Sometimes I look at a bad situation and I start praying.
And that is the right response.
A broken bank balance, a defiant child, a crying heart once again failing to change herself. Prayer is always the right response.
But what sort of prayer?
A deep desperate helpless cry,
a submitted, authoritative, listening prayer?
What if I also allowed the situation to show me a larger perspective. What if God had already responded and set His will forward and the opposite I see is just a temporary spiritual kick back? What if the intensity is a sign that breakthrough, not devastation is near?
All I know is that before we receive a financial gift that is going to change our hopeless bank balance, we regularly have a financial attack. A broken water tank meaning jug showers out of pots and pans has become this week’s norm –too normal that we complain not, struggling forward not to cope with another thing wrong, but to carry a pan full without overflowing the brim.
All I know is that before my child steps forward in leaps and bounds in character, I often spend days wondering if he will ever listen to me, if it is too late, if I had only stepped down harder, if he will forever write on the walls, already condemning him in my mind to be a graffiti artist, and he has not yet reached 6?
All I know is my own struggle with sin – this week striving to respect my husband in all I say, and realizing instead all the complaints that flow far too quickly off my tongue – do I have faith that the Holy Spirit will empower my words and I too will change?
And then I remember that the struggle points to heaven’s momentum to bring change – it is precisely because I am about to be empowered to speak and encourage my husband that I am struggling now to do so – if I am just willing to submit to God and accept my powerlessness to change me.
And it is precisely because my prayer for depth of character and sincerity has been answered
that my child is still sticking in his heels, until we sit, heads bowed on his bed, him asking the Holy Spirit to change him and give him self-control, and all of a sudden his impulse to label everything directly turns into everything being labeled by post-it notes instead.
And it is precisely because we know there is an enabling gift flying through the imaginary bank transfer lines from their bank to ours that I just smile and tell Satan to get behind me when the water tank fails – does he think a few financial attacks are going to stop us trusting that God will send enough to cover it and to pay for the things he has destined the money for?
You see, I am reminded, that it is all about perspective.
And perspective shifts the way we pray
Thank you for your provision for us daily, thank you for hot water, and stoves for heating water and for jugs, and thank you for the gifts you are sending to provide for all our needs.
Thank you for my child and his heart, already won by you, and that you are showing him how to humbly come to you for help. Help him always to know he can’t but you can. Help him to hear your voice louder than the devil’s temptations.
Thank you for your transforming enabling Spirit on my words. Thank you that I am going to be known as an encourager and defender of my husband, not a loose tongued wife. Thank you that you want to use me to show others how you enable us to be more like you in our marriage – oh that I would never think it was in my own strength, but recognize it is only through you that I am sanctified and enabled.
It is all about heaven’s perspective. Where do you need to know it? You know He is waiting to tell you, don’t you? Just draw close and listen to that whisper.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
– 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18