Bible Q&A: Where Is Our Visual Focus In Prayer?

Q: When we pray to the Lord, where is our visual focus?

A: “To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master… so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he has mercy upon us” (Psalm 123:1, 2).

 The Bible does not typically offer us a visual focus for prayer, but instructs us to focus on the character and deeds of God. However, in Psalm 123 David directs our attention to (1) the throne and to (2) the hands of God.

Consider God on his throne.

The throne speaks of God’s power and authority.

The best way to get your mind off your problems is to ponder the throne of God: His power, authority, and eternity.

If you ever have the opportunity to come to Chicago, you will want to visit Navy Pier. Standing on Navy Pier, you can look up at the giant Ferris wheel that towers over the surrounding buildings. But then if you were to go for lunch in the Hancock building on the 95th floor and look down at the Ferris wheel, it would seem almost insignificant!

The problems that look so vast to us look very different from the throne of God. Fix your eyes on his throne. Your Lord is seated there. What seems so massive to you looks entirely different to him. He sees the end from the beginning. He can see how the trauma you may be experiencing now will play out through time and into eternity. And he knows how he’s going to deliver you and weave what is happening into his eternal purpose. And, you can trust him.

Consider God’s hands.

You cannot think about the hands of God, without remembering that when God came to us in Jesus, his hands were pierced. God has not stood aloof from you. He has entered your suffering, bearing your grief and sorrow in Jesus Christ. There may be times when you question God’s love, but how could you do that when you are looking at his hands?

God’s throne speaks of his awesome power, and his hands speak of his amazing love. As you lift your mind to the throne and to the hands of God, your faith will grow. Seeing God’s power and his love, you will have confidence to come and ask him for what you need.

Faith grows by looking at Christ. Fix your eyes on your problems and you will grow in worry. Fix your eyes on yourself and you will grow in pride or despair. But fix your eyes on Jesus and you will grow in faith, and that faith will give you the confidence to ask God for the help that you need.

[This article is an excerpt from the booklet written by Colin Smith, Praying in the Spirit, 2005.][Photo Credit: Unsplash]

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Colin Smith (@PastorColinS) is senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and a Council member with The Gospel Coalition.

Date Posted: Nov 28th, 2017