Praying with Vision
Imagine praying for a serious problem. You’re acutely aware of the sources of the problem, the people involved and their deficiencies in dealing with it, the ineffective approaches taken so far, and the dysfunctional patterns that have been prevailing. So with all these things in mind, you pray. Desperately.
Now imagine praying for the same problem while holding a different vision in your mind. You mentally put aside all deficiencies and dysfunction and simply envision how the situation should look, how it would look if it were a true reflection of God’s kingdom. You don’t focus on the problem. You focus on the outcome. You “see” God’s answer, and it’s beautiful.
Which of those prayers is more likely to stir up your faith? One approach makes the situation look too big for God to handle. It cultivates anxiety, discouragement, and even despair. The other approach honors God’s power to transform any situation into something beautiful, joyful, and true. It cultivates expectancy and faith. It’s filled with hope.
Which vision you hold in your mind when you pray is significant. It matters a lot. When you pray for someone ruining his life, don’t focus on his mistakes. Develop a picture of what he will look like when restored, and then pray that picture. If you’re praying for someone who’s depressed, envision her shining with God’s radiance and pray that vision. If you’re praying for a broken system—family, government, work—imagine its glory when fully repaired. Positive praying is far more powerful than negative praying because God honors faith. A hopeful vision cultivates it.
Don’t look at the problem when you pray. Look at the solution. If you can draw the lines in your heart and mind, God will fill them in with the colors of his kingdom. It may take time, possibly even years. But you will eventually see a beautiful answer.
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