Everyone of us has one or more strained relationships! If I honestly can say that I have none, that’s awesome!
Fact for me is, even if I would not want it, there is always someone who will push me to that point, who pushes my ‘hot button’ and surely drives me up the wall.
What this leads to is that I become very negative with that person/s, I begin to complain about the person to others, speak evil, get distanced, not communicate and will do anything in my control to avoid the person/s.
As I spend my quiet time this morning, I am provoked with a question “Dil, do you pray for those who provoke and hurt you?” and my answer is No!
I begin to think about the person that provoked me just last night. I nagged at the person for provoking me and now I ask myself, does nagging work? No! It only got worse, it spoilt my evening, I slept the night with a heavy load of hurt. No, nagging did not work.
Could I have reacted differently by simply staying quiet and just praying for the situation? Does prayer work? My quiet time tells me Yes!
Do I ever wonder why I do more of the things that doesn’t work than do one thing that surely does?
I am lead to read of what Paul says in Philippians 1:4, “Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy” (NLT). Paul, and I just admire this man, he didn’t just pray for people in his life, he prayed with joy!
And as I continue to meditate on this topic, I begin to realize that positive praying can be a lot more effective than positive thinking! And why I say this is because all the positive thinking in the world isn’t going to change my spouse, my children, my friends, or my situation. Positive thinking can change me, and it won’t change anyone else! What can change anyone else is positive prayer, and I know now, as I learn from Paul, prayer can surely make a difference in someone else!
We are in this season of Joy, we have received salvation, we have the assurance of eternal live, why miss the BIG picture! Today, learning from Paul (Philippians 1:9-11), I can learn to pray for the people in my lives:
I can Pray that I may grow in love: “This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.”
I can Pray that I may make wise choices: “. . . so that you may be able to discern what is best . . .”
I can Pray that I may live with integrity: “. . . and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ . . .”
I can Pray that those who hurt me will become like Jesus: “. . . filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”