Pray First

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Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!

As a parent to young children it’s second-nature to want to address problems fast. Young kids are vocal about their problems, like when they want food. And as a parent, we tend to their problems with great efficiency. But when kids grow, struggles grow in complexity and they become less vocal about their problems. We remain vigilant to sense problems before a word is said, and work to have the solution as quickly as possible.

Yet always fixing problems is second to listening and asking questions of others. With teens and adults, we need to take a step back and ask them those hard-hitting questions about their life. Do you go to church? How much time do you spend reading the Bible? Do you devote time to pray each day? Are you currently connected to the body of Christ? Do you understand God’s character and desire for us? Are you seeking happiness over holiness? Are you saved?

Many of the problems we believe we can fix in other people’s lives are fleeting. Pointing them back to God and directing them to scripture is the change we all need. See Isaiah 55:11, Hebrews 4:12 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17. The Bible contains perfect council in every situation, however we cannot convince people. Only the Holy Spirit convicts of the need for salvation, and changes the believer from within.

We want to fix problems, because we ultimately want others to thrive. And we know through experience and faith that God is the only path to any lasting happiness, hope or victory.

Without a relationship where we choose God continually, we will fall short as we replace the hope of eternal glory with temporary gains.

Consider the discourse between Job and his friends in the Bible. Job’s friends meant no harm in their council. It generally seemed like sound advice. Turn from your sin. Humble yourself. Seek God. Yet the Lord corrected them, since they overvalued their mind, over the unsearchableness of God’s will.

The book of Job doesn’t just show us that Job’s friends relied on their own understanding. It also shows us that searching with our intellect is futile without the knowledge of God’s plan. Prayer is always the best first option. Ah, the wisdom that comes with today’s verse.

Lord, let us not assume to have an answer or piece of advice for someone in trouble. Grant wisdom and discernment of how to care and council, or even do so through our presence and prayer alone. ~Amen