There is a Good Reason to:

loveyourenemies1The holiday season is a time of great stress for many people because they are choosing to hold grudges. I hope you are not one of them. If you are, there is a solution. Prayer and hate do not mix. They cannot coexist. To really be praying for someone, while hating them are mutually exclusive. I did not read this in a book. I proved it for myself with people whom I tried like the devil to hate.

Just this week, I experienced an incident demonstrating the potent power of prayer; albeit, this one did not involve hate. However, it makes a similar point. There is a man at the gym who really bugs me. I try to avoid him. The problem is not with the man, but with me. This fellow is a nice guy, but extremely verbose and without borders. I am pretty much the opposite. I want to go to the gym to work out and not chit chat. Unless I really know you, I’m an introverted kind of guy — a man of few words. So, the very last place I want to be with this man is in the steam room, where I prefer to simmer in silence.

The other day he walked into the steam and even before the door had closed, he started telling us that he lost his car keys the previous day. It all went on and on and on. Every detail of the lost keys was covered more than adequately. He then told us that his wife was sick and had to have an operation. He described everything. For reasons, I can’t fully explain, while sitting there in that cloud of steam, I was moved to silently pray that he would find his keys and that his wife would be OK. I said those prayers for the last five days.

This morning he came into the steam room; of course he told us every detail of his weekend. When he finally paused for a split second, I asked if he found his keys. He seemed surprised and replied that he had. I asked him if his wife was better and she is. We talked for a few minutes and I had to leave or pass out, but for the first time I enjoyed being around him. I think I’m going to like him. I want you to understand, that is what prayer does.  There is a reason that Jesus gave us all this command:

Luke 6:27 But I tell you who hear me, Love your enemies.  Do good to those who hate you.  Bless those who curse you.  Pray for those who mistreat you. 

And the reason is…..it changes US!

The online version of my book for free Unscrewed: Becoming Whole Again. My personal story of abuse, shame, guilt, addiction, failure,rehab, forgiveness and victory. http://johngouldener.com/?page_id=3877

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