Praying Prayers of Paul for the Church You Love
This week, take this prayer of the Apostle Paul and use it as a prompt to pray for North Wake.
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. ~ Colossians 4:2-4
Meditation For Preparation
Father, Forgive Them
Read: Luke 23:34
We live in a nervous age. Christians are constantly warning each other about the machinations of our enemies—religious, political, ideological—and talking about our need to strike back at them before they can strike us down for good. I hear it every day.
Those warnings aren’t mistaken. There are people who would like Christians to shut up and go away, and would gladly do anything to make that happen. Consider what our Lord did when his enemies struck Him down. When they put Him through a sham trial, mocked Him, tortured Him, and publicly, painfully executed Him. When He was hanging on a cross with nails through His hands, suffocating to death, what did the Son of God say about the enemies who had put Him there?
There is no anger in those words, no bitterness, no vengeance—as richly deserved as all those things would have been. There is absolutely no sense of self-preservation. There is only divine love.
Is this what we, His followers, aspire to now? Do we look at our enemies with forgiveness and love? Do we grieve for their hardness of heart and their tragic distance from God, and long for their restoration? Or do we hug each slight and insult to our hearts, nurturing our anger and resentment, carefully formulating our responses to be as malicious as possible, and rejoicing when our arrows find their mark?
When I put these questions to myself, I don’t like what I find in my own heart. Maybe this is true for you, too. May this Easter season remind us that, as he was murdered, Jesus chose the way of grace—and so can we.