“If God had granted all the silly prayers I’ve made in my life, where would I be now?”- C. S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm
Mark Batterson begins Chapter 4 (“The Art of Reframing”) of In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day with his assertion that if we honestly assessed our prayer lives, we’d be amazed at the percentage of those prayer focusing on problem reduction. If our problems truly are opportunities in disguise, prayers focused on problem reduction are misdirected or misguided.
For example, we pray to be comforted instead of praying to develop character. We plead for an easy way out rather than for strength to persevere. We hope to avoid pain, with the result that there is no gain. If God answered our misdirected prayers, His plans and purposes for our lives would be short-circuited. Pastor Batterson suggests a radically different approach:
“Maybe we should stop asking God to get us out of difficult circumstances and start asking Him what He wants us to get out of those difficult circumstances.”
The author reminds us that we only see a very narrow slice of reality. We don’t see the big picture God sees. Since our perspective is so limited, we should not assume that what we pray for is always what is best for us. Pastor Batterson concludes:
“Perhaps prayer is less about changing our circumstances than it is about changing our perspective.”
Today’s question: As you reflect on the current state of your healing, transformational journey, what prayers were misguided or misdirected?
Tomorrow’s blog: “Zoom in or zoom out?”