Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | September 20, 2013

September 20, 2013 “The Energies of Prayer”

“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—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty.” (Matthew 5: 44-45- The Message Bible) 

Good Morning Beloved of God!

In my life’s journey, I have encountered all sorts of people. There are some that I have come to know and love deeply. In this circle are family and dear friends who have been a particular blessing to me through good times and challenging times. I have met many more people whom I would consider acquaintances. We have shared a relationship for a time. They have come in and out of my life…so many whose names I am really rather hard-pressed to remember. Admittedly, there have also been a few that I regard as enemies. I remember their names, faces, and the circumstances relating to the animosity they brought out in me all too well. As I read this passage this morning, I am once again challenged by Jesus’ teaching to do something that I don’t particularly want to do…pray for them…responding with the energies of prayer on their behalf. It’s rather ironic how casually most of us do this without even understanding that we are doing so when we pray the Lord’s Prayer! When we pray “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”, we are praying for our enemies. Jesus goes on to observe, “for if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6: 14-15). Now hold on a minute! Why is this so? because if we do not forgive sins of others, we are, in effect, denying our own sinfulness and our own need of forgiveness. God’s forgiveness of us is based on our understanding of what forgiveness truly means. We find it easy to seek God’s forgiveness for our myriad of sins, but difficult to grant it to others. We should always check our hearts to see if we are as willing to forgive those who have wronged us as God is to forgive us.  If you love your enemies, as Jesus teaches, you show His Lordship in your life. The only way to truly do this is to give yourself fully to God, because only He can truly transform your heart. We must trust the Holy Spirit to help us show love and forgiveness to those for whom we do not feel love and forgiveness. That comes through Christ at work in us. That comes through prayer! Let’s pray!

Immortal God; You alone have the power to transform our hearts to be attuned to Your own. Help us to understand the depth of Your love for us, that we may also show forth that love to all people- the good and bad…the nice and nasty…with the energies of prayer. In Jesus’ name we pray! AMEN



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