Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pastoral Ponderings ~ A Prayer for God's Bickering Children

          There have been very painful times in my life when people claiming to be God’s children have acted with pronounced injustice against me. In spite of my pleading, God has seemed to be okay with letting them get away with it. Today my eyes opened to a different kind of praying than begging God to give these people what they deserve.

          What came to mind was that God is the perfect, righteous, holy, just, gracious, merciful, all-knowing, all-wise Father who is able to do what is very best for every one of his children even in a situation that has caused me so much pain at the hands of my spiritual siblings. Because of God’s perfection in every facet of his person and character, he will work out a plan that is impeccably all-inclusive.

          In other words, God is able to do something that is the highest good for every one of his children. He will take into account our various degrees of immaturity, sarkiness, and ignorance of him. He will include our self-centered view of our circumstances, our limited understanding of Scripture, our tunnel-vision regarding the immensity of our pain and our sarky-certainty of who to blame, and the present stage of the fulfillment of all his plans and purposes for his people and all his judgments against the world, the flesh, and the devil.

          In considering how God’s answer to my cries for justice will include every nuance of his will from before time began, and will satisfy his eternal and infinite thoughts and intentions beyond what my injured soul could ever imagine, my prayer has to be for my speediest readiness to experience whatever he has planned and purposed for each and every person involved in any situation that feels to me like a breach of justice.

          Practically speaking, my prayer needs to be something like this:

          “Heavenly Father, I pray that you would glorify your great justice, mercy and faithfulness by bringing every person involved in this debacle of your family’s relationships to the same place of grace before the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ where every sin of every person involved has been triumphed over by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.

          “I pray that each and every one of us would witness the greatness of your glory in forgiving all our sins, cleansing us of our impurities of heart, soul, and mind, breaking us of our stubborn and sarky pride, healing the wounds we have inflicted on one another, covering the multitude of our sins with such love that outnumbers any of the grievances we could ever bring to mind, and granting us the same forgetfulness over one another’s sins as would make us like you in remembering our sins no more.

          “I ask you to glorify your name before a watching world so that your glory in reconciling your children would have greater effect for good than our fighting and bickering has done to harm the cause of Christ, and dishonor our family name.

          “I pray that you would take all the harm that Satan has intended through stirring up his diabolical divisions, and work it for such good among all your children that every one of those involved would both actively and passively give you glory as the healer of all your brokenhearted children, and the binder up of the wounds of the whole body of Christ.

          “I pray that you would make the same public spectacle of Satan’s divisive work as you did in triumphing over all our sins on the cross. Where Satan has set a stage to dishonor you with another expression of your children falling into Adam’s sin, take over his stage with a revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ turning every stumbling stone into stepping stones of reconciliation. Work in such a way that will give you greater glory in the bringing together of your stubborn-hearted children than would have been seen if we had continued to get along.

          “Father, I ask that you would show the world your power to heal broken relationships of every kind, to soothe the sting of the wounds we have inflicted on one another, to humble us all under the mighty hand of God so that every one of us can be lifted up in the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace we have in the Lord Jesus Christ, so that you would be glorified for doing the impossible, and for even bothering to show us such mercy.

          “Father in heaven, forgive me for my contribution to any situation that has brought dishonor to your glorious name. Forgive me for any pride that has caused me to be anything less than loving towards my siblings in Christ. So unite my heart with the redeeming love of your heart that I would only know how to lay down my life in love for my family rather than stand over them demanding that you serve my purposes above your own.

          “And, when you bring an offended brother or sister to me with their grievance of anything they have felt has been an expression of injustice towards them, or unloving behavior in their direction, give me the same grace to hear their heart as I have expected of you in all the complaints I have brought before your throne. Let me hear them the way Jesus hears me. Let me welcome them as Jesus welcomes me. Let me forgive them as Jesus forgives me. Let me acknowledge my wrongs to them in the light of the safety I have felt in acknowledging my wrongs to you.

          “Father God in heaven, grant that there would be greater love in our relationships through reconciliation than we had previously known in our early seasons of getting along. Let us have Joseph’s joy in reuniting with his family, and the same wonderful testimony to your glory that would last the rest of time even as millions have found comfort in the way you provided for your people through his slavery and imprisonment at the whims and wishes of others. As you coordinated people, and world-events, to bring your children together at just the right time, in just the right place, in just the right circumstances, in order to make your glory known throughout the ages, so coordinate all of time, space, and matter to obey your command to come together in the greatest possible display of your glorious work of fixing what is broken in your people at this present time.

          “Father, my desire is to go where you go, to love whom you love, to do what you are doing, to forgive whom you forgive, to welcome whom you welcome, in peaceful, childlike trust that you are presently, and momentarily, doing what is very best for all of us, including the glory of your own holy and awesome name.

          “I ask that you would bless my spiritual siblings in whatever way would be for your greatest glory and our greatest good. I pray that you would unite your divided children in the way that would bring us all to the same peaceful humility in your presence that can rejoice in what you are doing with us all without demanding that our place in the fulfillment of your purposes uniquely distinguishes us in any prideful way.

          “And, Father, to cover anything I cannot think of, in any ways I could not ask or imagine you doing, I simply ask that your will would be done among every one of your children even as all the hosts of heaven so gladly, and quickly, and thankfully do your will before your throne.

          “I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen!”

          My God be glorified in his answers to our prayers.

          From my heart,



© 2013 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~

Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)





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