“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is Mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:17-21).
How will the unsaved most likely come into God’s kingdom – through your revenge, or by your loving acts and your prayer for them? This is an extremely important concept grasp, and to teach children, as their first response is often to hit back, think up revenge, cease friendship, etc., rather than praying, continuing to be kind, etc.
Sometimes I say unkind things to my husband that I would normally not say to him. Precious man that he is, he always responds kindly to me and is never harsh. He doesn’t try to get back at me or say something hurtful in response. What does this do in me? It drives me to God in repentance and then to my husband to apologize! How many arguments or hurtful situations in our families could be avoided by simply responding kindly instead of fighting back – submitting to God instead of to our natural human sinful flesh! It really works! I feel terrible for hurting my husband’s feelings or lashing out at him because he is kind! If he responded back to me in anger, I doubt I would feel very repentant. But because he responds in love, it brings me back into right relationship with him, and with God.
Adapted from the article Loving People into God’s Kingdom through Prayer by Kim Butts, author of The Praying Family: Creative Ways to Pray Together
Loving Father, I know that praying for people I love, and for those who are lost, is Your way of accomplishing Your plans and purposes in their lives! Set my heart on a peaceful path when I am angered or upset…or when I have forgotten to pray for those who have not yet stepped into the light of Your glorious kingdom! Keep me from succumbing to feelings of anger, outrage or revenge. Help me to live at peace with everyone! Set my desire upon loving all people and desiring Your best for them! Keep me from being overcome by evil so that I may continually overcome evil with good.
Praise God for his love, which is with you both night and day (Ps. 42:8). Give thanks for the songs of praise which God brings forth from you. Confess that you sometimes don’t feel like reveling in God’s love or singing his praises. Commit yourself to living every day in the light of that love. Ask God to continue directing his love toward you.
Pray for believers in the federal governments of both the U.S. and Canada. Thank God that he has placed his people in and near the seats of highest political power. Ask that they will be enabled to make a difference because they serve the Savior.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend