kids (or not), and balancing the demands of work, home, church, friends and family. We come to the Lord with things that making us anxious or worried, like when someone’s sick.
Some ‘pray-ers’ come with high expectations of God. They expect God to act . . . to make things happen, change the outcome. Or if it’s a decision, they expect Him to tell them what to do. Other ‘pray-ers’ come more to ‘vent’ their issues with God but expect little of Him other than a loving, listening ear.
We think we’d like God to tell us what He wants us to do, although I’m not sure we really would. We’d spend a bunch of cycles trying to know for sure it was God doing the telling. Plus, it would take a lot of the fun and faith out of life.
Perhaps God’s most frequent way of helping is to give us perspective. I quote my friend John:
“God might not always answer our prayer with a plan but He will give us perspective.”
If we’ll pause and ask “Lord, what would you have me know about this situation?”, we might get a clearer picture of what’s actually going on, what different people are thinking and feeling, and maybe even the wise thing to do. When we see as God sees, we’re more likely to respond as God would have us respond.
One of my old quotes says “No man can gain perspective from the midst of his circumstances.” We have to ‘pan the camera back’ and look at the big picture. We have to step out of the action . . . out of the role we’re playing and look at the facts and the feelings. We consider every person in the drama-who are they and what they want. We must visualize the potential consequences of different alternatives and visualize the different ways things could turn out down the road. God will help us ‘see’ these things if we’ll pause and invite Him into our contemplation.
We always gain confidence when we go back to Jesus and listen to what He said. He told us that, through Him, we’re adopted into His family and have a Perfect Heavenly Father. When I pray about things, I think “What would my Perfect Heavenly Father likely tell me about this?” “What would His perspective be?” “How would He have me act/react?” “Which choice will reflect well on Him . . . on the character and reputation of me and our family?”
Those kinds of questions lead to answers. And perspective. And courage. And confidence.
Question: Will you pray for God’s perspective on the issues you face? If you’ve got a story about how ‘seeing as God sees’ led you to ‘do as God does’, tell us here.