Praying for Clarity
Since a crisis in our families is so multi-faceted, it is probably best to first ask God to help us sort out the chaos. This doesn’t mean we have to be overly academic and deny our need to cry out with raw emotion. However, prayer also involves a meditative practice of reasoning and contemplation. In other words, we don’t have to be praying “to” God to be thinking things through “with” God.
Have you ever watched a child doing homework with a parent nearby? He might talk to himself as he thinks, but when he gets stuck he asks his parent for guidance. Prayers for clarity are much like this. We think and pray, pray and think. Our prayer might be, “God, I am so confused I can’t think straight. Help me clear the fog and set a course.”
In his letter to the Ephesians the Apostle Paul prayed that the eyes of his reader’s hearts might “be enlightened” (Ephesians 1:18). Another way of expressing this truth is that they would be able to sort out their thoughts and feelings with God’s help. In the same way, we should pray for clarity since the Lord knows what we need before we ask, and His Holy Spirit is already interceding for us. (Matthew 6:31-33, Romans 8:26-27) God already has things organized. He is merely giving us time to collect ourselves so He can start to direct our steps and lead us through our valley.
I should add, however, that clarity should not be expected to emerge at once. In fact, we will likely never have a perfect understanding of our circumstances. Yet, I have personally experienced God’s nudge in the right direction when I was paralyzed by my circumstances or so burdened I was not willing to move on my own.