Rediscovering Prayer

by Addison Bevere

October 29, 2023

Separator Words with God by Addison Bevere
Who do you find it most difficult to pray for?

“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons [and daughters] of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” —Matthew 5:44, 45

In moments like this one—when there are wars and rumors of war—our world somehow feels both big and small. Thanks to newsfeeds that don’t quit and social tools that never sleep, we share an illusion of clarity and connection while being separated, at times, by thousands of miles.

In the last Sunday Entry, I wrote a bit on how our authority to pray for what’s happening over there (there being the Middle East and beyond) is affected by our willingness to let forgiveness do its work in whatever’s happening in our lives here. As we embrace forgiveness, which is the heart of living prayer, we take on the Father’s nature, and it is only from that place of authority and awareness that we can discern what the moment requires of us in prayer and action.

I love (and sometimes hate) Jesus’s words in Matthew 5:44­–45 because they make me uncomfortable in my self-righteousness and limited view of justice. Scripture also tells us to pray for those who do evil, for our battle is not against them, whoever “they” may be, but against the dark cosmic powers at work through them. In other words, God’s creative justice requires that we let our prayers, and not our vitriol or violence, make space for His grace to overcome the disintegrating and destructive power of sin.

Response

As you read this Entry, was there a particular person or situation that came to mind? If Jesus’s words make you uncomfortable, ask yourself, Why is it so hard for me to let God’s transforming justice do its good work in my situation? Could it be that praying, loving, or forgiving “them” feels like you’re just yielding to the injustice?

Yes, you may be broken because of them, but they are blinded by their bondage. There’s a reason, after all, why Jesus taught us to pray, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” The one who gave his life for them (and us) promises that “love” and “prayer” can help set them free, delivering them (and us) from their terror.

Closing Thoughts

Please understand I am not suggesting that we overlook or tolerate sin. To forgive is to stare down a sin until you see it for what it truly is. Forgiveness isn’t passive or indifferent. Rather, it creates the conditions for compassion, deliverance, and justice.

It would seem that we cannot know what kingdom justice requires of us until we first entrust justice and vengeance to the King and His ways.

Forgiving with you,

Addison

Separator Words with God by Addison Bevere

P.S. The Words with God book has an entire chapter on forgiveness. I wanted to just share the chapter, but publishers don’t look fondly on such things. You can, however, click here and get the whole book, which offers the other thirteen chapters too. (It’s available via book, eBook, and audiobook.)

P.S. If you missed the last Entry, click here to access it along with any other Sunday Entries you might’ve missed.

Sunday Entries

On most Sundays, I share a short prayer guide, offering words and practices that will help you see, hear, and experience more of God in your daily life. I’d love for you to join us.

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The Entries

When you feel anxious or ill-equipped this week, pull out the paper and pray through these words, receiving them as your own. Take a few deep breaths as you ask the One who searches and knows all things to guide you forward.

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Unforgiveness keeps us from knowing what to pray, and it causes our relationship with God to devolve into bitterness and disappointment. But as we exhale forgiveness, a spaciousness is formed in us, and we find the capacity to move through conflicts and concerns.

Continue Reading →

Take a quick inventory of your experience with people who “know everything,” the ones who make it their mission to prove how right they are and how wrong everyone else is. They are some of the most unloving and divisive people, right? Have you been that person before? (I know I have.)

Continue Reading →

06.11.23

“I’ve been thinking a lot about circles lately. So much of life is defined by circles—our days, week, months, and years form circles for us to move in and through. We’re constantly reminded that the end of a thing has a way of taking us back to a beginning. It would seem the cosmos announces the Circle as God’s shape of choice…”

Addison Bevere is the COO of Messenger International, a ministry founded by John and Lisa Bevere in 1990 that exists to develop uncompromising followers of Christ who transform our world. Messenger is dedicated to providing people with access to life-transforming messages regardless of their location, language, or financial position.

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Addison Bevere

Husband, father, author, poet, speaker & follower of Christ

addison-thumbnail-2021
Addison Bevere

Husband, father, author, poet, speaker & follower of Christ

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