Monday, December 10, 2007

Pray for those who persecute you

During the 40 days for life there were several people who would take the time to slow down or even stop and explain in very kind terms how they felt abortion should be legal and available to all. Ok, who am I kidding, there wasn't a single hour when we weren't cursed, yelled at, had objects thrown at us, or were charged with vehicles (although that did only happened once). There was a reason I loved the 3am hour, it was so quiet and peaceful, perfect for prayer.

One day as I prayed I saw a friend's car pull into the parking lot. I hadn't spoken to him in ages and was thrilled to see him again. It turned out he wasn't so thrilled to see me. He reported that he "flicked us off" every time he drove by and insisted that Planned Parenthood did many good things for poor women. I told him that there were other places that provided these services without doing the abortions. I tried to explain, but he just walked away.

Later, as I thought about my friend I realized that there is no one I know of in his life who is Christian, or if they are, they wouldn't be praying for him. He's got a nice job, a comfortable apartment, and friendly demeanor; you'd never know that he was hurting and in need of prayers. I used to pray for him, but as the years have passed we moved apart, I suppose you could say he "fell off the bottom of my prayer list." The Lord had brought him to my attention a lot lately, but I always felt like I had too many people to pray for. I'm sorry to say that it was easier to say a general prayer for all sinners than to pray for him.

I was reminded of what Christ said to us, "Whatever you do for the least of my brothers you do for me, whatever you fail to do, you fail to do for me." As I listened to the screams and curses of the others I realized that they are like my friend, hurting and suffering and desperately in need of our prayers. For them to feel so much hatred and anger, means they at one point knew love. By refusing to pray for them I'd failed Christ.

The next time someone curses you, consider that you may be the only Christian in their life. There may be no one else petitioning for their conversion. The Lord will pour out his graces in their lives through our prayers. Would you deny them your prayers and the chance to know His Mercy and Love? Will you, in turn, deny our Lord?

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