And How’s that Working Out For You?
I come from a community in which there are thousands of tourists attracted to seeing the Amish. Unfortunately the locals’ opinion of the outsiders is often quite negative. It has gone to the extreme that when natives see certain license plates on cars, they are all prepared to encounter someone who is (in local estimation) quite rude, abrupt, and demanding. In retaliation, sometimes locals give tourists wrong directions on purpose. It is a culture clash but more to the point it is a reflection of a worldview. Worldview is defined as an overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world. Worldview is reflected in our own prejudices, expectations from life, and reactions to circumstances. In the matter of prayer, my worldview influences how I perceive prayer and what I expect from it.
I call this picture the baby seat view of prayer. With this worldview prayer is a way of hedging our bets for a life where God will keep us safe and secure. God will ensure I am warm, comfortable, and I should be able to ride through life without problems because I am safe in God’s arms. After all I am God’s child and don’t we all want to keep our children out of harm’s way. The problem with this view is that we are not teddy bears and bad things happen to good people.
Another worldview of prayer life is the angry man view. With this view God is a tyrant who I had better not cross because he holds all the power. I am powerless to change events, to hope for good resolutions, and I am at the mercy of fate. God is like the Greek gods from mythology who were like humans on super steroids and they got what they wanted, regardless of the hearts they broke and the rules they shattered.
An individual’s worldview determines how I am going to address God, how I view circumstances of life, and what reasons I give for how all these facts line up. Sometimes a person’s worldview is quite out of align to how God presents Himself in Scripture and then people end up continually disapointed, angry or indifferent to God. That’s why I call today’s blog, “How’s That Working Out For You?”. How is your prayer life playing out?
There are three questions I want you to answer in the next couple of days and for some reason they all relate to coffee even though I don’t drink coffee (go figure):
- As something bad happens in your life (and it could be quite small, as in your coffee spilled all over your car), where did God fit into that picture and what did He look like?
- When something pleasant happens (the coffee you ordered was fantastic), how did God fit into that picture and what were his motives?
- When you don’t get something you thought you deserved (as in the coffee you ordered was the wrong blend), why did you think you deserved the correct flavor? Why did God allow your expectations not to be met.
Something to think about:
The Message (MSG)
9-12 Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.
How is Paul’s prayer for you going to affect your day and how will your life be enriched with this worldview?