Prayer Tip: Innocence, Hope and Forgiveness

Posted Aug 5, 2018

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Daily Scripture

Matthew 5:43-46 (CEB)

You have heard that it was said, You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who harass you so that you will be acting as children of your Father who is in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both the evil and the good and sends rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love only those who love you, what reward do you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same?

Luke 23:34, 47 (NRSV)

Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing... When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent.”

Psalm 116:12-14 (CEB)

What can I give back to the LORD for all the good things he has done for me? I’ll lift up the cup of salvation. I’ll call on the LORD’s name. I’ll keep the promises I made to the LORD in the presence of all God’s people.

Jeremiah 29:11 (CEB)

I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the LORD; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.

Prayer Tip

One of my favorite Bible stories is about Joseph. Jealous of Jacob's favoritism toward Joseph, his brothers sold him into slavery. He ended up in the house of Potiphar, an Egyptian officer. Genesis 39:2 says, “The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded at everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master.” Soon, Potiphar put Joseph in charge of everything in his house.

Then Joseph was falsely accused of raping Potiphar’s wife and jailed. While Joseph was in prison, the Bible again says God was with him and he gained the prison commander's favor. After interpreting some mysterious dreams, Joseph impressed Pharaoh and went from prison to helping rule Egypt. He ended up forgiving his brothers and moving them to the best land in Egypt.

This story amazes me. Joseph didn't give up and didn't get bitter. The story mentions that the Lord was with Joseph when he was sold into slavery, when he was a servant in Potiphar’s house and when he was in prison. The King of Kings remains with us in our lowest points. There is nowhere so low that God won’t go with us.

Most of us will probably never be wrongly imprisoned. But we might be falsely accused of a wrong workplace act, or someone may spread lying gossip about us. Our spouse may decide to leave us even though we've tried hard to make the marriage work. Sometimes business partners pull out of businesses and leave their partner struggling. It hurts when we suffer because of someone else's choices.

What would have happened if Joseph had given up or stopped giving his best effort? That would have greatly limited God's ability to work through him. If you are struggling right now, stay connected with God through prayer. God can work through the toughest situations, and help us wring good out of them.

Dear Lord, some days our brief life here on Earth feels very long. Please comfort and provide strength for all of us in difficult situations. Please let us feel that you are with us. Thank you for never leaving our side. Amen.

 - Ashly Cooley, Counseling & Support Ministries

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Ashly Cooley

Ashly Cooley

Ashly supports the Congregational Care ministry at Resurrection Leawood. She works primarily with our Counseling and Support ministries.

Genesis contains one of my favorite Bible stories, which is about Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob. Because of his favor with his father, Joseph’s brothers sold him in to slavery. He ended up in the house of Potiphar, an Egyptian officer. Geneses 39:2 says, “The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded at everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master.” Soon, Joseph was Potiphar’s personal attendant and ran everything his house. 

In Genesis 39 we read that Joseph was falsely accused of raping Potiphar’s wife and thrown in prison. While Joseph was in prison, the Bible says God was with him and he soon gained favor of the prison guard. At the end of the story, Joseph found himself in favor with Pharaoh and he was helping rule Egypt. He ended up forgiving his brothers and helping them relocate to the best land in Egypt.

This story is amazing to me because Joseph didn't give up and he didn't get bitter. The story continually mentions that the Lord was with Joseph, so that must be the key. The Lord was with him when he was sold into slavery, the Lord was with him as he was a servant in Potiphar’s house and the Lord was with him in prison. The King of Kings isn’t afraid to be with us in our lowest points. There is nowhere so low that God won’t go with us.

Hopefully most of us won’t find ourselves wrongly imprisoned, but we might find ourselves wrongly accused of something in the workplace. Or someone may tell lies about us and spread gossip. Our spouse may decide to leave the marriage even though we have done nothing wrong. Sometimes business partners just pull out of businesses and leave people struggling. It hurts when we find ourselves suffering when we have done nothing wrong. 

What would have happened if Joseph would have given up or stopped giving his best effort? The Lord wouldn’t have been able to work through him. Perhaps you are struggling right now. Stay in connection and communion with God. God is able to work through the toughest situations and is even able to wring good out of it.

Dear Lord,

Our life here on Earth is brief but some days it feels very long. Please comfort and provide strength for those of us who are in difficult situations. Please let us feel that you are with us. Thank you for never leaving our sides.

Amen.

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