Rarely, if ever, do we see from all viewpoints. The God-point-of-view calls us to consider that we miss many vital pieces of the jigsaw puzzles of life. We make our assumptions, and, because we don’t consider all angles, we either upset people or we get the tasks allotted to us wrong. Perspective is the God-point-of-view that helps us, as we prayerfully consider the moment, and seek wisdom rather than going ahead in only our understanding.
So what would a prayer for perspective include?
These are some questions I jotted down as I thought about my own lack of perspective:
How might the other person see this issue, and how likely is it that they will see as I see?
How do I see differently compared to others, and do I consider this before I open my mouth?
What is my understanding missing? What am I missing? What are the pieces of information I don’t have? What do I lack? Where is my perspective lacking?
How is my sight blinkered and where are my biases? Who do I favour and when and how do I favour them? Where is my partiality? Why am I likely to prejudice some things?
What understanding am I missing out on by clinging steadfastly to my opinions?
What am I refusing to acknowledge? Why am I blocking out people and pieces of information that might otherwise help? What fears do I have?
How is my experience different to others and their experience? What does my experience, or my past, lack in comparison with others, especially as it relates to this issue before us?
Why do I think the way I do? Why do others think the way they do? Could it be that we think like we do because of our personalities and experiences?
Importantly, when do I not think right? When am I most susceptible to stress, anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy? How might the way I speak and behave impact on others regarding their stresses, anxieties, and feelings of inadequacy?
Show me my ignorance, Lord. Help me obtain perspective; the knowledge that could help in this situation. Shower me with your grace as I think, say, and do.
If we were to pray for wisdom we would be praying for perspective. Our relationships and lives cannot go truly well unless we have the benefit of God’s perspective. Praying for perspective is about desiring a smooth life, where love holds sway, and our relationships have prominence; where we wisely consider others.
We love people when we respect them enough to consider their ideas and opinions without counter-attacking because we, ourselves, are threatened. There is no other way of building trust with other people than respecting them unconditionally—through hearing them out.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.