How to Pray When You Make a Dumb Decision
We all do dumb things. The dumbest thing you can do when you make a dumb decision is to make another one. So how do you pray when you make a dumb decision?
A San Antonio woman was walking through a nearby wilderness area when she found 2 abandoned kittens. Being an animal lover, she rescued them and brought them into her home.
She tried to feed the kittens with bottles, but the kittens destroyed the bottles. They attacked the woman, and she suffered some painful scratches. The kittens also bit two other people in the home.
Fearing the kittens might be rabid, she called animal control. Upon investigation, it was determined that the kittens were not rabid. In fact, it was determined that they were not house cats. The woman had brought wild Bobcats into her home.
The woman with the Bobcats had a choice to make. She could either raise wild Bobcats and risk further injury, or turn them over to experts who could safely handle the situation. She chose the latter.
More Than We Bargained For
Dumb decisions turn into something more than we bargained for. What's your next move? Do you try to fix it, keep it, handle it and allow it to turn into something far more dangerous - like wild Bobcats? Or do you go to an authority much more equipped to handle the situation?
When you make a dumb decision, the worst thing you can do is make another one.
David has made a dumb decision. If you know anything about his story, he made several along the way. In this case, David turns to authority. In Psalm 25 he turns to God.
Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!Psalm 25:6-7
"The sins of my youth." Translation: a foolish, rookie mistake, "I wasn't thinking", dumb decision.
His prayer is important. From it we learn how to pray when we do something dumb.
- Remind yourself of who God is. God is not who David wants him to be. God is God "from of old." If you seek forgiveness, the next decision is God's, not yours. When you do something dumb, go to Scripture, not emotion. Study God. Don't act on your own opinions.
- Ask for mercy rather than make excuses. Mercy is not a plea-bargain with God. If you want forgiveness, don't make excuses. Confession is casting yourself on God's mercy. Mercy means that the next move is His, not yours.
- Ask for mercy, but move toward maturity. David is asking the Lord not to hold his dumb decision against him. He asks the Lord not to "remember" it, but at the same time he doesn't want to repeat it. We need to move on, but we need to do so with maturity.
When you make a dumb decision, don't make another one. Pray.
Read all of Psalm 25.
- What do you learn about confession and prayer from Psalm 25?
- What are the promises to be believed?
- Make a list of reasons we have to praise God from Psalm 25.
Begin to pray about a recent dumb decision. Apply the 3 truths we learned from Psalm 25:6-7.
- Rehearse to God what you have done, but call out to God who He is despite what you've done.
- Take inventory of your why. Why did you do what you did? Don't call those things out to God as excuses, but as confessions. Agree with Him that those things are wrong.
- Ask God to mature you as you move on. Write down some lessons learned from your mistake. Ask God to teach you more.