Prayer, Not Despair

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There’s a saying in driving instruction that your hands follow your eyes. If you want to drive straight, your eyes should be looking straight out the front of the car. If you are turning left, your eyes will move left and your hands will follow. Where you look eventually determines your direction.

Our eyes will often determine where you go spiritually too. When difficult circumstances arise, what do you focus on? Is it the circumstances, or your Creator that has power over your circumstances? Too often, we focus on our current mess, which only leads to despair. Peter experienced this first hand. He was asking Jesus to prove His identity in the midst of a storm by allowing Peter to walk out onto the water. At first, Peter did just that, but soon he started to sink. Why? Because he fixed his eyes on something other than the Lord:

Jesus said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Matthew 14:29-30

At first, Peter looked directly at Jesus and did the impossible. He walked on the water in the midst of stormy seas. But then he let his gaze shift to the very waves he was standing on, the rain beating down, and the wind gusting around him. He saw all the terrifying things around him and suddenly started to sink.

When you are surrounded by chaos and upheaval and hard times in your life, where do you fix your eyes? If you’re looking at your circumstances, there’s a good chance you’ll end up sinking just like Peter. Peter turned his eyes away from Jesus and things went south fast. In his new despair, however, he cried out to God with a simple, three-word prayer: “Lord, save me.”

No matter how many times you turn your eyes from Jesus, He is still right there with you. You will undoubtedly look away from Jesus and it will lead to despair. But like Peter, you can also cry out to your God and simply say, “Lord, save me.” and Jesus is ready to grab hold of you and lift you back up.

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