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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

An overdue post

Most of you who know me know by now that I have a lot of great intentions-I mean well, but sometimes I get sidetracked in all the "stuff" life throws at me.

Rewind a couple months *cringe* to the CBA conference. There, I had the opportunity to hear Philip Yancey speak about his new book on prayer. Now, for those of you who don't know who he is, all I can say is go forth and buy ALL of his books. Seriously. The guy has such an amazing take on Jesus that for people who've written off "The Guy" because the churches stink, it'll make you stop and rethink "The Guy". Because truly, if you've listened to my rants long enough, and heard my thoughts on The Book, you know that I'm not particularly fond of most churches, but boy, do I love Jesus.

Anyway, Yancey's main topic was on Prayer, which, coincidentally (haha) is the topic of his latest release. He said a lot of cool things, and I really felt inspired to make some changes on my blog. Which I promptly forgot to do. Fast forward to tonight. Philip Yancey was a guest speaker at my church. Wahoo. Except I was on nursery duty. We had a record 20 babies in there. Needless to say, I did not get to hear my beloved Yancey speak. I know, sucks to be me.

However... afterwards, he did a signing. WAHOO ME!! I bought his latest book on Prayer (Me-el cheapo girl-actually paid $18 for a book). I also picked up a copy of The Jesus I Never Knew, because I don't know where mine is. Stood in line while my children went completely bananas, got my books signed, got to meet him and his wife (who is an incredibly sweet woman-she corralled my kids and got my older child to help me while I chatted with her hubby). And he encouraged me in my writing. Super Wahoo Me!

So back to the change I had wanted to make to my blog. I was reminded of this because at one point, we had a number of screaming children in the nursery, one of whom is a breastfed baby that we couldn't really help, if you know what I mean. So I got to go into the service to put the kiddo's number up, and my beloved Philip said something that made me forget my mission. He was talking about praying for Al-Qaida, and what sort of difference it would make if we each "adopted" a member of the group to pray for.

Praying for one's enemies.

We're really good at praying for our friends, and if someone says, "hey, I need this," we'll say, "I'll pray for you." But what about our enemies? Jesus says we're supposed to. But do we? Okay, I admit to praying that their house will blow up or they'll be infected with boils as a result of the horrible things they've done to me. But what about sitting down, and saying, Lord, help me to have a right heart toward this person. Teach me to love this person as you do." Because yes, folks, God loves the members of Al-Qaida too. Not what they do, but them. And because Yancey is a billion times smarter than I am, and because he quotes a guy who is also a billion times smarter than I am, I'm going to quote his take on it from his book.

"God loves his enemies," concludes Bonhoeffer; "that is the glory of his love." We defeat our enemies by loving them, and prayer activates that love.

I am so weary of some of the burdens I carry. Tonight, I spoke with a man who I had a grudge against for a really long time. Our problems were based off of a misunderstanding that snowballed into what became a nightmare for That Man and I. Even though That Man had pretty much forgiven this guy a long time ago, I had a harder time with it, but I got over it. However, this person is back in our lives. And he's apologized to That Man several times. Usually, he calls for That Man and doesn't say all that much to me, but since That Man wasn't home tonight, he talked to me for a bit. I could tell he was nervous, talking to me, and I know that he's commented to That Man about being nervous that I would still hate him. But we talked, and he apologized. And while I haven't hated him for a long time, there was still a feeling of relief in having that apology, rather than the hate, between us.

What does that have to do with prayer? A while back, this person became a father to a special needs child. I began to pray for him and the child. Did that lead to this guy's apology? I doubt it. But what it did was open my heart in compassion towards a person that I disliked for a really long time.

An appropriate ending to the evening of almost hearing Yancey speak. But hey, the book is right here, so I'm sure you all know what's on my agenda for the next few days.

So here's the challenge I want to give to you guys-and, I'm going to try to do this as a semi regular, semi permanent deal. I'm creating a wall of prayer. We're going to be praying for our enemies. I'm committing myself to pray for my enemies, as well as any enemies that people want to list. I hope you'll join me on this journey-I've started a new blog Praying for our Enemies just for that purpose. I hope to see you there!


Camy Tang said...

This is such a fabulous idea! You totally rock!

Jana said...

Ditto what Camy said!

Danica/Dream said...

Thanks! Glad you like the idea!

MiPa said...

I found this post via Camy's Loft. What an awesome idea! And I'm an avowed Yancy fan who has just ordered this book. Now I can't wait.

The morning that the first Gulf War started I was in chapel for a prayer meeting, the speaker (I can't even remember who) stood up and prayed for Saddam Hussein, for a change in his heart and his salvation. I was in awe that someone could pray for their enemies. I'm not there yet (not even with my minor irritation people in my life) but I want to be. I'll be visiting your site. Thank you.

Delia said...

I made my way over from Camy's Loft and I just have to say that I think this is one of the best blogging ideas I've seen.

Now, I must go to the Praying For Our Enemies blog and check that out!