In this week’s scripture passage (Luke 13:31-35), Jesus laments over Jerusalem and prays for them, despite their rejection. He shows us that praying for those who oppose us is not just something He says as a “nice thing”, but a spiritual discipline He practices Himself. How hard it must have been to hear from the Pharisees that came to warn Him “Herod wants to kill you”, but rather than reacting in fear or anger, Jesus responds with prayer.
We are not likely to encounter a death threat because of our faith, but we meet opposition to His work everyday. We hear ugly words spoken, sometimes by those we consider brothers and sisters. We see hunger and poverty and all the ills we have allowed in the world, while we argue with each other rather than working to alleviate them. The old hymn tells us “Are we weak and heavy laden? Take it to the Lord in prayer!”
We need God’s help and guidance in all we do. Prayer is an essential way of sharing the issues we face – not that God doesn’t already know, but through prayer we let go of our troubles and lift up those who need help, even those who strive against us. Pray today, however and wherever is your practice, but go to God and ask for His strength as Jesus taught us.
Heavenly Father, we come humbly to ask for the things we need most – Your love and relationship. Help us to see that if we are together in You, all things are possible. Make us strong and reliable servants who pray earnestly “Thy will be done”. Amen.