We are continuing our weekly extra post on Fridays. Today I am challenging each of you to join me in a prayer challenge. Please read along to find out more.
For much of my life I have underestimated the importance and power of specific, righteous prayer for individuals and groups of people that need help to be set free from slavery to sin and deception. As I continue to grow in my walk with Jesus, I become more and more aware of how important prayer is and intercessory prayer on behalf of others in particular.
Over the past few weeks I have encountered multiple individuals that have basically been hostile toward me for no justifiable reason, other than their own bitterness and hatred. They are like a volcano looking for an excuse to erupt. The anger and bitterness they hold consumes them and suffocates their joy. It creates separation between them and God and between them and other people who might actually want to be courteous and kind to them.
I would love to say that I have a wonderful and pure response each time someone unleashes their anger at me, but I do not. I have found myself having to deliberately fight my sinful, selfish desires to respond to their hostility in kind… to “win” on the issue. Instead I have swallowed hard, sought guidance and patience in God’s word, and determined to answer in a way that is more in accordance with God’s word, but requires humility instead of pride on my part. Praise God that I was able to do so on the last few rounds. It has not always been that way for me.
As I experienced both of the recent incidents aimed at me, I found myself remembering times in the past when I acted with similar unwarranted hostility and anger toward others. It was sobering to admit that I had come from that place and realize that I must continue to choose Christ daily to avoid sliding back to that place. I must exert willpower to respond God’s way rather than allow myself to backslide to respond to hostility in kind. I am a work in progress… and always will be. Praise God for bringing me this far.
I invite each of you this week to think about someone that you know struggles with anger and bitterness in their life. Please lift them up to the Lord in prayer every day this week as often as you feel you can. Pray not for revenge or to be proven right … pray instead for them to be set free from bondage to anger and bitterness. Pray for God to do a work in them… not for your glory but for God’s glory. Pray for them by name. They may never even know you prayed for them, but God does… and a righteous prayer matters to God. It can be powerful.
Pray in the name of our gracious Lord, Jesus Christ.
May the grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with all of you!
To pray with us regarding additional prayer requests or submit a prayer request, please visit our website Prayer Requests section.
Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.