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Prayer Tip: Forgiveness and Love

February 13, 2022

Daily Scripture

Ephesians 4:32 (NIV); Luke 23:34 (NIV); Nehemiah 9:17 (NIV); Galatians 5:14 (NIV); Psalm 22:1 (NIV)

Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Luke 23:34 (NIV)

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

Nehemiah 9:17 (NIV)

But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.

Galatians 5:14 (NIV)

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Psalm 22:1 (NIV)

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?

Prayer Tip

by Rev. Chris Holliday, the Minister of Care and Missions at Resurrection West. Chris has been in vocational ministry for over 20 years and has served in many other roles including youth pastor, associate pastor, co-pastor, pastor of music and worship, and minister to single adults.

As I was driving home from church last Sunday, I came to an intersection and waited at the flashing yellow arrow. I was about to turn left when I saw two ladies at that street’s crosswalk. I motioned for them to go ahead and after they safely passed, I started my turn. I didn’t notice the oncoming car; but thankfully, the driver honked. I hit my brakes and a wreck was avoided. As he drove by me, he stopped and rolled down his window. I rolled my down too, so I could apologize. You could see the anger in his face. “Why don’t you learn to (expletive) drive!” he shouted. Then, he sped off.

I was shaken. I knew about road rage; but had never experienced it to this degree. I drove off cautiously. I was thankful there wasn’t an accident; but I couldn’t stop thinking about this man, his face, his words. He didn’t know me at all. He didn’t know I was coming from church. He didn’t know I had just let two ladies cross the street. He didn’t know I was tired and not feeling the best. And he obviously didn’t care. I was just the guy who almost caused a wreck.

But I didn’t know him either. I started to wonder what had happened (or was happening) in his life that would cause him to react this way. Was he or someone close to him sick? What were his family and job situations? Was abuse or addiction involved? Had he received some horrible news? Or was he just having a really bad day? After all, he wasn’t just the guy who raged at me. He was a person who was obviously hurting in some way.

I had a decision to make. I could write this guy off as a jerk or I could practice compassion. I chose the latter and prayed for God to help this man with whatever he was dealing with, to gather people around him to offer support and encouragement, and to bring him peace.

As you go through this week, I invite you choose compassion. As you are able, pray for those who have been hurtful to you. Ask God to bring understanding, change of heart, care, and peace to their lives. Author Mary Elizabeth Owens once wrote, “Be kind to everyone; everyone is going through something.” May we remember this truth as we strive to follow in the footsteps of the One who taught us to love.