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Foundations For Our Future #75

Foundations for Our Future (75) 

by: The Rev. Jon Shuler

Pray For Those Who Persecute You

A great teacher of the Faith once taught me this. “When God wants to do something, he moves one of his people to pray for it to happen, and then he does it.” This is a wonderful insight, it seems to me, and it highlights the mystery of the power of prayer. Prayer changes things, but not because we pray, but because we pray in alignment with God’s will.

Today we hear that we are to pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). Previously the Lord warned his followers that they would be persecuted. He even said they were to rejoice when it happened (Matthew 5:12). Now he tells them that they are to pray for the ones who hurt them. He loves them too.

Are you wishing we were not going so slowly through the Sermon on the Mount today (again)? I am.

What is happening to us if we are listening to Jesus? What is going on in us if we are repenting when we see our sin? What is God doing to our natural selves if we are beginning to want to walk with him in obedience?

The answer, it seems to me, is that we are being changed. What we were is becoming something we are no longer to be. What was once natural for us is being revealed to be part of an old nature that is to die. We really must be “born again.”