But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Sam. 16:7 
     Heavenly Father, I long to see what you see in people and in the world you’ve made. I have a problem with being a “quick read”—too quick of a read, at times. My judgments are often just that, judgments—conclusions based merely on the limitations of the natural eye.
     But when like Samuel, I only focus on the “outward appearance” of people and things, I’m not seeing as you intend. My plea? Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, so that I may see Jesus—and as I see Jesus more clearly, help me see everything else from his perspective.
     Help me to see people with gospel eyes. Father, when I’m only looking at people with the aberrations and astigmatism of a fallen heart, show me what true beauty consists of. Let me see your image in every single human being. When I only see the things in people that irritate or inconvenience me, help me to see their dignity, uniqueness and their inherent beauty.
     When I only see people in terms of how they might harm or help me, expand my vision beyond my story, to your larger story of redemption and restoration. Help me to see what you see in my spouse, my children, my friends, even in total strangers—non-believers and believers alike.
     Help me to see creation with gospel eyes. Father, don’t let me look at the ocean, mountains, stars, sunrises and sunsets, flora and fauna, or even weather patterns, just in terms of me and my plans. Help me to see your hand and heart everywhere. Enable me to live more as a worshipful steward of your creation and less as a selfish consumer of the things you have made.
     Help me to see pain and suffering with gospel eyes. Father, sometimes looking at all the crucibles, crises, and cruel stories of life makes me want to run, hide, fix, and/or deny. When overwhelming need is staring me down, help me to see with the eyes of Jesus. Grant me grace to love hurting people well—in your way, on your timetable, for your purposes. Give me a long term view of things, Lord.
     Help me to see the occupied throne of heaven, always, all the time. Father, as we get closer to electing a president for the United States of America, give me an unsullied, 20/10 view of you sitting on your throne, doing all things well, ordering all things to accomplish the delights of your heart and the purposes of your glory. Do laser surgery on the eyes of my heart Father. Indeed, show me Jesus and by him I will see all things aright. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ holy and healing name.
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One thought on “A Prayer for Looking at People the World through the Lens of the Gospel”

  1. Susanne Schuberth (Germany) says:

    ‘Indeed, show me Jesus and by him I will see all things aright.’

    Exactly, I like it! Or in other words…

    In Jesus lies the mystery
    Of anything we can see

    We look at Him and then begin
    To sense the world from within

    For Christ is the Light
    To judge wrong from right

    And to brighten the night
    By clearing heart’s sight.

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Scotty Smith


Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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