God is really convicting me to pray for people that do things that frustrate me, cause me to feel angry, or tempt me to think judgementally of them (“that is so wrong of them!”, “why do they do that??”, “you have it wrong, pal…”). So often I want to respond with pointing out where others treated me wrongly, or went about something the wrong way, but I don’t take the time to just stop and pray for them.
I really want to make a practice of prayer in this area.
Actions are a fruit of an inward issue going on in the heart. God is the one who can minister best to people’s hearts, so by lifting someone up in prayer, not only do I get to choose love to cover the offense and forgive them, but I get to do something that is loving instead of just reactionary in my human nature. I get to set them free from my expectations of them and get to extend grace. The power of the love of Christ can reign.
I am set free also in releasing others because I can trust that God will work in them in ways that I would not have been able to; He knows their hearts. I want to love others regardless of what they do, and I want to pray for them more than any other words I could speak.
I need to work on this as well. Thanks for sharing Breanna! :)
God, you’re with us through the bad and that means you’re with us through the pain. I often pray that pain and suffering would go away just like that, but sometimes we have to sift through it all like we’re pushing through huge spider webs. And sometimes it takes a long time. Even then, you give us the perseverance to keep going. When there isn’t a bridge over the mess, we can still go on to the other side, and I’m reminded that you’re the support in that struggle. Some people may only experience this kind of fight once. Others might face it every day. But then I think of those times when I get through an ordeal and I turn around and think, man, how could I have gotten through that without you. There’s just no way. I was slumping around negatively, wanting to give up, but you kept my chin up and my feet moving. It doesn’t matter whether the fight is a mental, physical, or spiritual one. Lord, you fight on our side every time. Thank you so much.
”Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. “For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8)
What if you didn’t have pretty scenery pictures with a bible verse written in front on them, worship songs to listen, bible studies to go to or sermons to listen to? Could your faith survive? Are you so dependent on these other things to hold up your faith?
If you took all these other resources away do you actually have a relationship? Do you spend time with God? Unpacking the bible for yourself? And praying yourself? This is God we’re talking about, not a tumblr page, God. You can go directly to him and hear directly for him in his word. It’ll revolutionise your relationship and maybe for the first time actually be a relationship. At the end of the day it’s between you and God.
“Religion” only has a negative connotation because someone gave it one and people jumped on the bandwagon. The truth is that Christianity is both religion and relationship. Knowledge and experience. Laws and intimacy. One without the other raises issues. When you only have a relationship with God and neglect theology, you can get some messed up beliefs about Him. When you only focus on knowledge and following the rules, you can miss out on experiencing God. The two go hand-in-hand. “It’s a relationship, not a religion” gives new believers the wrong idea. Some I have spoken to say they live by that saying and refuse to go to church because they think it’s “religion,” when Christ Himself set in place some of the religious practices in the Church. Most importantly, the Church itself. Do we want the next generation of believers following this example?
The bottom line is that an equal amount of “relationship” and “religion” needs to take place in the Christian life. Neglecting one and focusing on the other can be potentially harmful.
"When you mess up, the best thing to do, is to go to God and examine your downfall. Listen for wisdom on what worked, what didn’t work, and what your triggers were. But that requires letting go of guilt. Guilt won’t let you do any of those things, because guilt just wants you to run and hide."
Unka Glen Fitzjerrell on episode 59 of the Say That podcast.
"I began to realize that being a child of God doesn’t mean I’m impervious to failure or harm, but it does mean that I can trust in the sovereignty of a loving God whose plans for me are good, whose presence brings me peace, and who is preparing an eternal home that will delight all my senses."
Do you wanna help? Say something to set me free. Don’t weigh me down with more stuff I need to do, don’t give me a seminary lecture, and whatever you do, don’t come at me with fear, shame, or guilt. If I feel belittled as a result of what you’re saying, well then sweetheart, it ain’t exactly Good News, now is it?
And I need good news because I’m poor in peace, I need to be freed from all these sinful inclinations, I’m blinded by my emotions, oppressed by my circumstances, and I need the Lord’s favor.
Jesus announced to the world that He was God’s Son by quoting this verse from Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
See? It’s all about freedom. Say the words that set us free.
You are loved
You are forgiven
You are God’s treasured possession
There is a plan for your life
God is bigger than your mistakes
It’s never too late
You can never be separated from the Love of God
His arms are open wide
He stands at your door and knocks
He can work with what you’ve got
You’re going fine, you need work, but you’re getting there
Keep your head up, it gets good right around this corner
God is in control
Pick one and unpack it, put verses to it, write a song about it, tweet it, preach it, whatever, and know that you’re ministering in the footsteps of Jesus Himself.
"If I had a child who was mad at me, and I had two options: A) she comes to me and gives me both barrels of how she feels, or B) she goes away and never talks to me again, I will take option A, all day, everyday. God is a loving father, and He wants you to come to Him, even when you’re angry with Him."
Unka Glen Fitzjerrell on episode 60 of the Say That podcast