Sunday Faith Blog

pray for who

“Love is indefinite to most of us, we do not know what we mean when we talk about love.  Love is the sovereign preference of one person for another, and spiritually Jesus demands that that preference be for Himself. (Luke 14:26).  When the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, Jesus is easily first;  then we must practice the working out of these things mentioned by Peter.  (“Add to your brotherliness…love.”  2 Peter 1:7)

The first thing God does is to knock pretense and the pious pose right out of me.  The Holy Spirit reveals that God loved me not because I was lovable, but because it was His nature to do so.  Now, He says to me, “I will bring any number of people about you whom you cannot respect, and you must exhibit My love to them as I have exhibited to you.”…..

….The knowledge that God has loved me to the uttermost will send me forth into the world to love in the same way.  God’s love to me is inexhaustible, and I must love others from the bedrock of God’s love to me.  Growth in grace stops the moment I get huffed.  I get huffed because I have a peculiar person to live with (Z: or who leads my country, or is threatening my country)…  Just think how disagreeable I AM TO GOD!   …

…Am I prepared to be so identified with the Lord Jesus that His life and His sweetness are being poured out all the time?  Neither natural love nor Divine love will remain unless it is cultivated.  Love is spontaneous, but it has to be maintained by discipline.”  Oswald Chambers

Z:  Are we prepared to love and pray for Obama?  For Muslims?  Muslims are coming to Christ in droves;  there are many stories of seeing Christ in their dreams…….

Does our hate help or does praying for their hearts to change help?   

love your enemies

Do we hate so much we can’t pray for them?  Are our hearts so hard we refuse to love like God does?  Would we feel like saps praying for people we abhor?   All these questions come to  my mind…I often pray that Muslims will become believers in Jesus, I pray Obama will change, for example.

“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” Matthew 5:44

What are your thoughts on the writings I quoted from above and my questions?

satan and prayer

Have a really blessed Sunday!

Z

The words above, in quotes, are from MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST by Oswald Chambers.  The date of that devotional is May 11.

 

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24 Responses to Sunday Faith Blog

  1. jerrydablade says:

    “I often pray that Muslims will become believers in Jesus, I pray Obama will change, for example.”

    THAT was awesome. As for choosing love over hate, that is a toughie and easier said than done. I go to church every Sunday, not because I have that conquered, but because it takes constant work. I pray for forgiveness when I fail to separate the sin from the sinner, and like you Z, I pray for changes of hearts.

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  2. This is a stunning example of a muslim coming to Christ.
    I don’t pray for Obama as much as I should.
    I pray against him often.

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  3. bunkerville says:

    Many of us have been given an extra heavy burden. The ability to have knowledge and to care as to the future. It makes it even more difficult to find that love at times.

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  4. silverfiddle says:

    Great message! Christ’s message was often challenging to our mortal understanding of things and our human nature. Love my enemies???

    I pray for President Obama and his family every day, for their safety, and I can at the same time pray for the total failure of his anti-American agenda. There is no conflict there.

    I also pray for the defeat of evil in places like the Middle East.

    I echo the sentiments of others here. I pray and go to church not because I am holy, but because I need all the help I can get, and divine help is the best of all.

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  5. Silver: well said.

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  6. Mal says:

    Yes, we pray for our enemies to see the Light and turn their lives around; however, there are times in the Bible where even Jesus kind of loses his cool and snaps at his doubters, so if he can lose it on occasion, who are WE to do better (if that is what he had in mind). No, I believe we should keep trying to convert our enemies, but at the same time, if they refuse, should suffer our wrath.

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  7. Mal: If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.

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  8. We need to respect ‘difference,’ the element that both draws near and/or repels “Love”. And it is said respect that separates agape love from it’s erotic twin, to ‘tolerate’ yet refuse to ‘affirm’ the other, out of our love for a specific (form of) ‘difference”

    “Do not think that I came to bring peace on Earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” (Mathew 10:34)

    “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even their own life–such a person cannot be my disciple.”

