Showing posts with label Compassion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Compassion. Show all posts

Sunday, September 27, 2015

In Adversity His Power Is Most Strong

Have you ever asked God to send someone to you who is in need, so that you can help them? Ever asked him to show you those who need special prayer? Anyone who has any time under their belt with God knows that the answer often comes in ways that we don't expect, can't recognize and often don't want to embrace.

God sometimes directs to us a person who needs special prayer, but who presents in a disappointing, frustrating or even fearful way.

In other words, he will often allow circumstances in which our fleshly focus will be the offense that a person causes. We then have a choice to allow the anger, frustration or fear to reign and flourish, or we can step back into the Spirit and pray the prayer that God desires for the person. We can then reestablish our faith in God's authority in our lives, and how He protects us through his Holy Spirit and his mighty army of angels.

A young, female stranger in a green hoodie had knocked on our door twice, before I could answer. When I peeked out, she was looking in our mailbox, which was in the yard near the porch. I opened the door, demanding to know what she was doing, and she brushed it off as nothing. I demanded more answers to more questions, including that she must know it is against the law to open mailboxes. She agreed to some of my statements and gave questionable answers to others. At times her attitude seemed to border on belligerence, though I was not yelling or verbally abusing her.

Wanting her to know that she could not take advantage of me, but not wanting to be abusive, I told her strongly that she needed to leave, which she nervously did. I watched her pick up her backpack and jacket from the sidewalk and walk away. I knew that at any time there were many drifters moving through this area. Faith aside, for safety's sake and in respect of our neighbors, we could not invite any of them to stop at our house, when we otherwise would have wanted to help. This is one of the reasons that I told her firmly that she needed to leave, to discourage her from returning.  Also she was trying to con me and seeking to steal from our mailbox.The best thing to do was to get her off of our property, and I did not feel led of the Spirit to report it to the police.

Naturally (the keyword is naturally, or fleshly), after she left I was infuriated by a feeling of helplessness. How could we protect our property from wanderers? It is on a busy 3-lane street and not facing another house. The 2 houses to the left and right diagonally across the street, and the 1 to the side are all facing away and either privacy-fenced or blocked by foliage. To the right was an old, private cemetery. What had seemed like a blessing in privacy was beginning to feel like a liability in safety.

The frustration mounted and then my intercessory prayer spirit kicked in as I thought to pray for this deceitful trespasser.

I have been growing in my ability to look past the person and try to see a need. So I prayed for her. Then I began to think of how God sometimes will test us by sending a person who seems to be a threat, but for whom he wants us to pray a special prayer. God knows where that person is mentally, emotionally and spiritually. God know what he is about to do in that person's heart. God knows when it is time, or almost time. So I went back to my prayer room.

I prayed a 2nd prayer for her, more detailed and more fervent. Then I prayed for myself and our property, reestablishing God's power and authority over his property. How were we going to protect our mail from now on? It was already an ongoing issue to monitor the outgoing and incoming mail, and the arrival of packages. Today though it seemed as if we were being attacked and that the way was being opened for us to be assaulted by trespassers. Isn't that the way that the flesh operates? It breeds never-ending fear and anxiety. I prayed again, and reestablished my belief that God has an army of angels dispatched to protect us and this property from assault. I reasserted that whatever he allows is for a reason and will be recycled for our good.

Why does God sometimes allow us to be tested in this way? Well, it's often twofold. He'll send someone into our mist who now needs a special prayer about something or another. God knows where the person is at, and all that we need to do is pray what we feel, and allow the Holy Spirit to take it from there. Then, God allows to come with the person some annoying or frustrating circumstance so that we can see what we are made of. He already knows where we are at in our walk with him. He also knows where we think we are. The adverse circumstance helps us to see where we are, and to reach up a little higher.

So he often allows a two-fold circumstance so that we can become more adept at choosing to allow his power to work.

