Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | August 16, 2013

August 16, 2013 “The Energies Of Prayer”

You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best”-(Matthew 5: 43-45-The Message Bible)

Good Morning God-Friends!

I find it interesting that we draw certain unmerited, albeit logically-sounding conclusions from certain things that are written or said. For example, I heard of a man who enjoyed reading books for relaxation. He began reading a thought-provoking book. After a while, he set it aside and said, “I’m tired of thinking”. So he thought, “Reading relaxes me. I should read some more.” But then it occurred to him, “But if i do that, it’ll only get me thinking again, and I am tired of thinking.” Contradictions kept him from constructive action. Jesus speaks of a written law and it’s erroneous unwritten companion-“Love your friends” (true)hate your enemies” (not true). A false conclusion of what was written implying something that had not been written was the unmerited response of many. Jesus challenged that thinking. He says, “I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with energies of prayer…” I like that!. It is a redirection of our natural passions. Our natural response is to direct our energy towards despising our enemies, avoiding them, or confronting them with an equal, or even greater, animosity than they have shown us. Jesus flips this concept on its head! He tells us that we should redirect those passions and convert them into the “energies of prayer, for then you are working on your true selves, your God-created selves. That is what God does. He gives His best!” We are created by God to be like Him, to reflect His nature in thought, word, and deed. Are you harboring a grudge against someone? Do you lie awake at night troubled by thoughts of retaliation against someone who has wronged you? Redirect those passions into “energies of prayer” for those who have wronged you. This is what God does…He gives his best! Let’s pray!

Loving Lord; there was a time when we were all enemies of you in our fallen sin nature. Yet you showed us compassion, forgiveness, restoration, and love. Lord, teach us to redirect our natural compulsion of retaliation against our enemies into energies of prayer, that we might reflect Your love and Your goodness in thought, word, and deed. This we ask in Jesus’ most Holy Name. Amen!

 

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