    “Perhaps people think that I have come to cast peace upon the world. They do not know that I have come to cast conflicts upon the earth: fire, sword, war. For there will be five in a house: there’ll be three against two and two against three, father against son and son against father, and they will stand alone.”

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  9. …and to hate (take sword to) all forms which fail to “equally” respect said differences

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  10. “Love desires personality; therefore love desires division. It is the instinct of Christianity to be glad that God has broken the universe into little pieces. […] This is the intellectual abyss between Buddhism and Christianity; what for the Buddhist (or Theosophist) personality is the fall of man, for the Christian is the purpose of God, the whole point of his cosmic idea. The world-soul of the Theosophists [or Buddhist] asks man to love it only in order that man may throw himself into it. But the divine center of Christianity actually threw man out of it in order that he might love it. […] All modern philosophies are chains which connect and fetter; Christianity is a sword which separates and sets free. No other philosophy makes God actually rejoice in the separation of the universe into different living souls.”

    G.K. Chesterton

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  11. Baysider says:

    A challenging message. Jesus was talking about the people that are persecuting them. That’s a clear message. We will never run out of opportunities in our culture. I’m going to try. I wish I could say, as SF, that I pray EVERY day for the president. I don’t. But I do pray as she does – his personal protection but the utter failure of his horrible policies and submission to God to see the light.

    Great video Ed. “Here I am. Send me.” It’s our theme this year in our bible study on Isaiah.

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  12. geeez2014 says:

    Vrag….I’m confused by all your comments together……..are you saying we should learn to respect Islam and all differences between Muslims and us….and that Christianity is wrong in what appears to be building animosity between families? There are reams written on those verses and it boils down to how God is NUMBER ONE….it’s less ‘hate your sister’ than it is “love me first, absolutely’
    Talk to me, please….i’m eager to learn what you mean and I’m sorry I’m confused.

    Mustang, We have very different points of view on this subject, I know that.
    And I believe Chesterton’s answer about praying for Obama is “yes.”

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  13. geeez2014 says:

    Silverfiddle, I agree with what you say here…. that praying for someone doesn’t mean acceptance of who he or she is, sublimation to them or their brand of faith; and our prayers may be only that the hearts of others, including our enemies, are softened by new love for the one True God…. …we’re no better than they are.
    Matthew 5:44 is quite clear on this one.

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  14. Bob says:

    We went on a weekend trip to Mississippi to a family reunion. The food was great, and the fellowship was greater. On the drive back to Atlanta this afternoon, I was listening to the Audible book by C S Lewis, “Mere Christianity”.

    As Mustang quoted, ” Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”, this is a really tough one for Christians. Neighbor means your enemies, too. Lewis relates this is one of the toughest things Christians are required to do, pray for their enemies and forgive them. It maybe harder than Chastity, which I still don’t understand, but I am glad I never took that vow.

    If you haven’t read “Mere Christianity”, you are really missing some interesting stuff.

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  15. geeez2014 says:

    Bob, CS Lewis is THE BEST of all, in my opinion, and there are a lot of great Christian writers…thanks for this reminder. And the title MERE CHRISTIANITY is sublime, isn’t it. Talk about an understatement!!
    There was a CS Lewis conference here in Orange County yesterday which a few at my church went down to attend; great stuff, apparently. Four expert speakers, including the Englishman in charge of all CS Lewis things , including his home, in Oxford, spoke.

    ED: I only watched the first speaker on that full length film and hope to watch the others, too, because it’s new to me. I was totally frustrated after listening 4 times to the words spoken at 14:38 and on a bit….what Jesus asks the man? UGH. I’m SO good with understanding accents but this phrase was lost on me…and it’s an important one! HELP!
    See, I think prayer is what’s moving things in Muslims and the more we pray, the more things will happen. It’s not up to us to bring them to repentance and salvation, but our prayers, coupled with millions of more people, sure can’t hurt…….”open their hearts, turn them from false gods, bring peace to tortured, misled souls…….”

