"But, I don't want to pray"
It is sometimes easy and always a joy for me to write blog entries of what God is doing in my life, the joys I see in others and the encouraging truths He reveals.
Today is not one of those days. Today is the day that I typically don't write about because it doesn't make me look very good, but today I think I need to.
I always tell people how imperfect I am. We all are right? But sometimes we (and by we, I mean, I) don't showcase our real imperfections, our secret struggles because people might really know who we are and who wants to do that...to really do that. But I have learned repeatedly that it takes to much energy to pretend to be something that I am not, so here goes!
There is a sweet lady that I knew growing up, her name is Mary. She really is "perfect as the Heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). OK, obviously she is not and she would probably give you a list of her sinful flaws, none of which I would believe except for the fact that no one is perfect on this side of heaven.
Enough of me avoiding the point of my sin. As I was reading in Matthew 5 today, the heading for verses 43-48 said "Love Your Enemies." I read it as I have read it before saying of course I will pray for my enemies, for those who are against me (Yes, I have a few.) Yes, Lord I will pray for those that don't like me, I will pray for them, my enemies, that's easy! Maybe I'll just pray that they like me and we'll all be good, right?
God did not let me slide through these verses today. He stopped me and said, "No, YOUR enemies, the ones that YOU are against, the ones that you dislike, the ones that make your stomach turn, the ones that slander rolls so easily off your tongue about....THOSE enemies!" To which I quickly replied "I don't want to pray for THEM!" (There are so many times that my birth order reveals itself in my conversations with the Lord. Yes, I am the baby of seven.)
As I sat there with my Bible and my pouty lip, knowing what the Word said, knowing what God revealed to me, I had a choice. I could refuse to pray for them, I could pretend pray, or I could ask the Spirit of God to guide my words.
Today, this was a tough one to swallow. I have learned my lessons the hard way about disobeying the Lord, especially when He speaks to me and makes it crystal clear. So, I asked the Spirit to guide my words and I began to pray blessings on my enemies, those two people that I just don't like. God gave the words as my stomach literally turned to the point that I wanted to throw up. I guess I felt a little like Noah, not even wanting these people to be blessed. At the end of it, God showed me that it's gonna be difficult, it's not always fun, but as I release these people from the wrong I "feel" that have done to me, He will bless them and He will bless my heart with a peace that I will not even be able to understand.
So, now, I sit hear...heavy hearted and a little bit teary, because I know the battle that rages in my heart as I learn to forgive people who probably have very little clue the bitterness I have towards them.
While I may not be outright mean to these people, I may not even cross paths that often with them, for me, the danger is deeper, because it's a bitter-root in my heart and it pops up at the most unpredictable times.
Yesterday, God laid two beautiful women on my heart to pray for...that was easy, THAT was a joy. Today, God called me to pray again, but for my enemies, That's NOT easy, But God's strength is perfect and I know that as I pray His will, He WILL change my heart. That's a JOY.
I am humbled. I surrender. LOVE WINS!
Love Your Enemies
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
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A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.