When we pray to be like Jesus, what do we have in mind? Most likely it to be a loving person able to heal, feed the hungry, and point the sinner to God the Father. How about leaving the comfort of home and hitting the road – leaving all you have loved behind. How about going on the mountain top to pray? Or how about suffering beatings and being killed for the cause of Christ?
Let’s look at Stephen, the deacon, being like Jesus. While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. Then he fell on his knees and cried out, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ ” (Acts 7:59) I hear of the martyrs of our day. I pray “Lord, be with them as you were with Stephen, let them see your glory, let them see you, Jesus, let them fall asleep with a vision of you and with forgiveness in their hearts.” (Verses 54-57)
And I remember I am also commanded to pray for the enemies. For ISIS? Yes, we do not win by the “might of our horses” but by the Spirit of God. I marvel even more at the amazing grace of Jesus who can make an Apostle Paul out of Saul, the ISIS enemy of his day! (Acts 8:1) “And Saul approved of their killing him (Stephen).” No wonder Paul was full of thanksgiving! God, be merciful to the persecutors as well as the persecuted! And, Lord, reveal your glory to the “Sauls” of this world.
(image from 123rf)