Today’s Truth

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you (Matthew 7:7 NIV).

 

Friend to Friend

I have the answer. I have the solution. I know what my husband should do.

Standing back and considering his problem, I want to fix my husband’s situation. I want to wipe my hands and be done with it. I want to solve the issue with quick words of advice. I don’t want to see him struggle. It takes everything in me not to blurt out a precise prescription to his pressing problem. Instead, like a steaming hot pot, I hold the pressure inside. Ahhhhh! This is so hard because I know! I know! I know!

But, I don’t let out a peep, not even a grunt or a sigh. Instead, I listen and I hold it inside because I remember history. History has proven that my husband is far better served through God’s instructions than my all-knowing suggestions. I’ve learned this. I remember back to the time when my husband needed to get the SUV out of the snow. I barked out orders. I grew up in a snow-state after all. But, still, he felt devalued and untrusted.

True respect holds back quick prescriptions so the other person can find God’s best solution.

Boy, I’ve botched that one up time and time again. Frankly, I have stepped in the way, more than I’d like to admit.

What about you?

Do you step in quickly with solutions? Do you talk incessantly because you feel afraid? Do you bark out orders? Do you jump in with frustration and impatience?  Do you handle things for people you love because you think you can do it better?

Oh, I am familiar with these tactics. But, I’ve learned the “Say-Less-Pray-More” solution.

What is this solution?

It is founded on this verse: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7 NIV).

For me, it has worked like this…when my husband has an issue, I listen to him with all my mind focused on his words. I don’t let my thoughts travel to Solution-ville. I don’t get prescriptive. I stay with him as he expresses his line of thinking. I ask questions to learn more. I discover his heart. I understand the problem. I repeat back what he has said to make sure I understand correctly. I let him know that he is heard. I respect the issue and I try to show empathy.

Then, even though I may know every single direction he should go, I say less than I may want and I pray more. I pray. I pray. I pray.

I trust God will answer. I believe God will open the right door for my husband. I lean on God’s way being opened, instead of relying on my quick instinct.

Friends, can I share with you the results of this approach? I have seen time after time, God bring my husband to the exact solution I initially felt in my heart. The best part? The solution didn’t come from me, it came from God. In this, my husband got to draw close to God, he received faith to walk out the solution, and he felt supported by me. It’s a win-win situation, much unlike that freezing cold day long ago where I barked out orders like a drill sergeant.

Plus, this process keeps me at peace. I see God’s faithfulness. I feel joy because God really does hear my prayers. I keep a close relationship with my husband.

When we trust God to deliver the solution to those we love, He not only delivers them, but He delivers us from stress, anxiety and burdens.

God will not work every time as we like, but every situation in which we put our trust in God, He works as He likes. And, sometimes we find ourselves changed into the likeness of Christ just a little bit more. When we “Say Less Pray More” and trust God for the solution, we can’t lose.

 

Let us Pray

Dear Lord, I need your grace. I need your equipping, empowering, and enabling grace to keep my mouth shut and my knees planted on the ground. I want to pray and trust You. I want to see heavenly solutions rather than offering earthly prescriptions to those I love. Help! I ask for faith to do so.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Now It’s Your Turn 

How do you respond when you encounter someone with a problem? Are you quick to offer advice, solutions, or to rationalize away their problem? How might you say less and pray more? What would that look like in your life?

 

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8 Responses to “Say Less and Pray More”

  1. Avatar photo Carol says:

    Kelly, Thank you so much for this writing today, referring to Matt.7:7
    I’m right there with you friend. Always speak first, before I fully listen and I pray about my speech often, too.
    I will take your advice on regarding “respect, holds back quick prescriptions so the other, can find God’s best solution”.
    Blessings to you and your family during this Christmas Season.
    Praise God, for the Blessed gift of Jesus as our Savior and Friend!

  2. Avatar photo Lisa says:

    Kelly, Definitely spoke to my soul as I too have recently had this occur with a son and it has hurt our relationship. I am now reflecting to HOLD MY TONGUE and pray more definitely. God in his infinite wisdom will repair the divide. Seeing the word respect helps me readjust my perception of being a helper and wanting to solve others’ obstacles. The feeling I know more or what’s best. All food for thought.

  3. Avatar photo cathy says:

    Thank you Kelly for this timely lesson. I am too quick to solve other’s problems! As you said, I need to listen first and pray more. Bless you for your message.

  4. Avatar photo Sue says:

    God ALWAYS sends the answers we need, just when we need them! I’ve been struggling and praying about this very issue for a long time now. It helps to know I’m not the only one.

  5. Avatar photo JC says:

    I need a solution only God can give. If you’re reading this please pray for me

  6. Avatar photo Elsie says:

    Kelly, this was a timely and needed word. Thank you for being obedient. This article has helped me so much.

  7. Hi Carol,

    Holding back those quick prescriptions can be so hard, can’t it? I pray for grace and self-control as we trust God in these gaps!

  8. Hi Lisa! Thank you for sharing. It is helpful to think about respecting others. Sometimes the whitespace is where God speaks best to people. I often find that as I pull back, God steps in.

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