I came across a post on a national television network’s Facebook page talking about the fact that the state governors were devoid of the ability to think straight when it came to opening up their states. Several replies to the post were horrendous and horrible in their tone. The intellectual capacity of the governors was questioned and demeaned in a vile way.
Instead of coordinating a concerted effort to defeat the coronavirus effect in the US, we are divided and splintered. Each group has a different way of expressing themselves. Everyone seems to want to attack and decimate the opposing view and the person who espoused the view.
This type of negative response just deepens the discord, division, distrust, and doubt between us. When we are like this, there is no way to get things agreed upon and completed. Instead of helping people, it ensures that nothing gets accomplished. We can try to shout people down or shut them up. It won’t work.
I have found a better way. Jesus commands a better way in the Bible. To paraphrase his words, “If you don’t have anything good to say, then PRAY.”
He stated, “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy .. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! .. In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven .. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48)
We are to pray for our enemies. Our enemies are not just an opposing army. It could speak of a neighbor that we are arguing against. It might be a work associate who is criticizing you. Finally, it might be a government leader that you oppose.
Jesus said to pray for them. According to Jesus, we are to pray that they get showered with blessings. In praying for them, we are faithfully following Jesus. We teach people how much Jesus cares for them.
Praying for those we are having problems with has two results. First, it makes our faith stronger. We begin to lose our dislike, and the love of Jesus starts to dominate our attitude instead of a vengeful spirit. It is hard for us to respond in a hateful way if we are praying for God’s blessings to rain down on people. Last, God will begin to work in the lives of those we pray for and will call them to follow him. Jesus works mighty miracles in the lives of those we pray for.
Whether God answers your prayers by changing the hearts of others—or only yours—your prayers will be answered. Try it. Pray lovingly for those who offend and persecute others. And watch what God does!!