Saturday, November 17, 2012

Birthdays, Holidays & Estranged Family

I pray for estranged family members on the birthdays and holidays we would normally celebrate together. I ask God to pour down His blessings on them, protect them from harm, and provide for them and their household. I pray about the situation and ask God to reassure them of His love for them. I also ask the Lord to let them know we love them too. The more sincerely and often I pray for them, the more God fills my heart with a greater love for them. 

I had a very perplexed non-Christian friend ask me how I could profess love and concern for someone who had caused deep hurt. As a man who has been hurt repeatedly by people he gave his trust to, he can't comprehend it. I think it really ticks him off I have peace while he is still stewing over a situation which he readily admits wasn't as hurtful. My answer is simple: It's the blessing of obedience. When you obey God, He does amazing things in your heart and life! Heartfelt prayer makes inward changes. Act in obedience and the feelings follow.

Asking God to bless them isn't something I readily "felt" like doing. I love my Almighty God, so I obeyed. In return for my obedience for sincerely asking blessings on my estranged relatives, He granted me great joy in my life, love for them, peace for myself, and spiritual growth. That's why His commands aren't burdensome. Once we follow through with what He's leading us to do, we realize His commands are of great benefit to us.

Luke 6:28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them who despitefully use you.

I John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not burdensome.

Luke 18:1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.