How many times have I found it almost impossible to pray for “those people?” If you have ever been mistreated by someone, you know what I mean when I say “those people.” The message I heard in church today really hit home with me. I found myself questioning how I have related to, and with, people who I don’t like. On the one hand, people generally find it easy to relate to the idea, that Christians are supposed to be friendly towards others. As Christians, we are to pray for them and not judge. After all, these are some of the basis tenets of the bible. On the other hand, people will hold your feet to the proverbial fire and look at you strangely, when they know you are a professing Christian, and you don’t like certain people, or you will not forgive them, or you think some people don’t deserve prayer. That’s where the message found me today. Why today? Aren’t I a good christian brother? I go to church, pay my tithes, and volunteer each week. Well, it seems like that wasn’t enough for God. He had to go and get my attention with this “those people” stuff.
At City Church of Sacramento, we have been studying the book of Jonah, and Jonah was given a task to do. That task was he would have to go, and tell “those people,” the people of Nineveh who had killed, burned alive, beheaded, and enslaved his people. He was to tell them to repent, and that God would forgive their sins, and spare their destruction. Jonah, like us today, wasn’t going to have any part of this redemptive plan. Message from God or not! Many times, I’ve heard the Lord saying to me to forgive someone, or pray for them, but I continued whatever I was doing, and I thought they really didn’t deserve God’s forgiveness. They had been too bad, too cruel, too prosperous in this lifetime, to receive the benefits of eternal life. “Those people” just don’t deserve God’s plan of salvation.
Imagine what would happen, if we started praying for our enemies! We have serious crisis all around us today, because we have neglected to pray for “those people.” The bible says that if we’d humbled ourselves and prayed, God would hear us, and He would heal our land. Do we believe that? Do I believe that? Wars and sickness are all around us today, and it seems to be spiraling out of control with each passing day. There are new extreme and violent groups popping up each day, threatening to destroy our world, and they offer no apologies for their brutality against mankind. As a matter of fact, they say god tells them to do it. They cut off heads, murder people in masses, and abduct the young and powerless, whenever given the opportunity.
So what am I going to do about it? I’m only one person. I could hear the Lord say, make a commitment today. Pray for your enemies, “those people.” Pray like you’ve never prayed before. Don’t wait for a movement to start, or an organization to form, or a great leader to come alone. Start speaking to people about praying for “those people.” Burt, you start praying for “those people” and my word will not return to me void! I can change the hearts of men.
I was busy, enjoying church today. I wasn’t expecting to hear God tell me to pray for “those people.” I’m glad he got my attention and told me to post this message. I hope you are with me, as we start praying for “those people.” It’s kind of strange and funny, but by us praying for “those people,” I’m sure we’ll be included in someone else’s prayers, because we are “those people” too.
I'm a young senior, recently married, after raising 5 kids. I'm a christian and love to capture videos and tell stories with the camcorder. I love to skate and sing. I love to learn new things. I also love to garden and plant new kinds of veggies. I find it fascinating that people can communicate through blogging the word of God.