I used to view my prayer life as a long ‘to-do’ list for God so I could tell him what I wanted changed in my life. I would ask him to change people so they could be better suited for my own needs. Yes, that was me.
“God, change my husband to make him be ABC and XYZ so *I* could have 123 & 456.”
I prayed that way because I was taught to. I was told that was those were the ‘right’ things to ask for.
Oh I prayed that way about my friendships too. I really thought it was correct.
Over time it seemed as though my prayer life was nothing more than a selfish wish list, a chant if you will. A magical list of what *I* wanted to have come true.
Then a sweet friend prayed with me one day and her words woke me up,
“Lord, allow Lisa to see her husband as you see him.”
Smack me in the head with a 2×4!
I had been seeing him through the eyes of the devil, with condemnation. My ‘prayers’ were nothing more than wickedness to control him to do my bidding. How selfish of me.
I began to view prayer much differently. It had to do with my heart’s desire more than it did with the words I was reciting. Sometimes prayer can become so ritualistic, then it seems to make me numb. Going through the motions.
Then I heard a story about a woman who had a neighbor who was very difficult to get a long with. This story became more influential to me when I heard the woman was a witch. Her prayer (spell) for the man was that he would relocate. Her heart condition was not that of seeking for something bad to happen to him, but that something good could come of it. He got a job promotion that moved him to another city. They both benefitted. The witch’s first ‘creed’, if you will, is ‘Harm no one’. They believe that when you put out good, it returns to you.
This reminded me of Isaiah 55:11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
Through Jesus, I see that God’s purpose is to love us. Jesus teaches us that we reap what we sow. Therefore, if we sow love, we will reap love. If we sow freedom, we will reap freedom. If we sow control, we reap being controlled. If we sow hostility, we reap hostility.
Then there are times when we do all we can to respond to tough times with grace. And we go through suffering for the cause of grace. The self righteous don’t want to bless us, they want to curse us. They don’t want to give freedom and peace, they want to condemn and control.
The apostle Paul (who was the apostle to my most ancient pagan ancestors), said that love is not irritable or resentful. The flesh will always war with the Spirit. It’s the letter of the law that kills. The Spirit brings life, not death.
Then there was a time when evangelism was barbaric in nature. If you didn’t believe in one church’s doctrines you would have been jailed, tortured, and burned to death. Thankfully we don’t see that happening in America, but it is happening in other countries. (Warning: graphic video) When people walk in fear, it breeds hostility. What spirit is it that leads people to beat fellow humans and burn them alive? Not *my* God. Jesus teaches me to love people. What spirit is it that condemns others? Not the one I follow! I follow the Spirit of grace and love. I admit though, it’s not always easy to follow grace when being attacked, or when seeing others attacked.
Then I find in 1 Peter 3:9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
This is when it’s the toughest for me to extend grace. I’m called to bless those who do evil to me and my loved ones. Jesus said, “do good to them that hate you.”
Do Christian bloggers pray, asking amiss? Are we just out to get all the Christian blogs to win just so they can be in the top 25 so the Pagans won’t be? Isn’t that asking amiss? How is that shining a Light of love and grace to Pagan moms? Maybe we should re-examine our hearts and see what the intention really is? I can see why folks would want to support one another as bloggers out of a heart of love and support. However, it may be an entirely different heart that does so out of spite and an evil competitive spirit.
One blogger said that they want the Christian blogs to go out into the blogosphere and tell about Jesus, but you think Jesus will bless that when your method of evangelism requires that you ‘burn’ the witches out of the way first?
Are Christian burning witches in the blogosphere? Burning them with hate-filled blog posts, inflammatory tweets, or casting them into the fires of nasty cyber war? So, I admit again, I have a difficult time showing grace to these Christians right now. They dish out the letter of their law and expect…what in return? The letter of the Law kills. So they give out the Law, it’s what they sow and it’s what they’ll reap. No grace for you. It’s not that I don’t think they need it, but it’s their own free choice to reap what they sow.
And yet I see grace coming from many Pagan mommies. So it’s grace they shall reap. In fact, I think they’ve been walking in grace for a very long time.
May we not light bonfires for witch hunts, but rather light candles in honor peace and the Prince in whom peace comes from.