Shifting Perspective

I've been praying for certain things all my life; change this circumstance, Lord, this person, change me, Lord. I pray the same things over and over, and mostly, nothing changes. It puzzles me.

However, this morning, I read in Jesus Calling that God suggests we stop asking Him to do what we want, and instead look for what He's already doing - and align ourselves with that.  Hmmm.

I thought about that a long time. It took me a while to find things He's doing in the circumstances I'm praying about - because as I just wrote, I really don't see Him at work.  At least, He's not producing the results I want to see.  So, what is He doing, if he's not doing what I'd like Him to do?

What I realized after a while is that my prayers are pretty much about me.  What would make my life easier, my stress lower, my life less aggravating. I do want good things for my loved ones, so my prayers are about wanting peace for people in my life as well.  I believe God wants that for all of us.

But, I mainly just want relief from my own worries and fears. If people would just trust God and live accordingly, I'd have more peace in my own life.  If God would just grab hold of people, and shake 'em up, I'd be happy, because they would see how much they are loved and how much He has planned for them.  And they would want that for themselves. And life would be good.

For some reason, God doesn't seem to operate that way.  He has his own way of doing things, which seems pretty slow to me, because I'm an impatient human. I wonder where He is when people I love are making poor choices. What is He doing in that situation?  I believe God is always pursuing us, so, even in disappointing circumstances, I believe He is present - doing something.

But, only God knows what.

So after today's reading in Jesus Calling, I'm going to start looking for what the Master is doing in the seemingly-nothing-is-happening messes I pray about. I'm determined to find something he's tweaking, even if it's "well, so-and-so didn't get hit by a bus today." I do believe He's always orchestrating events, even though He doesn't share what He's up to with me.

I'm also going to try to be more aware of things He's doing that have nothing to do with my prayers.  I want to see Him work in any capacity, because He puts on the best show.  When I've experienced a "God-thing," my heart is warmed, I grin from ear to ear, and my faith expands.  It reminds me that we have an active God who cares about us.

I cling to that golden promise like this friend is hugging our daughter-in-law. 


Barbara In Caneyhead said...

Exactly what Henry Blackaby said in Experience God. We draw close to Him, listen for him and watch to see where he may be working. When we see it, that is our invitation to join Him there and work with Him.

But it is totally human to grow impatient, especially when you are praying for someone's salvation, hoping they can find the joy and purpose in life.

Rita said...

I had to go google this quote. I think about it and it makes me careful what I ask for--LOL!
Hugh B. Brown wrote:
“We ask for strength and God gives us difficulties, which makes us strong.
We pray for wisdom and God sends us problems, the solution of which develops wisdom.
We plead for prosperity and God gives us brain and brawn to work.
We plead for courage and God gives us dangers to overcome.
We ask for favors and God gives us opportunities.
This is the answer.”

I think when I focus on gratitude and what blessings I have in my life vs. what I don't have or how I wish things could be different my soul is at greater peace. I think love is about giving and not wanting. The more you do it the easier it gets. And It lifts and fills your soul so that you can overflow love to everyone around you. But then, I'm an old flower child. ;)

Joyce said...

This was so good. I've been praying about a particular situation for a long time and I struggle to see it made better. It's especially hard when what you are praying for feels like a good thing, an unselfish request. I tend to think, well why wouldn't God want to give a big yes to that? I know He hears, and I know He acts, but in His timing and in accordance with His plan. I too am trying to focus on gratitude in my quiet time just now, and it definitely helps shift one's perspective. Thanks for sharing.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I'll be thinking about this for a while. I try to make my prayers always about others and then squeeze one little thing in there I want. Some days it's difficult to understand the tests coming my way but that is what faith means. Faith and trust.

Brenda said...

Please know how much this has spoke to me. I needed to hear this...today. God's timing is perfect. Change me Lord!

Brenda said...

btw, Jesus Calling was a gift someone brought to my mom before she passed. My brother would read it to her. He cherishes the book for that reason.