I was just about to pack up to leave Starbucks. I had been writing. Anthony Skinners song, Wide Open, was playing through my headphones. “Lord we come to you, with hearts wide open…” Anthony’s voice is golden.
Hey Jason!” A friend was walking in the door.
“How are you?” I asked as I pulled the phones away from my ears.
“I’m good,” she said, as she made her way to where I was standing. She is one of my coffee shop friends; a young, hipster, always-encouraged believer.
But she wasn’t good. I could see it in every line on her face and every shift of her shoulders.
“Really?” I asked, the question clear.
“No, I guess not” Her distress slipped past her attempt at a smile. She began to share. She was facing some serious life challenges, sickness in her family, a financial hardship, and a relationship question. It was altogether overwhelming.
Anthony’s song was running through my spirit, “Lord we come to you, with hearts wide open…”
“Can I pray for you?” I asked.
“Please.” She said.
I took a breath and was about to pray for all the needs she had just brought to my attention when God interrupted me. Speaking to my heart in an arresting way He asked, “What are you doing?”
I was a little confused. Gods question seemed at odds with, well, what He taught and did in the bible.
While my hipster friend stood with her eyes closed waiting for me to pray, I answered God in my heart. “I am praying for her needs, You know, the way You taught, Thy Kingdom come."
God responded immediately, “Your relationship with others can’t be determined by their needs.”
“That’s profound” I thought. God continued. “Tell her how I see her.”
I began to laugh. “That’s a great idea God!” I thought excitedly.
So, while she stood waiting, I asked our Father how He saw her. Then I began to declare out loud what He spoke to my heart. As I began to speak her expression became confused. Probably because she had been expecting a prayer that would cover her needs, but instead I was telling her that our Father saw her as pure, and righteous, and all together lovely. While I’m sure it was a nice thing to hear, at first it seemed out place – at odds with her expressed needs.
While my prayer didn’t seem to answer any of the questions she she had just presented to me, it was answering all the RIGHT questions. The right questions are simply the questions God wants to answer.
As I faithfully relayed our Fathers perspective she began to cry. And when I told her how God saw her as faithful and trustworthy with the greater longings of His heart, she began to weep.
I joined her, smiling to tears. There is no greater privilege than revealing to another person how the Father sees them, how He loves them.
After about twenty minutes she was able to talk. Her whole persona was different, she was bright eyed, cheerful, filled with expectation and full of faith. That was when our Father invited us to pray for her needs. I listened as she prayed powerful prayers, the kind of prayers that spiritual giants pray.
“All our love wide open, open for you…”
I could hear Anthony singing heaven over us while we reveled in the goodness of God.
It’s amazing how when we pray from the Fathers perspective, while all the questions aren’t immediately answered, peace, hope, and grace are imparted and suddenly where we were unsure we are now filled with faith.
Maybe faith isn't discovered by focusing on need but by seeing the way God sees.
Just a thought...
Jason Clark is a singer/songwriter, author, speaker, and pastor. Jason’s passion is to know the love of God more each day. He lives to see a generation step into their identity as sons and daughters of the King and establish His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children. Jason’s new book Prone To Love is available now.
Check out my friend Anthony Skinners Song, Wide Open
To check out Anthony's new EP, Your Love Never Fails, which includes the song Wide Open, click HERE