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Watch for the Sunset pt 1
We are nearing the Thanksgiving holiday and it may be good to deal with any issues which could hinder our worship and gratitude to God, before we actually focus our attention in that direction.
"I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. I don't want them to be angry when they pray. I don't want them to argue." 1 Timothy 2:8
In searching for what could inhibit our prayers of Thanksgiving, it seems there is one action or behavior which proves to be extremely harmful, and that would be the spirit of anger. Anger can sometimes block our attempts to pray and draw near to God. Anger in itself is not the sin. The sin is in failing to bring anger under control, and more significantly into forgiveness.
The Word says, "In Your anger, do not sin." Ephesians 4:26 "An angry man stirs up fights. And a person who burns with anger commits many sins" Proverbs 29:22
We often hear of the "Serenity Prayer," used as a coping mechanism. However, seldom do we hear the entire prayer. This prayer is worth remembering in its complete form.
"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.
Taking, as Jesus did,
this sinful world as it is not as I would have it.
Trusting that You, God, will make all things right
if I surrender to Your will.
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
by Reihold Neibor
When I struggle with anger issues, as well as a few other pesky behaviors, IN FAITH, HE... helps me to remember this simple prayer. It speaks to me about the setting of expectations.
Do to misunderstandings of intent and placement of high expectations on others as well as God, we often carry misdirected anger, setting the stage for failure from every direction. We have seen first hand from Jesus, how God would have us handle our anger toward others. I wonder if we realize how important it is for us to handle our anger toward God? Habakkuk voiced anger to God which was addressed most eloquently by God himself. Through his struggle, our mighty God was able to show how we can go from anger, to understanding and then into jubilation as God brings about the "big" picture! Focussing our attention on the goodness God brings around us and the blessings only He can bestow upon us will bring us nearer to God, and into a state of thanksgiving.
"But Lord, You are a god who is tender and kind. You are gracious. You are slow to get angry. You are faithful and full of love. Psalms 86:15
A Prayer to Share:
You are a great and merciful God. I pray for wisdom and understanding to fill my life daily; Help me not to place expectations on others or You Lord, which may not be in Your will for me. Keep my heart free of anger and help me to be quick with solution and recovery. Lord Jesus, hear my prayer! Amen