January 12, 2022

The Best of the Portals of Prayer

Read: 1 Samuel 24:1–17

“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Matthew 5:44

In His Steps

Who is my enemy? The person who has lied about me, the person who has sown the seeds of strife among my friends and relatives, the person who has beaten me out of hard-earned money. Jesus says that I should love him, bless him, do good to him. He does not give me time to allow my feelings to cool off. He says: “Do it today before the sun sets.” He is demanding the impossible. The wounds are too deeply rooted in my heart. That is the voice of flesh and blood. But Jesus does not ask flesh and blood to do that which is beyond its powers. He appeals to the Christians as God’s children. He says: “Pray for them.” Pray to your Father in heaven, who “makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). Pray in the name of Jesus, whose sensitive soul felt the full impact of insult, whose body quivered under the hammer blows at Calvary, but who, nevertheless, prayed: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). As we thus kneel in the presence of God, who so loved, so forgave, who daily forgives us our many sins, something happens. Power from on high takes hold of our stubborn hearts. Anger gives way to love; bitter thoughts and words give way to blessing. Thus, victory is achieved not only over self, but often also over the enemy. While enmity repaid with enmity widens the gap, love tends to lessen it and reunite the broken friendship.

May Thy love to me, Lord Jesus, warm my heart with love even to my enemies. Amen.

January 12, 1950

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