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I’ll be honest with you about something. When I first began this prayer journey with you four months ago, I did it with the best intentions. We would be lifting up our president and our nation in prayer before a God Who already knows the outcome and Who is the only true definition of trustworthiness. What I didn’t bank on, however, was how my heart would slowly begin to change in a not-so-positive way toward the president himself.
Now, I didn’t vote for this president, but I had made the decision to keep an open mind about him, in hopes that some of my initial concerns about him would prove to be unfounded. We all know that this is not what happened. Even as I’ve written posts and prayed, my heart has become increasingly hardened toward this man and an immediate disgust fills my heart and mind the moment his likeness appears in my newspaper or on my television screen.
This morning during church, the pastor was in the middle of a relationship series and today’s message was about the importance of loving our enemies. Now, I wouldn’t typically describe myself as a person with a lot of enemies; I tend to get along well with most people and am generally easy-going. But, when the pastor simply uttered the phrase “love your enemies”, it was as if a huge likeness of Barack Obama instantly filled both of the screens in the worship center! I was, at once, both stunned and convicted. The Lord had my attention.
The pastor went on to speak around the following verse which is very familiar, but I’ve written it out here from the Message because I really like this interpretation:
“In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” Matthew 5:43-50 MSG
I’m going to go out on a limb here and bet that I’m not the only one that could be convicted about this; in fact, many of you have as much as stated that you hold the man in contempt or are struggling heartily not to. It’s so hard not to fall into this trap when it seems that every decision he makes is against what we believe! But the Word says that if we say we love God, but hate our brother, then we are LIARS (see scripture focus below). That is certainly not a word that I wish to have used to describe me. The Word also says that we are to LOVE our enemies (here, “love” is from the Greek agapaō – to love, be full of goodwill and exhibit the same). While we don’t have to LIKE what he stands for or the decisions he makes, and we can and SHOULD stand up for our beliefs, we are still to have a heart full of brotherly love toward Him because He is a child of God, loved as we are by the King.
So, as I always do, I continue to implore the use of your voice for the voiceless and your earnest stand for life. But, I’m asking you to join me in praying, not from a heart full of contempt, but from one full of agape love for a man who stands in the largest and most difficult shoes to fill in the world…a sinner for whom our Savior died, just like you and me.
Thank you for reminding us that we are called to love & pray for our enemies… Even told directly to to this for those in authority. It can be hard but I want to honor & obey God…& not give the "Enemy" a foothold. Praying & believing-April
“Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst.” Ouch, ouch, ouch!!! (I love this version!) I am a liar at times concerning someone I live with right here in my home! I’m standing in total agreement with your prayer! AMEN! Thanks, Melinda for this amazing, but convicting post! I appreciate your obedience!
Let’s think of it this way … if we had the opportunity to just sit and have a meal with our President, (no one else around … just chatting at the local deli), I think I could love him there. In fact, it would be easier if he just seemed a bit more real to me. He seems fake, trivial, and out of touch with Truth, but to forsake him the love of Calvary, thus condemning him to the grip of hell, is for me to be the most fake “Christian” of them all. Thus, I pray for balance in my prayers, and I long for a table chat where pretense would fade and Truth would be shared.
Deep down, there is a heart in there worthy of the throne room of heaven. He just doesn’t know it yet; let’s pray that God roots deep and convicts heartily in the dark places of the night … the place when the world finds its silence so that God can speak his voice.
Ppeace to you this week, Melinda, and Peace to our nation. May Calvary write its witness in bold face typed across the pages of headlines in the next 24 hours.
His Truth is marching on … Praise God, praise God, praise God.
You have uncovered my thoughts towards the President.My heart begins to stir with frustration and anger when I see or hear him speak.
You conviction is now mine!
That was a word I needed this morning. Not just about our President but others in my life as well. It’s hard to love our enemies, something I struggle with quite often. Thanks for the reminder!
thanks for keepin it real Melinda.
One of the most difficult things we can do is sincerily pray and earnestly embrace an enemy with a heart full of love and compassion normally reserved for our dearest friends.
love you dear friend,
Ouch! Melinda you’re right — you’re not the only one. I’m standing right here beside you!
I know that God has a plan for our President and I’m praying that God’s will be done — not mine. I also know that God desires that our President come to know Christ and accept Christ because scripture teaches me that. I am praying that God calls up godly men and women to surround our President and our First Lady.
Today, I make a commitment to also pray for Michelle Obama. She has her husband’s ear and I pray that God use her to soften his heart. Lord, I ask that you surround Michelle with godly women who live out their faith in a positive and encouraging way.
Praying in Alabama
Thanks for sharing so honestly, Melinda. May we see everyone through the eyes of our Savior’s compassion. Still praying with you…
Praying in Oregon.
“See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble.”
~ Hebrews 12:15
As always, thank you Melinda for sharing your heart, even the broken pieces.
God Bless You! The Lord has been speaking this to me on a very personal level about forgiving family/friends…I thought I had..but I didn’t go very deep-as the Lord searches my heart and digs a little deeper there is unforgiveness-resentment etc. Yes, sometimes it is difficult to forgive even the petty stuff…those who are persecuted for their faith in Jesus -forgive, pray for and love those who are persecuting them…Jesus forgave from the cross…we have such examples to encourage us to move forward and grow up into mature Christians.
You aren’t the only one whose heart has hardened toward our president. I feel like everything we stand for as Christians is being stripped away and in such a short amount of time. I am taking this post to heart. I needed to hear this today.