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Problem-Solving Formula

"If anyone lacks wisdom, ask God who gives to all generously ... and it will be given to you."1

The following formula for resolving problems came from Norman Vincent Peale. He said to prayerize, visualize and actualize; that is, PVA.2

First, prayerize. Ask God to give you the wisdom and courage to see and face the real cause/s behind your problems. Then you can pray realistically by committing your problem to God and asking for his guidance to help you find a solution and also for the courage to do your part.

Second, visualize. We need to see a problem for what it is. Often what we see isn't the problem at all—it's the symptom of a deeper, hidden problem, the fruit of a hidden root! As somebody else said, "God is merciful. When we have problems, he gives us symptoms." Only as we see the true causes of our problems and face reality can we ever resolve the difficulties we have. Once we see and acknowledge the truth, we then need to visualize what we need to do to overcome our problem as well as visualizing what we are asking God to do for us.

Third, actualize. In every situation we need to realize that we are responsible for resolving our problems. No matter what happens to us, we are always responsible for our reactions, feelings, and what we do about resolving our difficulties. God will give us wisdom if we ask for it, insight if we desire it, and courage if we need it, but he won't do for us what we can and need to do for ourselves. If he did, it would keep us overdependent and immature. Accepting responsibility for our problems, emotions, behavior, and our life is the heart of maturity.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the wisdom and courage to see and face every symptom in my life and help me to trace these to their root cause/s, and lead me to the help I need to overcome these problems so I can be healed and made whole. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name. Amen."

1. James 1:5.
2. Norman Vincent Peale, Positive Imaging.


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.