Grace Filled Prayer

“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:44-45

A friend of mine recently needed some repairs done to his garage doors. He went through the Yellow Pages, identified a repairman and got an estimate. Because the work had to be done, my friend paid a deposit of 50% of the total cost and received a promise that the work would begin the next day.

It didn’t. It didn’t begin the next day either. The repairman never returned, nor did he return phone calls. He simply ran off with my friend’s money.

The next day my friend took his daily walk for exercise. As he began to walk he started thinking about how he had gotten ripped off and he started to stew on it. The more he thought about it, the angrier he got. And that’s when he hit a moment of decision. He could either allow his anger to brew into bitterness or he could do something about it.

As he walked, my friend began to pray for the man who had cheated him. He prayed that God would provide for him if he had any real financial needs. He prayed that God would change his heart and save him from dishonesty. He prayed that God would richly bless him and make his path straight. And the more he prayed the more he felt his anger melt away into an indescribable sense a peace.

My friend is a wise man. He knew that a lack of forgiveness is a prison that locks from the inside, and he knew that the pathway to freedom was the pathway of prayer and forgiveness. By God’s grace he chose to walk the pathway that leads to freedom, and he was well blessed by the journey. You will be too.

Bringing It Home:
1. Is there someone in your life that has done you wrong? Are you still stewing about it? Do yourself a favor. Take a walk and honestly pray for that person. Trust in God’s grace, not your own bitter feelings. You’ll be blessed by this spiritual journey of grace-filled prayer.

2. On the flip side, is there someone that you’ve cheated? If so, contact that person today and make it right.

Lord, I confess that I have too often locked myself into a prison of bitterness by refusing to forgive. I have focused my heart on the wrongs of others rather than dealing with my own sin and have allowed my anger to brew into bitterness. Would you forgive me, and help me to use the key that you’ve graciously placed in my hand, the key of prayer for my enemies and those who have wounded me? I am grateful for your grace and love in my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Jeff Marian
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Burnsville, MN

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