Many a human relationship has been challenged due to unstated or unrealistic expectations. You have them. I have them. Sometimes we have expectations and we don’t even recognize it. Unmet expectations usually result in a little (or a lot of) relational stress.
What about when God doesn’t meet our expectations? If we are honest with ourselves and God, we would admit that things happen in life that were certainly not what we were expecting. What will today really bring? We don’t actually know but we can lay our requests before Him and leave them there for Him to address.
Give ear to my words, O LORD,
consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:1-3
Lord, give us the grace to accept Your will in our lives. Continually open our eyes to Your perspective and to Your plan but, above all, increase our faith and trust in You. Amen.
The are so many things to be frustrated about–the economy, crime, gas prices, family relationships, the health care bill. The list could go on and on. Do you have something that has been really bugging you?
What do you do when you are frustrated?
- Seek answers?
- Work harder?
- Go for a run?
- Name calling?
- Count to 10?
- Speak first and think later?
- Pound a pillow?
- Punch a wall?
- Have a drink?
- Cry out to God?
Sometimes our responses are on auto-pilot; we don’t even think, we just respond. Consider how you respond when you are defeated, discouraged, or disappointed. Ask God to show you ways that are productive and not destructive.
Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. Psalm 55:17 NIV
If you find yourself in some bad habits as you respond to frustration, ask God to help you change your behavior. Here’s a sobering thought: The people in your life take note of how you respond to disappointment and frustration.
God has blessed me with so many friendships! I am always amazed at this. At each place and station in my life, He has placed such fun and Spirit-led and thoughtful and loving people in my path! I thank God for my friends!
There are so many offshoots with a topic as broad as friendship. As you ponder this idea, possibly you know someone who is surrounding themselves with dangerous friends and/or heading down a compromising road. Maybe you are concerned about a family that is moving away and that God would provide them with wonderful friendships in their new town or the loss you will experience when they move. If you have children you may want to pray for them to be good and Godly friends and to be able to lovingly address conflicts with their friends. Maybe you have been praying for a friendship that needs to be restored. Is there someone in your life God has been nudging you to befriend?
Dig into God’s Word and let God use the Scripture to tune your perspective and your heart to His perspective and heart and let Him lead you in prayer. And remember, He wants to be your best friend.
I did not pick out verses related to money but God definitely has a persepctive on money. Make a list of people you love, people in your circle, people God brings to mind when you think about money. You can write the list down or not. That’s up to you.
When I think about money, I think about lots of things. Here are some starting points:
- our own wise decisions
- the decisions our kids make about money
- those who have very little resources
- those facing the threat of foreclosure
- those who have mounting medical bills and must decide between food and medicine
- government spending
Based on where you have been, you have a perspective on money…everyone does…..maybe you have a heart for people in certain money situations because you or someone you love has been through a hard time with money. Maybe some of your friends or family are dealing with job loss, medical bills, or foreclosure. Let God put on your heart the people you need to pray for regarding money. Pray for them…and don’t forget to pray for yourself!
I probably became more aware of this area of prayer during the time my husband Don was on a volunteer fire dept/rescue squad when we lived in Nebraska. When the pager went off or the fire siren was activated, I would try to pray for the entire situation. It is amazing how many people you can pray for when you hear a fire, police, or ambulance siren wailing down the street. You know someone is in trouble so you can pray for the person/family in the middle of the need as well as the safety and wisdom of the responders, any witnesses, emergency personnel at the hospital, etc. You might just settle on one angle and cover that group in prayer.
Using emergency sirens as a trigger has been helpful to me. Now that I live in a bigger city, I find that I have the occasion to use that cue more frequently.
Emergency Siren= Someone is in trouble= Pray
I am always amazed how God uses daily things to get my attention. Lord, increase my awareness!
You have been a student at different points of your life, do you recall what that was like? Do you remember the awkward stages of youth or the peer pressure? Maybe it was hard for you to understand certain concepts. Recall preparing for the ACT, SAT or any other comprehensive exams? Do you have kids in college? Know of someone working on an advanced degree with a spouse and children in the picture?
Maybe you know of people in training for new jobs during these tough economic times. Do you know of people in training for volunteer positions? Training on new equipment? Do you know someone who conducts, coordinates, and plans training sessions? How about our teachers and the pastors in our lives?
Now that list you have a list of people in your mind, pray for them in terms of training and education.
And then ask God to show you where He is training you. He is likely growing you for a yet unknown task. Are you a willing student? Are you willing to learn from the Master and Creator who knows and loves you intimately?
God has provided you with a unique prayer perspective based on your station in life and all of your experiences. God can use all of your adventures (both good and bad) to nurture your heart for prayer. For example, if there is divorce in your family, you have thoughts regarding how it impacts and family, relationships, etc. If you were abused as a child, you likely have a heart for victims of abuse and, due to your circumstances, you have a unique perspective.
There are people God has placed in my life that either need or have requested prayers for a variety of situations, some I relate to well, others I can only imagine the difficulties. I have found that when I just ponder a circumstance, as little as I may know about it, God will bring to mind different angles of the situation that could use prayer.
My mom died after a long battle with cancer. At the moment, I have a prayer perspective for people supporting their parents as they age, navigating all the medical issues, dealing with an estate, being long distance in all of this, trying to keep the siblings connected, being supportive to stressed siblings, etc…..
Think about the things that you have experienced in your life and how God can turn those into a ‘prayer perspective’ for someone in a similar situation. A general prayer is great–I see it as a sketch. But when I think of covering someone in prayer, I think of covering the angles that I see (from my perspective) and it is like coloring in the prayer.