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Praying for Good Guys
Photo: Ryan Forkel
Not long ago, I received a useful moment of discipline from the Lord. First, I must say that I consider myself a real prayer warrior. In addition to praying for my own spiritual growth, I have a list of people I pray for every day. I claim many of God’s Bible promises for these people and for myself, and I continue to watch God’s powerful hand at work through prayer. Prayer time is a great blessing to me and I have found that the darkest days I’ve ever lived have still been blessed by the healing presence of Jesus through prayer.

I also like to learn from other people about prayer. So I was listening to a sermon tape the other day while I was cleaning my kitchen. The speaker was Pastor Richard O’Ffill, whose sermons have blessed me infinitely. His topic was about praying for others. He said how we pray for our kids and our parents and friends and other loved and how good all of that is. In agreement, I worked along in my kitchen, sudsing the sink while simultaneously serving as the “amen section” for Pastor O’Ffill. “Preach it! You said it! I’m with you there, brother!”

Pray for Those We Can't Stand

And then it happened. Pastor O’Ffill left a silence and then kind of chuckled and said, “But you know, even the bad guys pray for those they love.” Silence. Then he continued, "If we want an even greater prayer life, we should pray for those we can’t stand. That stung. The reason it stung is that lately I’d really been bugged by a handful of people. Nothing major, but there were just a few people who kind of rubbed me the wrong way, and they’d been a little more present in my life lately. So, when Pastor O’Ffill made his comment, those faces came immediately to my mind. I knew he was right, though, and his words were validated with a verse of scripture that came to mind. "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you" (Matthew 5.44). 

Everyone needs prayer. Even the people I, quite honestly, don’t like. So I stopped my cleaning for a moment and prayed for them. And I hope they pray for me too.

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By Gwen Simmons. Copyright © 2007 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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