Father in heaven,
I have been so unloving toward others lately. I think itís because I see them as being unlovable or not worthy of my love. I know that they are made in Your image, and as image bearers, they are worthy.
Give me Your eyes to see them the way you do. Show me Your image in each one I find difficult to love.
The relative whom the rest of the family and the world thinks of as being a loser, show me Your image in him that I might see his redeeming qualities. You know that I am tempted at times to give up on him, but You remind me of that one lost sheep that You search far and wide to find and bring back home. Sometimes I feel as though You have made me a shepherd over this one. Let me not prove myself a hireling where he is concerned. Show me where and how to go to the lengths You would go to meet him where he is.
Thank you for showing me one of your sheep. He really is a gentle soul, and lost.
Lord, there is another, who has come to symbolize all that is wrong with a local government entity. This entity applies laws in a corrupt manner. His success in a business endeavor means loss to me and mine. Show me Your image in him. I want him to succeed, but not at my expense. Show us all a way of compromise, so he can succeed and my family does not have to lose. You know that I am tempted to wish him ill, but You remind me that he is just a family man trying to realize his lifelong dream. He too calls upon Your Name.
Thank You for showing me my brother in Christ. His intentions are not bad.
Lord, those corrupt men, the ones who twist the law like the Pharisees did; who keep the letter of the law, but not the spirit of the law; show me Your image in each one of them, that I might see them as you do. Most of them are not young. They have lost their way. They cling to power because they have nothing else. Many of them do not know You. You know that I am tempted to hate them, but You show me that they are clinging to corrupting filth as a substitute for You. It is all they have, and I am moved to pity.
Thank You for showing me a real prayer need. I pray for their salvation as they are in such desperate need of You.
Lord, there are those in my community who are in this country illegally. They do not have the courtesy to come into this country through the front door, the right way. They sneak in the back door as thieves, taking through government handouts what they have not earned, living off the sweat of another manís brow. Show me Your image in each one of them, that I might see them as You do. You know that I am tempted to political rhetoric about the wholesale closing of our borders and deporting all who are here illegally. But You guide my feet to the soup kitchen where they come once a week for a hot meal. I talk to a man who left his home country in fear for his life because he does not want to be part of a drug cartel. He only wants his family to have a better life here. He says he cannot wait as long as it will take to be here legally. It is dangerous for him to stay in his own country.
Thank You for showing me the stranger in a strange land, and the kindness that I can show at the soup kitchen.
Thank You for showing me that these are all image bearers. As such, they are worthy of my unconditional love. Help me to always see past the things I find distasteful to uncover Your image in each difficult encounter. And when I cannot find it within myself to love the unlovely, love them through me.
May I be a willing vessel in Your hands.
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