I was investing some time during the Covid debacle, praying about the
spirit of fear that I saw creating havoc in our nation. I needed to
drive a for a while, and I like making use of the time (“redeeming
the time” perhaps?).
I was praying about the grip that fear had in our nation, but I was focusing on how I see the grip working in my family and friends. Father had shown me something of the enemy’s plans in that area, and I could see them at work, like thorny vines wrapping around minds and wills and squeezing life out of them.
(By the way, the whole vaccine issue is powered by a spirit of fear [and some other things]. Some folks are afraid of a virus, or of not complying with authority, so they choose to get a vaccine. Other people are afraid of the vaccine itself, or about the loss of civil liberties, so they reject the vaccine.
Curiously, each group accuses the other of being insensitive and of acting out of fear. And probably most of those accusations are at least partly right. But I digress.)
So I was praying for people I care about. I was praying for courage, praying for an openness to the truth, denying permission for that spirit to be present or to work among them.
And as I prayed for them, I prayed in similar fashion for myself. That’s what I do.
I learned some time ago that my knowledge and beliefs are not actually completely perfect in every detail, so any time that I pray for someone to be open to the truth or for courage to stand against lies, I include myself in the prayers. I’m not above being wrong, after all.
My prayer time started off a little awkwardly; that’s not uncommon for me, as I look for “the vein” of Father’s heart in the prayers. After a little bit, I felt like I found it. I saw how it was working and how to respond effectively to the thing, and I was really enjoying praying for folks I care rather a lot about.
Then he took a sudden left turn. “You need to repent, Son.”
Wait, what? What for? I’ve been careful to include myself when I’m praying for folks on this issue! What do I need to repent for?
And with one glance of his eye, he showed me how I needed to let go of the judgment I had in my heart, both for people who held opinions that were part of fear’s agenda, and for people who were unwilling to really look at both sides of an issue, who never really listened to other people’s heartfelt concerns if they didn’t agree with their own position.
Whoa. What do you know. You’re right, of course. I repented, carefully, with detail.
Then he opened it up a little more. I’d struggled with the same issues of judgment in several other issues. In all fairness, they’re pretty divisive issues, but let’s be honest: we’re quick to divide over an awful lot of issues.
I’ve been walking with Jesus for a lot of decades, but he’s still taking me to school pretty regularly. I sure appreciate his tender mercy.