It is in a circumstance of adversity that his power will most strongly work for us. It's when we don't feel like it, or are suffering too much, or are too afraid or frustrated, or feel violated when we have a choice to take his power, which we've been claiming and asking for more of everyday, and apply it. It is a choice. We can feel that we are at the mercy of evil, and allow that dreaded fear to take over and multiply, or we can step from our flesh back into our reborn spirit, rise up and invite the power of God that we have been boasting about to take over.

Do I know for sure that God was in this invasion, that it was him who allowed the stranger to enter our property, try to steal from our mailbox and become belligerent and shifty when questioned? No, I don't know for sure. But, I choose to believe that it was God and that he is in control, and that his purpose is to bless her and me through the experience. The only other option is to believe that it was not him and that he is not in control, and that we are at the mercy of anyone who walks by. Go with God. It's as simple as that.

Image Credit: free images.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Jesus Prayed For You: Did You Know That?

Jesus Christ prayed for us.

Did you know that before he was led away to be crucified, Jesus prayed to his father for you and me? It was after he prayed for his disciples, who had the enormous and monumental task of remaining committed to their calling, that Jesus then prayed for us. His disciples were to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ on a speaking circuit that could have no other ending than that of a painful and humiliating death. Whom else did Jesus go on to think of as he finished his supplications for those who were fingered by God to wear the great mantle of propagating the Gospel? He thought of the ones who would take to heart the words that his disciples would speak.

He thought of you and I, knowing that the world would continue on for an undetermined length of time. He did not know when he would be returning to launch the reestablishment of the new heaven and the new earth. He had no idea of the appointed time to begin the abolishing of the regime of Satan and his army of fallen angels. Only his father knew the appointed day and time. He knew that we would need all of the grace and help from his father that we could receive. His compassion, foreknowledge and wisdom led him to stand in the gap for you and me, to serve as a proxy in prayer at the throne of God, to for a moment not think of what he was about to endure, but to pray for our strength in a corrupt and dying world.

These are the words, that John recorded, that Jesus spoke to God the Father on our behalf:

20 "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;

21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.

22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:

23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

24 Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me.

26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."

(John 17:20-26 NKJV-New King James Version)

The Jesus Christ then is the same Christ that we honor today.
We may be far removed from the timeline of these events, but that Jesus is the same Jesus that we honor today. He loves us because we were given to him by his father. He has never ceased to pray for us. He is even now at the right hand of his father, interceding on our behalf. Let's strive always to remind ourselves of how much he loves us, and always will. Those of us who choose to believe and hold on will be with him throughout eternity, enjoying God's everlasting love.

Scripture References: BibleStudyTools

  1. "Jesus Christ prayed for us," Pixabay Free Images
  2.  "The Jesus Christ then is the same Christ that we honor today," ©SJHolland, acrylic and collage painting

Sunday, September 28, 2014

When NOT To Give As Good As You Get

How many times have I returned a harsh communication with a harsh answer, I wonder? How often have I responded in like kind when someone snapped at me or made biting comments towards me? What is the number of times that I've repaid spiteful conversation with spite, or gave a person as good as the negative attitude that they gave to me?

If you've ever in your life been an average person, you too would not be able to count the number of times that you responded in the way that an angry person responded to you.

This bad habit, however, can be converted. Learning to replace this flesh-based, useless behavior with useful, spirit-filled responses is the key. We can learn the value of and utilize the spiritual tool of replying to wrath with soft words. What usually happens when we react to strife-laden attitudes? We usually experience more of it, from the person and within ourselves. The opposite of this, says a quiet little scripture in Proverbs, is "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."

I don't know what led me to consider this scripture early this morning. In doing so, I found one answer as to why this principle works: We often possess the insight or knowledge needed to respond to a stressful remark with an soft answer. When we do, our answer shows the person that we care about him/her.

Because we are able to perceive something about the person or the situation, we are able to address that in our response.

Sometimes the person knows that we have spoken to something unsaid, sometimes not. It's similar to looking beyond the outward appearance into the spiritual realm. There is often something else behind the words that are being said and the harsh manner. When we respond in like kind though, it shows that at that moment we are self-centered, or centered in our flesh, rather than in our reborn spirit.

