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​We have all heard it before: “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” It’s a phrase that defines leaders who lose their bearing or perspective because someone or something consumes all their attention.

I agree with the observation, but have always wanted to ask, “What do you do when a large part of your job requires that you live smack dab in the middle of the trees?”

If we are expected to know every name, every dream and every ailment, how do we move beyond our current reality and head toward our preferred future?

Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus: “Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints” (Eph. 1:18, ESV).

All those “trees” demanding our attention need not limit our future. The Holy Spirit provides us with God’s perspective, one that is aware of the challenges of pastoring, but not bound by them.

This Week’s Prayer Focus [5 in 5]

Personal Prayer

1. Pray that the eyes of our hearts are enlightened so we can empower others.

2. Ask God for freedom to let go of today long enough to consider the possibilities of tomorrow.

3. Ask for Holy Spirit perspective, that you might see beyond your challenges.

Foursquare Focus

4. Pray for anyone feeling a stirring to reach into dark areas of the world, create relationships and make disciples. Ask the Lord to call senior pastors to plant churches and for funding for all Foursquare church planters.

5. Pray for the children and youth discipled by Foursquare NextGen ministries to walk in their authority and be emboldened in their witness for Christ. Ask the Lord to empower NextGen leaders and mentors.

Share your thoughts. See comments below, and add your own.

is the senior pastor of 23rd Avenue Church (Greeley Foursquare Church) in Greeley, Colo.