Sometimes I think we should listen to our prayers from God’s perspective.

By Ibrahim Omondi

We usually pray to keep problems away. We tell God, “Protect us. Provide for us.” Sometimes I think we should listen to our prayers from God’s perspective. We might be shocked at what we hear. May I suggest a different way that we can pray? It could go something like this: “God, show me what you want me to learn. Show me what you want me to do.”

David prayed for his flock, but the bears still came. The lions still came. Then when it was time to face Goliath, David was ready. But he needed the confidence that came from the training ground of overcoming attack and danger. That is the role of problems and suffering: to prepare us for God’s use.

When we look at life today, we could be facing many challenges. Especially with the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, our problems could be intensifying. What is bothering us the most? What obstacles are in view?

Whatever that problem is, I believe it is an opportunity for a breakthrough. It is time for us to redefine Christianity as far as our view of problems and suffering. Obstacles are actually our greatest opportunities. During these times, we are in God’s training school.


Opportunities Require Taking Risks

Jesus lived a life of taking risks. The enemy tempted Him with safety, security and satisfaction. “Get some angels to clear the way for you,” Satan taunted. Jesus chose, instead, a more difficult path. There were many risks ahead of Him. But for Jesus as well as for us, without taking risks we will not please God (Hebrews 11:6). Faith means going where we do not see and believing what seems impossible to believe. So isn’t that what faith is: taking risks?


Risk-Takers in the Bible

Esther. Haman gave a very tribalistic order to have the Jews killed. Esther, inside the palace, was warned by her cousin that she should not consider herself safe. She had to take a risk. She did, and saved her nation.

Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego. Everyone around them was worshiping the golden image, based on the king’s command. But these three Hebrew men would not. The “opportunity” ahead of them was to bring glory to God–but the pathway to that outcome was fire. It looked like death, but ended with a rescue. God did receive the glory, as well as the devotion of the king and a command that an entire nation should worship Him.

The disciples of Jesus. Peter and John were imprisoned because they had performed a miracle. They were brought to the court authorities and warned not to preach about Jesus any more. But they chose to obey God, not man. Again in Acts, we find Paul and Silas locked up and bleeding in prison. What did they decide to do? Worship God! If they had been complaining, they would have missed an opportunity for the chains to be broken.


How to Be a Risk-Taker

The first requirement for being a righteous risk-taker is to have faith in God. Hebrews 11 gives us a long list of risk-takers. Many were victorious in their struggles, but many others were not. Apparently, to the human eye, some of their stories did not end in victory. But every one of them was willing to take a risk, and willing to look foolish by doing things that did not make sense in the eyes of the world. The foolish things of this world will bring to shame that which the world considers to be wisdom. When we are ready to look foolish, we will see miracles. We will see changes. We will see the glory of the Lord.

Taking a risk is only wise when we stay in a mode of prayer. We need to be hearing from God so that our risks are based on divine calculations and not human calculations. I have noticed that God is often not a good mathematician in human eyes–but be assured that His answers are always correct.


Obedient to God

Finally, we will have to be obedient to God and to His Word.

God has called us to a walk of faith. After all, what is the work of our guardian angels if we are not doing dangerous things? We miss the chance to connect with heaven when we do not take risks.

The COVID-19 pandemic that is wreaking havoc in the kingdoms of this world could actually be a God-appointed opportunity to take great strides for the Kingdom of Heaven. But we will need to hear God’s voice and see with His eyes. We will need to risk our comfort, security, and maybe even our health to reach out to others. As the world asks many questions, we can give God-answers. We can offer hope where there is no hope and help where it is needed most.

Every obstacle is an opportunity. What foolish thing is God asking you to do? As we obey Him step by step, I believe that “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14).

Ask God what opportunity He is giving you today.



About Ibrahim Omondi

Ibrahim serves on the DOVE International Apostolic Council along with his wife, Diane. They also serve as the DOVE Africa apostolic team leaders overseeing over 200 churches in six nations of Africa. Read about Ibrahim or peruse their blog.