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Potent Parent Prayers: Eating words

Hasty words don’t taste very good, when we have to eat them. Isn’t that the worst kind of indigestion?

Right now, everyone seems to be choosing up sides over several particularly divisive issues. A President election campaign is underway in the United States, and supporters of both major parties are volleying back and forth with real and imagined offenses and accusations. Meanwhile, on the global scene, terrorists are wreaking havoc in several spots and threatening to do so in others.

Anger seems to be an international epidemic. And the family is not immune.

Today’s Scripture addresses this volatility.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. (James 1:19)

Thanksgiving is next week, and many families plan to gather for the big feast. Others do not.

I’ve been saddened recently to hear of many feuding families and riled-up relatives, who refuse one another’s company. Others show up for clan get-togethers, but snipe and snarl. Still more essentially ignore each other, interrupting and talking over one another until the entire event becomes a noisy verbal free-for-all.

It’s exhausting and maddening, just trying to follow the tangled high-voltage conversational threads.

But that’s not what the Bible says. A loose paraphrase of today’s verse might say something like this:  “Don’t get mad. Get real.”

Ouch. Thank God for His saving grace.

Great God, You are YHVH Shalom, the Lord of Peace (see Judges 6:24). We ask You to bring Your peace to our families, every day and during our upcoming Thanksgiving holiday gatherings. Help us to hear one another, instead of aiming to win pointless arguments, so we may eat turkey, rather than eating crow. Build Your peace into our hearts and those of our loved ones. We ask in faith and in the name of our wonderful Lord, Your Son Jesus Christ.

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