Praying For and Praying Against

So many things in my life lately are like coins. Easy to flip and with opposing images on either side.

It is tempting to pray against people who are in the wrong and in their own way as well as everyone else’s.

It’s tempting to pray for the situations that we want to see in our lives that seem to bring us into our promised land.

But I’m being tested. And some of the questions on this life test are not as straightforward as I wish they were.

People that seem to be just evil- are also created in God’s image- just like I am. And situations that seem to be blessed can hide many stumbling blocks that may actually bring destruction.

The key- as Peter learned in his water-walking experience- is to keep our eyes on Jesus. That focus may not actually bring clarity to the whole picture, but it allows the bad to fade away around the edges of our view.

Those evil people may not change their ways, but praying against them actually keeps them from experiencing Jesus. That situation may seem perfect, but praying for it keeps us from seeing the parts of it we will need to navigate carefully through.

I’m learning to pray for people- for God’s love to reach them through whatever shell they have created for themselves and for their blessing which God alone knows how to bring to them in a way that can change them completely.

I’m learning to pray against situations- against the hidden pitfalls and misleading curves that make it difficult to see ahead and the false fronts that keep us from understanding how our gifts will grow when we accept the challenges of each new situation.

It’s a subtle difference – but that is the enemy’s strong suit isn’t it? Using subtlety to hide the truth? Praying for and against the wrong things actually plays into the lies that allow us to fall right into the trap. 

Lord, I pray that each person I encounter will see you in me- not for my recognition – but for your glory- that you may be revealed in each word and that their hearts would be changed to reveal your breath creating new life in them. I pray that I will not be blinded by welcoming facades that hide distractions you never intended for me to waste my time with, but that you would reveal all things to me in order that your glory will be shown as obstacles are overcome.

Amen.

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