It’s hard to stay mad at someone when you are praying for them. I once heard a preacher say that when his two kids would have a fight, he would make them stand facing each other, hold hands, and then pray for each other. He said that it worked like a charm.
God wants us to be a people of prayer. He also wants us to be a people of unity and love. And isn’t it amazing how they often go together.
So who are you mad at? Why not pray for them today?
1 Timothy 2:8
Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.
A young man visiting a dude ranch wanted to be “Macho”, and went out walking with one of the hired hands. Walking through the barnyard, the visitor tried starting a conversation: “Say, look at that big bunch of buffalos.”
The hired hand replied, “Not ‘bunch’ but ‘herd’.”
“Herd of buffalos.”
“Sure, I’ve heard of buffalos. There’s a big bunch of ’em right over there.”
Sometimes even with the best of intentions, we just come across wrong. We try to act tough or smart and look dumb in the process. We try to lighten the mood with a good joke and it comes across as sarcastic and mean. Sometimes we just don’t come across the way we mean to. What is the answer to this? Forgiveness and understanding. And if this is what we want to happen when we do these things, shouldn’t we do it to others as well?
13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Craig’s two kids are in the same class at school, and the teacher had the class write reports about their pets. After the reports were all turned in, the teacher called one of the youngsters up to her desk and scolded him.
“This report on ‘My Dog’ is exactly, word for word, the same as your brother’s. Did you copy from him?”
He replies, “No Ma’am. It’s about the same dog.”
Even though lives are similar, each one is unique and special. There is no one like you. God made us each special and unique. And everyone’s impression of us will be a bit different because they are all unique. God made us each to be us. Remember that, especially if you are trying to be someone you are not.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
The story is told of a man who was sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room. He kept saying out loud, “I hope I’m sick. I hope I’m sick. I hope I’m sick.” Finally the receptionist asked, “Why in the world would you want to be sick.” He said. “I’d hate to be well and feel this bad.”
Sometimes we approach life the same way. If I am not feeling good, or if my life is not going the way I think it ought to be, then that means that there is something wrong with me, my faith, or something else. Sometimes we just have bad days. They are a part of life. What you do with a bad day is endure it, go back to bed, and pray for a better day tomorrow. Remember, it is just one day out of 365, and that is in just one year. I’m sure a better day lies ahead.
24 The Lord has done it this very day;
let us rejoice today and be glad.
There are certain names that when spoken it simply creates an aura of adoration and respect. Gather around a group of classical musicians and say the name “Beethoven”. Gather around a group of literature professors and say, “Shakespeare.” Gather around a group of Kentucky fans and say “Rupp”. You get the point. Yet, there is one name that all of creation knows that when it is spoken, there is that adoration and respect. Say the name of our Lord, and all the creation cries out, “How majestic is Your name!”
Today, let that name that is above all other names be close to you. Let it be spoken by you. Let it be on your heart, in your mind, and on your lips all day long. And allow that name, the name of Jesus, to create that adoration and respect in your life today.
For the director of music. According to gittith.[b] A psalm of David.
1 Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.
How long! Have you ever echoed those words? I know I have. I have seen loved ones struggle with an issue and I pray “How long, O Lord”. I have walked with members of the church family through some difficult times, and You have faith that God will do the right thing, but you are just wondering when He will act. “How long, O Lord. How Long?”
Faith requires patience. God doesn’t act on our schedule or in our ways. God is God. Yet, this we know. We know that God is powerful. We know that God is good. We know that God is love. This is why, even as we ask “How Long”, we can have a patient faith. It is because we know who God is.
3 My soul is in deep anguish.
How long, Lord, how long?
Have you ever done something that deserved a “whoopin'”? Not just a spanking, but a full-fledged,take you out back, and whoop some sense into you kind of whoopin’? If you have, and you knew that you were caught, and you knew what was coming….how did you plead with the said whooperer? Was it a calm (in my best British accent) “please don’t paddle me, mother.” Or was it, “mama!!!! I love you. You’re the best. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Please don’t beat me, mama! Please…I confess…I’m sorry. I won’t do it again….”
Now imagine a sinful person like us coming before a holy and righteous God! We know we deserve a whoopin’! We know a whoopin’ is about to happen. What do we do? We beg for mercy. And when we do…we find it. But here is the deal. We find mercy because another has taken the whoopin’ for us.
The author of the Psalm pleaded for God not to rebuke Him in anger. We who are so blessed to live on this side of the cross give thanks to God for the One who took our place and bore our punishment on Himself. Today, when you think of the punishment we are do, when you think of the “whoopin'” we deserve…think of the grace that was given and the One who took your place.
For the director of music. With stringed instruments. According to sheminith.[b] A psalm of David.
1 Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
2 Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint;
heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.