I desire, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument
* * * * * * * *
I will always be grateful to a person I knew in college for teaching me an important lesson. I was constantly complaining to her about my roommate. Complaining got me sympathy and attention from people I respected. When the complaining stopped getting me the same level of attention, I complained more vigorously and my feelings toward my roommate turned into disgust. My friend finally asked me one day if I had ever prayed for my roommate. I was caught completely off guard. She confessed that there were people in her life that she disliked and the dislike was bordering on hate. She said that she had not been able to hate anyone for whom she had knelt in prayer. It was the first time I ever conceived that prayer is not a divine Santa Claus list but a conversation with one with the power to change our hearts. In a world of complex relationships, distorted justice, confusing responsibilities, praying for one's enemy may seem simplistic. But it does carve out a space in the bile of our discontent for peace of God to find a home in us.
* * * * * * *
We pray, Lord, for our enemies, foreign and domestic. Amen