There is someone in my extended family for whom I have prayed regularly for years. She is a Christ-follower…but seems not to be concerned about how others perceive her attitudes and behavior.
Realizing that it was not my place to correct or direct her, I prayed specifically about certain aspects of her character that I thought surely the Lord would want to work on to improve her image as a Christian. Knowing that God knows more about her and can speak to her in ways that I cannot, I began to pray, “Lord, help her to see herself as you see her.”
I felt satisfied that I had hit upon the best approach to God on her behalf…until this morning during my prayer time. I prayed as usual, “Lord, help her to see herself as you see her,” and then words came out of my mouth that I had never intended to pray—“and help me to see her as you see her.” I literally jumped and almost said, “No, Lord, I meant to say…” But I stopped in awe of what had just happened…and conviction flooded my heart. The Holy Spirit had led me to pray in the way that I should have been praying all along.
God doesn’t need me to point out what’s wrong in the life of his children; Satan is already the champion accuser. Rather than focusing on the negative, I am beginning to look for things that God sees in this woman as praiseworthy, and then thank him for them, trusting him to continue to work in her life. God needs me to see her as he sees her—his child under construction…just like me.
Donna Pharr Sparks refers to herself as “an expired English teacher,” because after becoming a stay-at-home mom ten years into her career, she allowed her certificate to expire. She still loves using her writing skills and has been published in several magazines, including Family Circle and Woman’s Day. A native of Chattanooga, Donna lives with her husband, Ray, in Murfreesboro, TN. She enjoys working with children at her church and cherishes fun times with three of her four grandchildren. She has to settle for Skyping with the fourth one, who lives in Germany.