    I know I’ve told this story before (Silverfiddle, you might enjoy this one!) ..but I was once in a very good little prayer group of women…. GREAT stuff came out of those Friday afternoons, including 3 hour lunches together afterwards….blessed times, for about 3 years, until pastor turned everything sour and upside down.
    Anyway, they once asked me to pray for Obama….this was probably in his first year in office, and I said “Lord, we lift up Obama…….” and it hit me to continue with (instead of the normal “lift up my friend and bring her comfort…or whatever”. “….and we ask that you keep him up there for a very long time!” It still cracks me up and they still remember and laugh about it, too….it sure didn’t come from ME…..!! Humor’s a good thing, with prayer or anything else! Let’s face it, sometimes we all think God has a very ‘special’ sense of humor~! One we don’t always agree with, right?!

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  16. geeez2014 says:

    Bob…by the way…you don’t come HERE and say “The food was great!” NOT TO THIS FOODIE…any special foods that you can tell us about? GREAT mac ‘n cheese, or barbecue, or..?!!
    I’m SO SO glad you enjoyed your time!

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  17. “Hussein, How is it that I forgive you?”.

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  18. Bob: “Mere” Christianity is a title that reflects on God’s requirements of us similarly to Watchman Nee’s “The Normal Christian Life”.
    THERE IS NOTHING NORMAL ABOUT IT!

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  19. Bob says:

    Thanks, Ed. This is my first exposure to CS Lewis, and his writing gets a bit ponderous for the modern American. That’s why I am listening to the book. I have tried to read it before and put it down after a chapter or so.

    Z: Of Friday evening we had fantastic seafood gumbo brought in by my Mississippi Gulf Coast cousins, along with some cajun red beans and rice with lots of andouille sausage in it. Saturday’s dinner on the grounds had everything except good old pan fried chicken. There were deep fried chicken tenders and Honey Baked ham. Veggies included purple hull peas, about a gallon of fresh creamed corn, turnip greens, green beans, cornbread, rolls, shrimp and egg plant cassarole, potato salad, pot roast, and various cold cuts for the kids that don’t like vegetables.

    The dessert table started with a really big banana pudding, chocolate pie, blueberry crunch pie, and several things I did not try. Oh, brownies, too. To me the best was the blueberry crunch stuff. It was made with fresh picked blueberries, butter, sugar, cake mix, pecans, and other stuff. I am getting hungry, again.

    My 97 year old cousin is just as lucid as ever, and my 90 year old cousin was taking sneaky photos with her iPhone and posting the pics to Facebook. We have some good genes in this family.

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  20. Baysider says:

    Bob, I too listened to the book. It’s a marvelous way to get it, and think on it. I recommend the Screwtape Letters too. Very cleverly done and full of insights.

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  21. geeez2014 says:

    MERE CHRISTIANITY is just a beautiful play on words…as if CHristianity was anything like ‘mere’!

    BOB! THANK YOU for the details….I had dinner with friends tonight, I’m stuffed, and you have my lips watering! I LOVE ANYTHING BLUEBERRY >.!! and those dishes all sound SO SO GOOD! Your relatives sound fun, too! I appreciate your coming back and sharing that stuff…..deeeelicious!!!!l

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  22. Bob says:

    Baysider: I was wondering about the Screwtape Letters. Gotta get it, now.

    Thanks.

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  23. are you saying we should learn to respect Islam and all differences between Muslims and us….and that Christianity is wrong in what appears to be building animosity between families? There are reams written on those verses and it boils down to how God is NUMBER ONE….it’s less ‘hate your sister’ than it is “love me first, absolutely’ Talk to me, please….i’m eager to learn what you mean and I’m sorry I’m confused.

    No problem. I’m saying that there are real insurmountable differences between Christians and Muslims… that we should respect them. That doesn’t mean we need to change them and make them more like us. That doesn’t mean that we need to “bridge the gap” and arrive at some compromise between our religions And that doesn’t mean we need to play nice with them either. If they try and change us, or attack us, we should fight them. Peace with them isn’t our goal.

    There will always be an “other” who is not like us. And that we should not only accept this fact, but love this difference as well, and treat him as an equal. We are wrong (as Christians) only if we try and force him to change into something more ‘like’ our own image.

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