There was a girl who used to wrestle with this question time and time again. Something would come up in her life; a doubt, a failure, a hope that wasn’t met. She earnestly desired to bring her struggles to God, but whenever she prayed, she was so focused on her own problems and prayer seemed like a drag.
Was she praying right? How was she supposed to pray?
Then, from one place or another, she heard this piece of advice:
Start with praise
That girl was me. And when I followed through with this piece of advice, I found that focusing on God put my problems into perspective, and it was refreshing. All of a sudden, they didn’t seem so huge.
These words from the Bible came alive:
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
– 2 Corinthians 4:17
Paul, the writer, doesn’t say this because his troubles were small in the world’s eyes. He said this because he was looking at his problems with an eternal perspective. Compared to the eternal glory that God promises to His children, any problem we can encounter seems light and momentary.
This is not to belittle any of your problems; it’s to look at how they fit into a bigger picture.
How do we get this eternal perspective?
The very next verse goes on to say:
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
– 2 Corinthians 4:18
We get the true, eternal perspective by fixing our eyes on what is unseen. It’s what you can’t see that really matters. This is what you do when you starting your prayers by focusing on who God is. Acknowledge Him and praise Him.
It won’t necessarily take your problem away, but it will give you joy in the middle of your problem.
Try it yourself
How will you apply this today? Or perhaps you’ve already applied this in the past. How did you feel? Let’s chat about it.