Praying with a view…

by DanWolgemuth on October 25, 2019

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And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. (Luke 19:41–42, ESV)

Jesus prayed with a view. His eyes stirred His soul. And His soul reacted in compassion. And then His feet walked into harm’s way for the sake of His mission.

Redemption. Forgiveness. Justice. Hope.

A city. Lost. A view that exposed and revealed.

Praying with a view is costly. Painful. Maybe even dangerous.

Distance protects us from the smells, the sounds, the mess, and yes, the images of suffering, injustice, neglect, and abandonment.

On Wednesday, I changed my view. By invitation.

James Owolabi works for YFC at 85th and Lafayette in Chicago. Woodlawn. Englewood. Auburn Gresham.

It’s an address with a reputation. And a reputation for a reason.

I was in a classroom… on so many levels.

In that moment, my vision informed my mission, and my mission demanded prayer, and my prayer had a view. A face. An image. A heart.

Prayer without a view becomes sterile. And a view without prayer becomes hopeless.

But Wednesday, I got both. Wednesday something changed.

A change in view not only changes your perspective of the world; it also changes the world’s perspective of you. Just ask Jesus.

Incarnation. God with us. Jesus, in the flesh. Jesus with a view. Sometimes on a mountain overlooking the sea. Sometimes on the outskirts of town, overlooking the chaos.

A view… of the pain, of the clutter, of the brokenness, of the systemic problems… always positioned beside a view of the cross.

The cross. A perspective that informs every view.

Jesus, our Good Shepherd, invites us into a prayer with a view. And often, it’s a view that invites tears.

Maybe it’s not your prayers that need to change, but your location. Maybe it’s not the words that should be edited, but your view.

Wednesday, my prayers found a new view. A classroom on the south side. The statistics had a face. And the faces have names. And the names matter to Jesus.

A view. His view. Our mission.

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