“You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God” (James 4:2).
Practically speaking, we will still struggle most of the time to separate our own understanding from the Lord’s. We rarely live up to our spiritual potential. Our own background and experiences so often color our viewpoint. But the good news is that there is something more available to us. God’s perspective is accessible to us as we depend upon Him through prayer and the Word of God.
Many times we do not understand the times in which we live because we have not asked the Lord what He thinks. Scripture is clear: We do not have because we do not ask. The first step for many of us is to pray a simple prayer:
Lord, please help me to understand the times in which I live. May I not be dependent upon others’ opinions but always seek after Your accurate perspective on what is happening in my world.
–Taken from Prayer and the End of Days (Praying God’s Purposes in Troubled Times) by David Butts.
Praise God, “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1:3). Give thanks for God’s comfort to you and all who truly mourn (Mt. 5:4). Confess any sin he shows you, truly mourning for the pain you have caused. Commit to receiving God’s forgiveness. Ask the Lord to search your heart and thoughts, removing any offensive way and leading you “in the way everlasting” (Ps. 139:23-24).
Pray that the righteousness of Christ will be evidenced to your whole community through your church’s leadership and membership. Ask God to help you keep his kingdom and righteousness your first priority.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend