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What is Wrong with My Thinking?

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God.
How vast is the sum of them! (Psalm 139:17).

As Christians, many of our prayers are requests of the Lord. We see something that is not right and ask God to move. There is nothing wrong with praying this way. We are commanded to pray, “Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

But if we only pray this way, then our prayers and spiritual lives will become warped over time. We will become like the man who sees the speck in other people’s eyes but can’t see the log in his own.

“Work in Me”
Just as we ask the Lord to work in our external environment, we should also be asking him to work in our internal environment. We pray for our circumstances and our character. For miracles and myself.

One powerful prayer that we can pray for ourselves concerns our mind, thoughts, and viewpoint. Over time, we have developed a way of thinking about the world or interpreting circumstances. This is the grid or glasses that we see the world through. By nature, we are interpreters of the world around us, seeing the world through our interpretive glasses.

Yet Scripture tells us that those glasses are darkened and distorted.  Our mind is affected by sin. Part of growth in holiness is growing to have the mind of Christ. How do we gain this mind? The pat answer but true answer is, “By reading the Scripture.”

Changing How We See the World
But often that reading seem uninspired and familiar. Why? Because we are not combining it with the Holy Spirit and our personal need of growth. How can we do that?

When facing a problem or confusing time, simply pray, “Lord, show me what is wrong with my thinking. Show me what I am not seeing.” 

I have prayed this request regularly and seen the Lord answer in numerous ways.

1. Reading a Scripture that directly applies to the situation. Many times our reading is like loading boxes into a warehouse for use “sometime later.” But as I pray this prayer, the Holy Spirit has an opportunity to speak directly to my heart saying, “This verse helps you understand the situation and what your response should be.”

2. Remembering a Scripture that directly applies to the situation. Only slightly different to the previous situation are times when the Scriptures are open or I am praying for insight that the Spirit brings to mind a verse from another part of Scripture and says the same thing. “This is the verse to help you understand the situation and what I want you do or see.”

3. Sensing the Spirit’s answer through a teaching, a conversation, or a resource. There have been other times when as I sat under good teaching or in a conversation, I have sensed the Lord answering my prayer. He was showing me new ways of seeing a situation through another person. Perhaps a parenting or marriage question is bothering you. Let it drive you to seek out a resource or asking another for help. Some of the answers you receive may not be helpful. But some will be. And you will know the Spirit is answering your prayer.

4. Stewarding Conflict. Whether family, ministry, or work conflict, God can use this disgreement to stir up our thinking if we will let him. God uses someone to show us blindspots and deepen our thinkings. The Psalmist said, “It was good for me to be afflicted that I might learn your decrees” (Psalm 119:71). As the pain of conflict drives me to the Scripture there are many times specific promises or principles have been impressed deeply on my heart.

Specific Scriptures
God tells us not to be conformed to the pattern of this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). That growth happens through general saturation of our minds in the Word. But is also  happens as specific bad patterns of thinking are driven out, ignorance is replaced with knowledge, and blind spots are exposed.

We can pray this way because we are accepted in Christ. Our Heavenly Father loves us and wants us our understanding to grow over time. If you will pray that the Lord will expose your wrong thinking and change it into wise thinking. He will answer that prayer. And you will know it deep in your heart.