Thursday, April 28, 2011

Praying for our enemies -- The Limitations of human vision

"And God turned the captivity of Job when Job prayed for his friends."
"Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."
"Do unto others as you would others do unto you."
"Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us."
"It is not in man who walks to direct his steps"
"The heart knows its own bitterness and a stranger doesn't intermeddle with its joy."

So, I have finally managed to pray for the in-laws, not only the in-laws but for everyone who has ever wounded me.  How, you may ask?

Well, there I was watching Sid Roth and his guest was this guy,

the writer of the book shown below.

And I realized I hadn't prayed for them. True, I'd forgiven them. But I had not wished them to be blessed. How could I? They have destroyed so much of my life and my marriage.

Humans don't realize what they do to other humans. They simply don't. In some ways we are all pretty sociopathic. Only God sees all. Yet humans are often cruelly talking at and about other people, not realizing how they can devastate each other. Heck, I got post traumatic stress disorder from my in-laws...but try as hard as I tell them they cannot understand or feel the harm they've done. For a married couple to spend EVERY day of their 25 years of married life talking about the husband's in-laws is tragic. The typical judgmental Christian (or person who is proud of their maturity) will say, "well, that's very weak and immature of you to let cruel words affect you for so long." Another example of humanity's readiness to judge others.

I have spent the past 25 -- actually 27-- years asking God to let these people understand their cruelty to me, asking God to let my own father know how wounding it was to be told at age 17 that he had disowned me and my sister, asking God to let those who don't understand the fatigue and pain of fibromyalgia to understand pain, asking God to let folks who have judged my housekeeping skills and my weight gain understand what it is like to be judged. After all, to judge is to invite judgement.

But Peter Horrobin's talk about his book was about the golden rule: what we wish for others, we get for ourselves. <-- yeah, you read that right. Most people talk about the golden rule in a kind of gooey sentimental or dispassionately ethical way. But He discussed it as a law, as a real spiritual rule of life, as a way the world works. That is... I've been praying for the in-laws to suffer because they made me suffer...and it has led to my suffering because "what I want for others is what I want for myself."

So, I thought.. what if this is all true?

Then I thought about the in-laws and their inability to see. Can one be angry at any human, really? Even arrogant proud ones? No. Because they are so ignorant of their actions on other people, and they're so limited in their vision, unable to think past themselves because God is not in them showing them how to treat others.

So I asked God not to give them all the terrible things I've been praying would happen to them. (On the theory that I was getting in my life what  I was praying for for them.) Will see.

  • Paperback: 112 pages

  • Publisher: Sovereign World (January 1, 2009)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 9781852405021

  • ISBN-13: 978-1852405021

  • ASIN: 1852405023

  • Format: Kindle Edition

  • File Size: 362 KB

  • Publisher: Sovereign World Ltd (January 30, 2011)

  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services

  • Language: English


  • Here's the blurb:

    This book is one of the most outstanding and concise available on the subject of forgiveness.

    "In this book Peter Horrobin hands us the master key to healing and freedom. It undermines all our excuses and challenges us to take the plunge and pray the most powerful prayer of all."
    WAYNE HILSDEN - Senior Pastor, King of King’s Assembly, Jerusalem

    "Never has a book been more timely or helpful. Peter explores forgiveness biblically, personally and practically. Every Christian needs to read and respond to the teaching."
    JIM GRAHAM - Pastor Emeritus, Gold Hill Baptist Church

    "Simple, yet profound. Explains the key to life as taught and modelled by Jesus Himself."
    ALISTAIR PETRIE - Founder and Executive Director, Partnership Ministries

    "Keys that will transform your thoughts and actions. We wholeheartedly recommend this much-needed book."
    EDDIE AND ALICE SMITH - Co-founders, US Prayer Center

    "For 45 years I have seen the damage and hurt of unforgiveness. I am so thankful that my friend Peter Horrobin has written such a dynamic, easy-to-read, cutting-edge book on this vital, neglected and biblical subject."
    GEORGE VERWER - Founder, Operation Mobilisation

    "Peter has brilliantly communicated, in clear and precise language, the tools God has given us to make what is impossible with man possible with God."
    DAVID KYLE FOSTER - Executive Director, Mastering Life Ministries

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