One reason that we often give as good as we get, rather then utilizing a soft answer, is because spiritual evil influence can target our flesh and hit it's mark. Evil influence, whether towards someone else or towards ourselves, cannot target our reborn spirit. It hurts when someone yells, or snaps, or bites our heads off. It is not fair when someone speaks to us in a disrespectful manner, or treats us like we are unimportant. It can be damaging to our self-image, self-worth and self-esteem to be talked to with disdain, disregard and a lack of compassion. All of this warfare takes place in the flesh.

Recognizing these facts, however, and continuing to react in kind will not improve our ability to build our spiritual self-image, self-worth or self-esteem.

Reacting in kind harms our ability to improve. It accomplishes little, if anything. This is because our fiery, flesh-based responses rarely address real issues or change circumstances. When we understand this truth, we are able to allow our responses to be transformed.

When we see value in becoming humble enough to ignore verbal slights and attacks, and move beyond them in that moment, our responses will change. Often, it takes allowing what you know about the person, and maybe a situation, to rise to the surface of your consciousness at that moment. It takes peering into the response and the person, which is the same as moving beyond self. But how in the world can I do all of this in the short space of time when I am attacked, you ask?

All of this can be done in a split second, just as a biting response can be formed and made in a millisecond.

In order to reply with a soft answer, we may have to sometimes appear as if we are not fighting for our rights. When we allow that and use the soft answer, often the anger, stress, annoyance, snippishness and fear that motivated the person is disabled and disarmed. In that moment, we will find the person responding with a lot less malice than before, if not without any.

Walking in the spirit can become habitual, just as reacting in the flesh has been. We can re-learn how to respond with soft words, and enjoy more peaceful communication, and peace within. When we receive and understand valuable truths, we change the way that we think. When we change the way that we think, our behavior follows suit.

The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so.
(Proverbs 15:7 KJV)
    The lips of the wise spread knowledge; Not so with the heart of fools. 
(Proverbs 15:7 WEB)

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
(Proverbs 15:1 KJV)
 A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.
 (Proverbs 15:1 WEB)

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,....
(Romans 12:2 KJV)
 And be not conformed to this world: but be reformed in the newness of your mind,....
 (Romans 12:2 DR)

Image Credit:
Scripture Taken From Bible Study Tools:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Your Tears Speak: Scott David Buckley Ministering To The Fractured Mind

Do you ever feel that no one hears your cry or acknowledges your suffering? Does your faith waiver under the burden of difficulties and challenges? Have you ever wondered if anyone even cares about what you are going through? Do you feel lonely, deserted, ignored or alone? Well, you are not alone at all, though it may sometimes or often feel that way. Let this skilled, Christian poet take you out of yourself and into the arms of The Christ who cares for you. This gentle, soothing free verse poem will remind you that your advocate is even now at the right hand of God speaking on your behalf, and giving to you a hope and a future.



Scott David Buckley

I can hear you.
Your tears speak to me.
Voiceless words only I can understand.
Can you hear me?
I cry too.
I am right there with you.
Holding you.
I know you.
I know who you are.
I care about you more than you know.
I see everything.
I feel everything.
My heart breaks for you.
If only you could see.
The love that comes from me.
You need not suffer.
No, suffer no more.
I'd wipe away those tears from those eyes.
Be silent no more child.
I am listening.
You don't need to say a word.
Your tears speak to me.
I can hear you.

©2012 Scott David Buckley

Scott David Buckley is a fellow Christian writer and friend who lives in Newmarket, Ontario. In addition to his blog, he manages several Google+ Christian and mental health communities. He generally writes poetry that bores into the deep well of psychological trauma and despair. He often then flips it and offers the healing balm of spiritual knowledge and faith in Christ.

