Use the Scale
As part of my work in Human Resources, I’ve been involved in many seasons of performance reviews. Performance reviews almost always have a scale used to help employees understand how they’re performing overall and in certain areas of their work. As such, I’ve had several conversations with many managers over the years about their use of the performance rating scale. You can imagine that there are some managers that consistently rate all their employees too high on the scale, leading us all to believe that their entire team is ready to promote tomorrow. While others rate their team so low that you’d think that they had no achievements or progress made throughout the year. And then there are some who rate everyone in the middle (ex. 3 out of 5). There’s no fluctuation in the scale for anyone, regardless of achievement. The best approach is always to use the scale. For your top performers let their scores be high. For those who are underachieving let their score reflect their performance so that they’re fully aware of which areas need most improvement.
So why am I sharing about performance reviews? Because it’s a good reminder for our prayer lives too. Far too often we can find our prayer lives stuck in the middle of the scale. We pray about all the “middle” things – things that we want to see improved, resolved or removed. But sometimes we don’t use our scale to also pray for both the small and the big things. I myself am guilty of this at times. I find throughout the day that there might be small things that bother me or that I need help with. And do I pause and think to always pray about them? No, I usually grind through trying to make my own resolves And I also find that I shy away from the big prayers at times. The ones that are so bold that the answer could only be because God himself intervened and answered. Our proof of encouragement to use the scale is in scripture:
For our small prayers we know that God wants to hear it all. He wants to be intimately involved in our lives. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you”. This scripture is clear that we’re to give ALL our worries (including the small ones) to God. He loves us dearly and wants to hear from us. Just as we as parents want to help our kids with even the most minor of their worries. We want the opportunity to help them whenever and however we can. God feels the same way, He wants to hear from and help His sons and daughters in any way that He can.
For our big prayers we have the gift of many other believers in scripture. We can read how Hannah was infertile for many years and desperately prayed for a son (1 Samuel 1:11). Joshua prayed for the sun to provide additional daylight for their battle (Joshua 10:12) and it did. The sun stood still until they defeated their enemies. And another story is where Jairus approaches Jesus to heal his daughter who’s dying (Mark 5:23) and Jesus amazed others when he told her to get up after she was deemed to have already passed away. These are big prayers that prove what a big God we serve. It brings God glory and helps to increase our faith for ourselves and for others around us.
Prayer is our way of showing that we are dependent on God. And praying by using the scale is a way to increase our faith. Small prayers decrease our self-reliance and big prayers give God space to move in our lives in ways that only He can. As you go throughout your day consider how you might use the scale more. I’m pretty sure you’ll not only be glad that you did, but that you’ll find a deeper connection in your relationship with your Heavenly Father who wants to hear more from you – both the big and the small.