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Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.

Look up. Look in. Look out.

Hello Friends,

Decision making is difficult. That is not a profound statement, but it’s true.  Even day-to-day, non-life-affecting decisions can be made more difficult than they should be.

Have you ever spent more time scrolling Netflix than it would take to watch an actual show?  Or have you spent far too much time choosing the album to listen to on a 5 minute car ride? (I can feel my wife mocking me about this one already).

Often, when the choices we make are not edited down for us, we get paralyzed by the abundance of options.

I have found that we can experience that same paralysis in prayer.  Have you?  Where do I start?  Do I pray for the same things every day?  Do I change it up?  What if I forget something?

Hopefully I am not the only one who still struggles with this.

Let me submit one simple pattern of prayer to you that has helped me often over the years.

The pattern is this: Look up.  Look in.  Look out.

 

“Looking up” is simply taking a few moments to reflect on and thank God for who He is.  Prayers that are not anchored in the character of God often become mere wishful thinking.  But praying in conjunction with God’s character is powerful.

 

“Look in.”  This is the process of identifying what your needs and feelings are in that moment and bringing them to God.  What are you excited about?  Bring it to God.  What are you anxious about?  Bring it to God.  What are you angry or feel guilty about?  He wants that too.  God wants to meet us in that place where our needs and our emotions intersect.  THAT is where He wants to display His presence.  So take inventory of your emotions in those times of prayer.  What you are feeling is connected to a need.  And that need can and should be brought to God.

 

And finally, “Look Out.”  Who do you anticipate talking to today?  Pray for them before you meet with them.  Who is taking up valuable brain space in your thoughts today?  Instead of merely letting your thoughts circle around that person and their circumstances, turn those thoughts into prayer. Trust me, that is far my affective than just your good positive thoughts (or your frustrated, annoyed thoughts) towards them.

 

Just like you can’t worry your way to peace, you can’t think your way into an active prayer life.  You must do something with those thoughts that brings them to the feet of Jesus.

So this weekend, find 15 minutes and put this into practice.  It could be first thing in the morning, or the last thing you do at night.  It could be that you hand your 6 year old their Kindle and say “I’ll be back in a couple minutes” In any case, God is waiting for you and anticipating that time He can spend with you.

 

Blessings.

Pastor Cris Buck