Respond vs. React

I’ve been pondering lately some aspects of prayer taken from practical parenting and life situations.  As a parent I’m continually challenged with my strong-willed children to respond and not react. It used to be temper tantrums and now as we enter the teen years, motives can get more calculated. Often as a parent I will find myself in what I call a “swirl” and I am reacting to a situation instead of responding.  Responding tends to pause, take a breath and listen to the voice of wisdom.

Have you ever thought of this concept in regards to prayer?  Sometimes the enemy of our souls, will throw something cruel at us or those around us and we react even in prayer. We may begin to pray out of anger, or anxiety, unbelief or fear.   These prayers will seldom produce good fruit. But what if instead, we respond, and our response was focusing on the redemptive work of God. We pause, take a breath and listen to the voice of wisdom, the voice of God and partner with Him.  

What could this practically look like? For me, I will begin to focus on the opposite of what is coming at me.  For example, say hate is manifesting itself around me. I, in response, begin to pray and release love. Thanking God for His love, meditating on His love, declaring scriptures that illuminate His love. I begin to thank God for who He is and what He does that is the opposite atmosphere and circumstance of what the enemy is releasing.  God must get big in my mind and heart. I must see my circumstances and that of those around me through His lens of what He accomplished on the cross in His death and resurrection. When I keep God in the forefront of my mind, my confidence in His bigness and greatness increases and instead of reacting to circumstances and needs, I will respond.  This releases faith in my heart and I begin to pray from a place of faith and confidence in who He is instead of reacting in the heat of the moment.

Written by: Nita Weldon
Published on: 4/25/2019


Sign up for encouraging stories and updates