Daily Devotion

 

PRAYER: Talking to my Father

by | Jan 25, 2023 | Conversations, Daily Devotion | 0 comments

Matthew 5:43–44
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,….”

You’ve heard the story about the country preacher who began his sermon by saying, “Some of you women here today are involved in gossip!” A man in the back of the room yelled, “Preach it, brother, preach it!” The preacher continued, “And some of you teenagers are not respecting your parents!” The same man hollered, “Preach it, brother, preach it!” “And one more thing,” the preacher added, “some of you men are so tight-fisted with your money you are robbing from God!” The same man looked down and muttered, “Aww, come on. You just went from preaching to meddling in my personal business.” I kind of feel that way with our passage today.

I can relate to the reasoning of Matthew 5:43. I love hanging out with neighbors. That’s a good time. Joking around. Laughing. Investing in the lives of people you like. I can handle that. And my enemy? Why would I want to give the time of day to someone out to get me? But then, as he often does, Jesus goes from preaching to inspired, authoritative “meddling.” Jesus’ purpose is not to tell me what I am comfortable hearing. Instead, his messages tell me what I need to hear, and sometimes the truth is hard to swallow.

So, I have some things to talk to God about. Thinking about certain people causes my emotions, such as irritation, dislike, frustration, and even anger, to rise to the surface. I’d rather not think about these individuals, but now I must have a conversation with God about them. Hey, no one said this would be easy. Following Christ is not a cakewalk but a journey of daily dependence.

Father, I don’t want to love people who hurt me or hurt those I love. It is not in my nature. I want to obey you, but I will need your supernatural help. This is one more thing I can add to the list of “Things I Cannot Do on My Own.” Give me what I need to love and pray for my enemies. In Jesus’ name. Amen.