This week, I have participated in a Bible study on prayer. It was a study of 6 verses, each describing something for which the Bible notes that we should pray. Because of the number of verses, I decided to apply one as a focused prayer for each day of the week (Mon-Sat.) Wouldn't you know that on the day I was supposed to pray Matthew 5:44, I got up with my feelings on my shoulder? My feelings had been misplaced the by what I perceived as a few people's ingratitude. With lip hanging, I wanted to pout to God about the injustices of BEING USED! Disregarded! Taken advantage of! Unappreciated DESPITE all I had done for everyone! (yes, All and Everyone!) But there sat my prayer verse. Swollen on the page. Ready for me to pray. And in light of my emotions, I saw it in a new light., personal and for the moment. While definitely falling short of persecution, while not applying to enemies, or haters, or cursers, in that moment, given my feelings, "despitefully used" seemed a lot like "Unappreciated and disregarded. Used." Thus, the challenge was issued. Given what the Word said, how could I do anything but pray? So, I silenced my Eeyore voice, lifted my long lip, and started talking to God FOR my "users" rather than ABOUT them. I prayed earnestly and realized that, likely as not, they were oblivious to my disappointment. As I prayed, my load lightened. The cloud lifted, and I felt joy...and a bit silly for allowing my lip to drag in the dirt. I was reminded, yet again, that part of the reason God asks us to pray is for the benefits it provides the person who prays the prayer. It's a lesson He's taught me many times, but I'm glad for each reminder.
Tip/Tidbit: Have you ever let your emotions dictate your moment? How about letting God's Word lead you into the brighter, happier place of forgiveness and peace?
Interested in those 6 verses? Download the file below.