This minister through verse calls himself, "an 'Alternative Christian', meaning I seek a personal, intimate relationship with God through Jesus the Christ, minus all the trappings of religion & man." If you've noticed in the image, he has a large, short-haired, cream-colored companion named Somewhere, who is always with him. Though Scott is journeying through healing from mental illnesses, he emphatically states that he is not his diagnosis. Here is some of what he shares about his challenges, victories and ministry.

"I must mention though, with my illnesses and all I have never been closer to God than I am now. He has even used me and my illnesses to reach out to the silent, those without a voice. Those who, like I did for so many years, suffer in silence for fear of ridicule and judgement. Which I have experienced and still do." 

"Now, I'm not saying God wants me to have these illnesses, that couldn't be further from the truth. But there are those who need to know that they are not alone, nor are they the only ones who feel as they do and experience that which they do. That there are those like-minded (excuse the pun) and share the same experiences and feelings and do actually understand to a point."

"So, I have become that voice to others that need to hear and see. That's why this poetry blog exists and my other writing blog, Broken Mirror, and my two Google+ communities, Alternative Christian Community and Mental Health & The Christian. These are all ministries that God has given to me and are the means for me to reach those who maybe otherwise wouldn't be touched."

"I must add that it is the Holy Spirit that guides me in everything, in the words I write and so on. I seek only to follow God's perfect will for my life, I seek to use the gifts He has ordained me with, one being the gift of encouragement. I am sitting here punching on this keyboard solely because God gave me life instead of letting me die all those years ago and many other attempts since."

"By God's grace alone I have been saved and I have been chosen, as are all God's children, not by any merit of mine, not by any choice I made, only by God's, and His alone, grace and love I have been chosen. I write because there are so many people out there that have no voice. I hope to empower people, to inspire people, to encourage people. I hope to offer some kind of hope, however that may be. And remember no one is alone in anything. God surrounds us all with His grace and unfailing love."

Visit Scott's blogs and G+ Communities here:

The Poet Mind -

Broken Mirror -

Alternative Christian Community -

Mental Health & The Christian - This is a private group. You must be a member to view the posts.
Image Credit:

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Ask For Courage To Hold On

Some challenges and trials just seem to be too severe to continue enduring. We're not sure how to handle a particular situation that is unfair, depressing, painful, distressing or even devastating. We wonder why it is happening. Like with Job, some may come to say that we've done something wrong, or offended God in some way, but Job had not committed any wrong that justified his suffering. When we honestly can't think of an offense that we may have done, we are once again puzzled and depressed about why this agonizing situation is happening to us.

Sometimes, we feel guilty about past thoughts and deeds, and wonder if we are being punished for them. If we believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ and all that He did to pay the price of sin for us, we know that God does not punish us. When we remember the absolutes of the Gospel, we again wonder why we are going through this. We again ask why is it happening.

We understand that though we've been forgiven by God through Jesus' sacrifice for us, often we have to live with the consequences of past deeds. Sometimes we can make them right and enjoy smooth sailing regarding those deeds, and sometimes not. God does not always prevent or alleviate the reaping in this earth of what we sow. If this is not the case, reaping for sowing, regarding a particular trial, then what is it?

The truth is that there is often no answer, that we could ever find in this world, for what we are suffering through. Sometimes we are not given an answer when we ask God why. It has been said that some answers will not come until we are with God. Of course, ironically it probably won't matter then.

Whatever the cause of what you are going through, if you believe God and His Word, you will want to hold on through it all. You'll want to endure until the end of the trial; because often there is a special blessing in it for us. There is often the growth to be had that we need in order to receive the higher up blessings that we desire. And the end will come, one way or another. God has ordained an end to suffering I once heard someone say. I believe that. Whether your trial is mental, physical, emotional, social, financial, etc., it will not go on longer than God allows. It is to the Christian that all things work together for good. It is to those who believe that God takes hard and difficult things and turns them in to something good.

