PRAY FOR THOSE WHO PERSECUTE YOU

Today’s Prayer to Passage will be from the book ‘One Month to Live: Thirty Days to a No-Regrets Life’ by Kerry & Chris Shook.

Today I pray, “Dear God, If the whole wide world lived with no regrets, what might we see, even if only for a moment? Amen.”

Following my prayer, I held the closed book in my hands and opened it to find this passage on page 68:

“The Price of Love.
So we’re designed for social and emotional intimacy with those around us, but our desires are polluted by our selfish inclination to make it all about us. Basically these two forces remain in conflict for the duration of our lives. We want to love other people, to be known and enjoyed and loved in return. But people disappoint us, hurt us, and don’t usually respond the way we want them to. So we settle for playing it safe, telling ourselves that we don’t really need them after all, but our hearts tell us otherwise. Mother Teresa said that loneliness is the most terrible poverty. She was right — without love we’re emotionally bankrupt.”
—KERRY & CHRIS SHOOK

Living with no regrets can mean living with an abundance of integrity. When we surround our enemies we create a circle, which represents no beginning and no end. Unity. In unity, we may pray for those who persecute us, inviting peace. Enemies may disrespectfully decline our invitations. C’est la vie. Prayer is to God, and it continues to amaze me how powerful prayer is. The daring mission of praying for a change of heart might be something we have not even attempted.

I have done it. I prayed for a change of heart in someone today. And I had the most genuine conversation with this person just a few hours following that prayer. For years I have been the one drinking the poison, bitter that she hadn’t changed. Then I did something absolutely profound and almost physically difficult. I prayed that she would have a change of heart. And when I saw her today, she had a disposition I had never seen in her before.

She had been crying. She was gentle. She admitted that she was vulnerable. And I was astonished. If this prayer can be multiplied and applied to those who persecute us, imagine what is possible. I am not promoting an abandoning of self-protection by relying solely on prayer. Yet praying for Spirit of Love to enter the spirits of our adversaries, bullies, and enemies? That’s relying soul-ly on prayer.

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