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Anger And Prayer

Apr 09, 2003 03:17 PM EDT

1 Thessalonians 5:12-24 (NRSV)

But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to respect those who laboramong you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; esteemthem very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace amongyourselves. And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers,encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all ofthem. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to dogood to one another and to all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God inChrist Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise thewords of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good;abstain from every form of evil.

May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may yourspirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming ofour Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he willdo this.

Pray continually.-- 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NIV)

I was angry with my manager. He had first reduced my hours, thenfired me from a part-time job. One evening the anger bubbled upinside me. I wanted this man to hurt as much as I was hurting. Iwent to bed, but sleep would not come. My anger was consuming me. Iremembered that the New Testament urges us not to let the sun set onour anger and to pray continually. In desperation, I decided to getup and pray. Sitting at the kitchen table with my head in my hands, Iprayed aloud, "Dear God, take this anger away from me and give me yourpeace." I prayed for a long time, alternating between strong angerand asking for peace. It didn't seem to be helping, but I knew that Ihad to keep praying.

Then suddenly, without warning, I began to experience God's blessedpeace. I knew then that God had answered my prayers.

Each time the anger bubbled up again, I returned to God in prayer.God granted me control of my anger, and I was able to go to bed and tosleep peacefully. Thanks be to God!

Prayer: O God, help us remember always to turn to you in ourdistress. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:

God can replace our anger with peace.

PRAYER FOCUS:

Those struggling with anger

By John R. Shewell, Michigan