Dear Lord: Bless this reader with courage to hold on to faith and to endure what you have allowed. Help him to stand firm and obtain the blessing that this trial will provide. Give her the wisdom to discern between what you have allowed and what circumstances are not of you. Bless him with the knowledge to end any trial or challenge that is not ordained by you. In Jesus' name I ask. Amen.

Background Image In Graphic Credit:

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Prayer For Male Victims Of Domestic Abuse

I read this letter from a reader, about female-on-male domestic violence, at the Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby) column at Yahoo News:

While female-on-male domestic violence is reported less often than male-on-female violence, it does happen, as anyone who reads my column regularly knows. Men who need help should call the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women -- the toll-free number is 888-743-5754 -- because help is available. (

This is a problem that, as with the other ills of this world, has been growing for decades. It is an issue of which the male victims are certainly embarrassed to speak. I'm sharing the phone number above in hopes that it will encourage someone to reach out for help, and that someone will reach out to help.

Dear Lord:
Send helpers to reach out to men who are being abused. Send willing workers and resources to establish places of safety for these men. Encourage them, strengthen them, and most of all give them a hunger and thirst to know You, and to receive eternal deliverance as you help them to have better lives.
In Jesus' name I pray and according to Your will.

Image Credit:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Poetry: It Matters To Me About You

My child, I know thy sorrows,
Thine every grief I share;
I know how thou art tested,
And, what is more-I care.

Think not I am indifferent
To what affecteth thee;
Thy weal and woe are matters
Of deep concern to Me.

But, child, I have a purpose
In all that I allow;
I ask thee then to trust Me,
Though all seems dark just now.

How often thou hast asked Me
To purge away thy dross!
But this refining process
Involves for thee-a cross.

There is no other pathway
If thou would'st really be
Conformed unto the image
Of Him Who died for thee.

Thou can'st not be like Jesus
Till self is crucified;
And as a daily process
The cross must be applied.

Just as the skillful gardener
Applies the pruning knife,
E'en so, I too would sever
The worthless from thy life.

I have but one sole object-
That thou should'st fruitful be!
And is it not thy longing
That I much fruit should see?

Then shrink not from the training
I needs must give to thee;
I know just how to make thee
What I would have thee be.

Remember that I love thee!
Think not I am unkind,
When trials come to prove thee,
And joy seems left behind.

'Tis but a little longer
Until I come again;
What now seems so mysterious
Will all be then made plain.

Take courage then; and fear not!
Press forward to the prize,
A crown of life awaits thee,
Glory before thee lies!
~ Alice C. Lefroy ~
Hold on. Don't give up. Tell God.
Poem From: The Tract League, Grand Rapids, MI 49544-1390
Image Credit:  bcjordan

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Praying For Thieves

I found myself in front of the church gazing at the roses, which led me to think about the stolen rose bushes. Someone(s) had pilfered three new rose bushes from a street side median. They had been placed there to beautify the old, eclectic neighborhood, and now that spot of arid dirt was once again barren. I can't understand how someone could plant stolen rose bushes in their yard and look at them with appreciation everyday. Maybe they were stolen and sold. Roses are so beautiful and stand for so many beautiful things.

My thoughts drifted to the consistent theft that I experienced while working in a department store. The same group of family and friends, in various numbers or singly, would regularly steal throughout the store. They would shop each holiday, sports event and season, stealing housewares, clothing, children's items, costumes and anything else they could conceal. They stole at Easter, and they stole for Harvest/Halloween. They stole before game day, and at Christmastime. I can't imagine how it feels to laugh and play and enjoy life in a home filled with stolen items, and to care for children whose every item of apparel has been stolen.

We know that there are many types of theft in many different circumstances. When we pray for thieves, we are praying for ourselves as well. We can be stealing, pilfering, pinching, cheating, misrepresenting and misappropriating, and not recognize it, denying it, hiding from it, justifying it and whitewashing it. It is not so much the act as the tiny thought in the heart.  We know about the heart of man, don't we? (Jeremiah 17:9)

So let's pray for thieves and most of all, for the thoughts that lead to chronic and acute thieving and dishonesty. Let's pray for the healing of hearts with a propensity towards stealing. Pray for thieves, and let us pray for each other, while we're at it.
Image Credit: Eric K Washington, flickr

Sunday, July 7, 2013

You Are Here: Tired Of Praying & Weary I

When you're just too tired and weary to pray, tell the Spirit of God.

