Mind of the Missionary
“He who belongs to God hears what God says…You do not hear because you do not belong to God.” (John 8.47)
There is a phrase that we often hear used, “Prayer changes things”. What does that mean? Does it mean, prayer changes the circumstances of my life? Does it mean, prayer changes the circumstances of others’ lives? Does it mean, prayer changes how I see God? Does it mean, prayer changes how God sees me? It can be very confusing. Listen to these prayers. Don’t they sound like some of our prayers?
“Lord, I really want to know your will. Please stop me if I am wrong and bless me if I am right.”
“Lord, this is what I am going to do. Please close the door if this is not what you want me to do.”
Both prayers are sincere. Both prayers are calling upon God to give guidance. However, notice that both prayers are selfish. The prayers are dotted with several “I” statements. It sort of reminds me of the Pharisee in the temple, “I thank you that I am not like,…I fast twice a week,…” (Luke 18.11 – 12) In other words, the perspective needs to be changed.
Prayer does change things when our perspective becomes God’s perspective. Throughout the Scriptures, we see Him changing the perspective of His servants. Moses was convinced that he could not speak for God nor lead the Hebrews out of Egypt. The same is true concerning the circumstances of our lives. Job could have blamed God for the very unfair situation in which he found himself, but Job knew that his circumstances were not due to a sinful lifestyle. Job trusted God to be the God that he knew before the circumstances of his life changed. As Job stated so clearly, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you”. (Job 42.5)
How does our perspective become God’s perspective? Henry Blackaby expressed it this way,
- “I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter.”
- “I do not leave the result to a feeling or simple impression.”
- “I seek the will of the Spirit of God through or in connection with the Word of God.”
- ”If I have trouble hearing God speak, I am in trouble at the very heart of my Christian experience.”
- ”Knowing God’s voice comes from an intimate love relationship with God.”
- ”The moment God speaks to me is the very moment God wants me to respond to him.”
Keep in mind this is not a formula, but these are principles which change our prayer perspective to God’s. May we as Pickens Baptist Association always seek to pray from God’s perspective.
Until next month,