We’re just over a 1/4 of the way through 2017 and with each month that passes, we human beings seem to become more cynical, critical and all-knowing than we were the month before. I don’t know about you, but I find myself tempted daily to body slam people. Just for fun. In 2017, we need Jesus and to become more like Him. Why? So we don’t get charged with assault. Body slamming is assault right? Here are a few simple prayers to make it through 2017:
Lord, help us to love our enemies (and people we disagree with).
The command from Jesus to love our enemies (Matt 5:44) is 2,000 years old, and yet it is never more needed. It’s crazy! In other parts of the world, Christians do a better job of loving people who have killed a family member than we do with someone we disagree with on Facebook. Who do you disagree with? Who do you think is ignorant? Who do you daydream about running over with your minivan? Jesus says to love them! Actively pray for them. Wish the best for them. Hope good comes their way. Just to be clear, this means we shouldn’t bad mouth, gossip, hate or be passive aggressive with them. Note: As followers of Jesus, this command isn’t optional. Sorry! Lord, help us to love our enemies.
Lord, help us put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
These words in Colossians 3:12-14 are the go-to verses to read at your wedding if you’re not a fan of 1 Corinthians 13. But they are also words to live by on a daily basis. When I was younger, compassion and kindness came easy. But the older I get and the more life I’ve lived, the harder they’ve become. On my own, I actually have none of these. Whether it’s with coworkers, the crabby receptionist at my hotel or crazy drivers, I have no compassion. No kindness. No humility. At times, these words seem completely absent in 2017. Thankfully we don’t have to love others out of our own compassion, kindness and so on… We can ask God to fill us with His. To fill us with His compassion. His kindness. His humility. (Note: His love has no end!)
Lord, help us to forgive the people who have hurt us.
If you leave your house (and even if you don’t but you check Twitter), you will be hurt. You will be wronged. We do need to work on not being so easily offended but that’s a different post. People will hurt you. Don’t be surprised. And in case you forgot, you will hurt others. And you already have. Without even knowing you, I’m actually shocked by the stupid things you’ve said and done. Only outdone by the stupid things I’ve said and done. Jesus tells to forgive and to forgive often. How many times? 70 times 7 (Matt 18:22). If you’re bad with math, that means endlessly! Your co-worker who hurt you, forgive them. Judge them by their best day not their worst. Your neighbor who did something that annoyed you, forgive them. Look for ways to serve them. The crazy person on Facebook, forgive them! Don’t arrogantly think you’re better than them. Look to understand them. Jesus, help us to be people of grace and forgiveness.
There’s a bunch of other things you’ll need to pray about in 2017, but hopefully these words will help you make it through the year without body slamming anyone.
This article originally appeared here.