Do you sometimes feel tired of praying, tired of believing, tired of asking?  Do you feel so weary that you no longer know what to say in your prayers, or how to pray? All of this comes because you are such a faithful believer, such a faithful praying person.

To be burdened with this weariness is to give up. To give up means that in due season you will not reap. If you don't give up, when will the due season come?  Most of the time we don't know. Sometimes we are given information on that, most of the time not. Do some die never ever realizing the fulfillment of a long-standing prayer? Yes, and it no longer matters then. While you are here, if you give up, you'll never know if you would have enjoyed the fulfillment of your earth-based prayers.

Have you sacrificed for others? What about going the extra mile for others? Have you given your all for others? In what other ways have you performed good deeds for others? How often have you pushed on, not being weary in well-doing for others? Not being weary in well-doing also means sacrificing, giving your all, and going the extra mile in well-doing towards yourself. Praying one more time is well-doing, but what about feeling just too tired to pray today. And what about being weary and confused about what to say, if you could pray?

Words are necessary to bring things to past, and if we can't form the words, the Spirit of God will.

Well, there is a Helper who speaks the words on our behalf, if we will rely on Him, especially at those times when we're just too tired to form another prayer. Words are necessary to bring things to past, and if we can't form the words, the Spirit of God will. There is another advocate who intercedes on our behalf, always, whether we're too tired to pray, or not. Jesus Christ stands at the right hand of God, speaking for us.

So when you're just too tired and weary to pray, tell the Spirit of God, who is always with you, I'm just too tired to pray, I can't form the words and I just don't know what to say. Help me please. And just be quiet. Don't try to pray a lengthy, eloquent prayer today. Your spirit is willing, and your flesh is weak. That is why you are reading this, because your spirit is willing. The Spirit of God knows your heart, that you believe in the power of prayer, and that you believe God. You can rest in that, and rely upon His Spirit, until you feel more able to form your prayers again.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
 (Galatians 6:9  King James Version-KJV)

In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weaknesses, for we don't know how to pray as we ought. But the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which can't be uttered.
 (Romans 8:26  World English Bible-WEB)

For he that seeketh the hearts, knoweth what the Spirit desireth, for by God [for after God, that is, at God's will,] he asketh for holy men. 

Image Credit: Rowdy Rider

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hope In The Friend To Send You A Friend

Sometimes life is excruciatingly unbearable, and others don't understand when we try to share.  We implore, we coerce, we cry out in frustration, and then we retreat back into the "house of ourselves," back into alone-ness, and despair.

Sometimes we don't realize that we're trying to share with the wrong people.  Sometimes, the closest people around us can't or refuse to sympathize, and comfort us.  Sometimes, we have to make new friends with those who are compassionate and empathetic about our cause or who we are.

The greatest empathizer is Jesus Christ, who felt beforehand what we feel today.  And only Jesus Christ knows exactly what we're feeling, to the very minute pinpoint of emotion.  Only Jesus Christ can send to us the perfect empathizing friendships that we so desperately need, in order for us to feel healed, to feel normal, to feel a part of the world.

Have hope in what God through Jesus Christ can do.  Though you are lonely, and feel that you can't go on, God does care.  No matter how it looks, He is aware.

A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.
(Proverbs 17:17 New Living Translation-NLT)
Image Credit: jillis_


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Don't Hate, Just Pray

While walking to the store this morning I was solicited by a guy loitering out front.  As I walked through the convenience store parking lot, he stood up from where he was leaning against the wall behind the trash can.  Hey baby, he called.  You wanna jump on me?  I looked to the left at him with a scowl.  I was on my way to the grocery store next door, and didn't break stride as I said I don't know what that means, and kept stepping.

