Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
Manny Pacquiao does it whenever he enters the ring. Katrina and Hayden should have done it. Anyone can do it. What is it? It is Prayer! Prayer powerfully improves relationships. Let me show you how.
Paul told Christians, “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment” (Philippians 1:9). Jesus said to, “pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). Linking prayer to marriage, Peter warned husbands to live with their wives in an understanding way so that their, “prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7)!
In the first verse, Paul is talking about what is called, “agape” love. Loosely defined, it means that you and I have the best interest and welfare at heart of the object we love. Seeking to destroy, malign, use or humiliate the other person for the sake of “winning” or “profit” is not love.
The “real knowledge” means we seek the truth in any matter of dispute as opposed to relying on rambling gossip or jumping to conclusions based on limited or distorted information.
The “discernment” means to be careful in our judgments of others. Realize that the other person may be going through thorny circumstances in their life. They may have just lost their job, gone bankrupt, or encountered brutal hardship, and that explains their being cranky or indifferent.
The starting place, however, for developing abundant love begins with prayer, according to Paul.
Those who hurt us
Next, Jesus issued hard advice. When people gossip about us, do wrong to us, or even inflict us with serious harm, Jesus said to pray for them. Our instinct is to punish and get even. That just invites the other person’s retaliation, and the cycle escalates.
A disclaimer: I do not mean we should forsake justice when necessary, but justice does not exclude prayer. Jesus said to pray for the other person. That sounds like a terrific suggestion. After all, Jesus is God, and He should know. What harm is there in asking God to help out in a difficult relationship problem? After all, God can do things that we cannot!
Finally, Peter connected prayer to our marriages. Fighting, squabbling, quarreling, and the like not only make a marriage miserable, but they clog up the prayer channels to God. That makes for a losing situation.
Since Jesus, Paul, and Peter said that prayer is a good exercise to build positive relationships, surely it is to your advantage to pray. Your relationships are important. And so are you. Remember, even Manny Pacquiao prays.
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