My friend, may I ask you a question? When you clean do you hit the places nobody sees? Did you know God expects the same circumspect attention to loving others, unlovable as they may be?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
Pray for them who hate you! We know that's what Jesus taught. But, praying for those who hate you might be easy if all we were praying for was for sweet revenge or, better yet, punishment. But, to pray for the good of those who only wish you harm? That’s a matter altogether far too difficult to easily sculpt into a prayer. Surely this is one of those “mystical” realities of Scripture that is hard to understand and even more difficult to apply.
Here's a story. During the dark days of autumn 1936, Japan invaded China. Thousands of Japanese troops poured over the Chinese border. Burning cities to the ground, the Japanese invaders practiced a scorched earth policy in northeastern China. Hit particularly hard were the many tens of thousands of Chinese Christians. The Japanese feared the Christians and went out of their way to destroy their churches and kill believers. Among these were the president of China, Chiang Kai-shek and his wife Madame Chiang. Madame Chiang’s parents were very devout Methodists. At the height of the conflict Madame Chiang rushed to her mother’s room in the palace. Finding her Mother’s door closed she gently pushed it open. In the darkened room she searched for her mother. Finally, as her eyes became accustomed to the dim light she saw her mother in the corner of the room, kneeling in prayer. Waiting until her mother lifted up her head, Madame Chiang rushed over to her and knelt beside her. "Mother," she whispered. "You are so powerful in prayer. Are you praying for the death of our enemy?" The old lady smiled gravely and then gently caressed her daughter’s face. "No, my daughter. This is not my prayer. When I pray don’t expect me to insult God’s intelligence by asking Him to do something which would be unworthy of Him." It was a lesson Madame Chiang never forgot. After that she was always able to pray for her enemies however difficult the situation became. (Adapted from Macartney’s Illustrations)
Praying for our enemies is not natural. It’s supernatural and only a Christian that is linked to the Spirit of God through his Word can find that kind of supernatural power. It’s a very natural brand of selfishness that enables each of us to wish harm upon those who persecute us. It is a very unnatural, supernatural brand of Christ-like love that enables a Christian to bless those who curse you. Alone we are not able to understand or grasp this kind of love. We are born to despise it. Joined with Christ, we are plugged into his supernatural ability to pray for the good when only bad is our lot. In a way it’s like spring cleaning. We start by going over the obvious areas that must be cleaned and, in the spirit of true cleaning, we look for those places that no one can see so that there’s no trace of dirt at all. That’s the kind of love God is asking from you and me toward our enemies as well as our friends; a love that goes beyond normal in every way.
We pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us unconditionally, beyond what reason would dictate or we might find normal. Help us to love others, even our enemies in the manner that you love us. Forgive us when we draw natural borders on our love for others, especially our enemies. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don’t let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
If you have a special prayer request, please send your request to “This Passing Day!” <firstname.lastname@example.org> God bless you for Jesus sake.