As I crossed over into the supermarket parking lot, I thought with annoyance how people do this sort of thing.  They are always bothering people and getting on the nerves of others.  As I walked and thought, my frown began to smooth out, and I thought that God can help him.  I silently rebuked myself for my train of thought.  Don't hate, just pray I told myself.  God knows why he's doing what he's doing. God knows what he needs that is beyond what he's doing.  I began to pray for him as I approached the glass doors of the store.

Don't hate, just pray is not about being jealous of the possessions, blessings or traits of someone else.  It's about re-directing our train of thought from being angry at the activities of others, to feeling compassion for them, and then praying a heartfelt prayer on their behalf.  We can hate what they do, but it's more beneficial, for us and them, to arrest our train of thought from hating the person.

We don't like it when we are approached by certain types of characters.  We don't want to rub shoulders with certain types of people.  When we encounter this, our thoughts can rapidly degrade, and become useless, if we are not aware of it.

When I left the store the 'fella was still loafing outside the convenience store.  He yelled out a similar invitation to another man, as he left the store.  That person said I don't know man, and kept walking, never turning around to look at the loafer.  Using my wisdom as a woman walking alone, I gave a wide berth to the front of the store where the man loitered.  As I made my way on towards home, I smiled and thought, Give grace to the graceless, and don't hate, just pray.  I did not doubt that God loves that man.

I desire therefore that the men in every place pray,
lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
(I Timothy 2:8 World English Bible)

Image Credit: lovette<3 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Can You Say A Prayer For Your Tormentor?

This is a difficult thing to consider.  It can be an obscene question depending on what terrible thing is being done to a praying person.  Praying for our tormentors is always possible, because prayer is without respect of persons.  All things are possible through prayer.  We can even pray for the strength and humility to be able to pray for our persecutors, harassers,  oppressors, and others who may afflict us.

Some torment is absolutely horrific , and I am not minimizing the suffering of those in those situations.  Often the suffering of children is unspeakable.  If I was facing a child who had lived through an extended, monstrous situation, what could I ever say to him or her?  What could I say to help that child feel that God cares, as he or she lay suffering near death?

My message comes back to me, and it is always the same: if possible find the strength to pray as good a prayer as possible for a tormentor.  It doesn't have to mean that I agree, accept or condone what is happening, or what happened.  It means that there was a price that was paid, both for the tormentor and  the tormented.  Jesus Christ paid the price equally for everyone, and this life is often unfair at various levels, for many of us.  Some suffer in diverse ways their entire lives.  Eventually though when it's all over, we will experience the rectifying of all injustice, including any injustices which each of us may have done.  God is a very fair God, and he has provided for it all to be made right.

So whether the torment is light or heavy, moderate or intense, brief or extended, mental, emotional or physical, God can give us the strength to pray for our tormentors.  When our first thought may be to curse our tormentors, and even to curse God, we can find the strength to pray for the afflictors.

Have you ever considered that you may have tormented someone unawares?  Maybe a word or action that you did, without forethought or plan, hurt someone deeply in some way.  Maybe your attitude towards someone has always been demeaning, degrading, or even offensive.  Did you hurt a child to such a degree that that adult has never recovered?  If you learned of it wouldn't you want that person to pray on your behalf?  If you never became aware of it, wouldn't you hope that one day that person had the strength to pray on your behalf?

You may never see a change, in this world, after your prayer.  It is possible that, before you breathe your last breath, that you may never be delivered from the circumstance of your torment.  The person you pray for may never know that they did or are doing something that is causing you great pain.  He or she may be intent on purposely  oppressing you, and may not ever  care how you feel.  Praying for your tormentor does not bring with it the promise of proof that the tormentor has changed.  You will have peace though that you've done the right thing.

Our prayers for our tormentors will  matter one day, if we continue to believe.

Bless those who persecute you; bless, and don't curse.  (Romans 12:14 World English Bible)

Image Credit: NCBrian