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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 278 - A Prayer For The Enemy

We're linked to Messy Marriage's From Messes To Messages -please be sure to visit for some really great marriage resources!

As both caregivers and patients we regard illness as an enemy, and it is. It destroys the hopes we had for the future, strait-jackets our days, and the changes in our priorities and perspective it engenders can separate us from our friends, from the society around us..."how cn you, the world, be worried about that while we are dealing with this!"

But while illness is an enemy, there may be a path other than blind dull hatred.  I heard about one, just today, from pastor Bobby Schuller of the Shepherd's Grove church. He told a story that I found compelling, and would like to share, without my own commentary.

The following prayer was written by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovi of the Serbian Orthodox Church. he was arrested by the Nazis for speaking out against them, and was near death when the Americans liberated Dachau. The prayer and additional commentary can be seen here.)

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.
Enemies have driven me into Your embrace more than friends have.
Friends have bound me to earth, enemies have loosed me from earth
and have demolished all my aspirations in the world.
Enemies have made me a stranger in worldly realms
and an extraneous inhabitant of the world.
Just as a hunted animal finds safer shelter than an unhunted animal does,
so have I, persecuted by enemies, found the safest sanctuary,
having hidden myself beneath Your tabernacle,
where neither friends nor enemies can slay my soul.
Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.
They, rather than I, have confessed my sins before the world…
They have scolded me, whenever I have flattered myself…
Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them…
Whenever I have wanted to lead people, they have shoved me into the background.
Whenever I have rushed to enrich myself, they have prevented me with an iron hand…
Whenever I have tried to build a home for a long and tranquil life,
they have demolished it and driven me out.
Truly, enemies have cut me loose from the world
and have stretched out my hands to the hem of Your garment.
Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them…
So that my fleeing to You may have no return;
So that all my hope in people may be scattered like cobwebs;
So that absolute serenity may begin to reign in my soul;
So that my heart may become the grave of my two evil twins: arrogance and anger;
So that I might amass all my treasure in heaven;
Ah, so that I may for once be freed from self-deception, which has entangled me
in the dreadful web of illusory life.
Enemies have taught me to know what hardly anyone knows,
that we have no enemies in the world except ourselves…
It is truly difficult for me to say who has done me more good
and who has done me more evil in the world: friends or enemies.
Therefore bless, O Lord, both my friends and my enemies.
Slaves curse their enemies, for they do not understand.
But sons and daughte
.rs bless them, for they understand.
For they know that their enemies cannot touch their life.
Therefore they freely step among their enemies, and pray to God for them.
I'd love to hear your thoughts.
A bit of news..."Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart" has come home! Tate Publishing has gone south, and I regained the rights, so it'll soon be available in both Kindle hardcopy versions once again. In the meantime, if you absolutely can't wait (!), you can still get used copies from Amazon.

I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.

Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.


And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.

If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

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  1. Wow.
    That is exactly what I needed to read tonight, Andrew.
    Thank you!

    1. Tammy, I'm so glad this spoke to you! When I heard it, it felt 'just for me', too.

  2. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing this prayer! Blessings and prayers friend!

    1. I'm so glad you liked this, Mary, and thank you so much for the prayers.

  3. I've never heard this, Andrew, but I love it! What an insightful way to look at how the enemies and struggles in our lives draw us to the Lord. We say it all the time, but this truly fleshes that out for us in eye-opening ways. Thanks for sharing it. I'm going to have to snag that prayer and pass it along to others in some way. Very powerful!

    1. Beth, it was new to me, too. When I heard Bobby Schuller quote from it, I was gobsmacked, just stunned. It's so very powerful as a testimony of faith!

  4. wonderful words my friend! I myself have been dealing with my own enemies, not of the illness kind, although I have had that nasty sinus crud this week, sadly of the people kind. I'm realizing more often than not, these enemies are for our greatest good, to grow us closer to our Lord. And no matter how many enemies I face, that is my greatest desire!

    I think I'm ready to rejoin the world again.

    1. Christy, I'm so sorry you've had a rough patch...and your desire, to grow closer to the Lord...spot on!

      So glad you're ready to rejoin the world. We've MISSED you!

    2. Thank you my friend! I've missed all of you too!

  5. Replies
    1. Jan, I'm so glad this touched you. Thank you so much for being here.

  6. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.