For those of you that missed Part 1 of this post, this is in no way an endorsement of street preachers so head on over and read the first part before reading this post. This is Part 2 of Kevin Harris (Director of Community Relations for The Marin Foundation) posts on our upcoming Chicago Gay Pride Parade events.
“I’m not sure what your reaction is to or what you think of street preachers, but my guess is that if you’re reading this blog you’re probably not a big fan of them. So in the name of practical application, I’ve written out a short prayer while thinking about Ruben Israel (above) as he was at the pride parade in Chicago last year and will most likely be there again this weekend. If you have a minute, take the time to read and say the prayer with me. If you can’t bring yourself to pray for Ruben or street preachers in general, then maybe take a minute to ask God to start to work on your heart to foster some feelings of compassion and love for them so you can one day pray for them if you feel being led to do so (considering that you’re a Christian).
I try to avoid praying that God would change others hearts and the way that they present their message, as that is already a given that often seems to play into feelings of moral superiority and pity for the person that I disagree with. Although it is important that his approach would change as I assume that it has caused a decent amount of hurt and bitterness in those that come in contact with it, we often seem to focus on this aspect instead of affirming others humanity as a child of God and praying for their mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.
God, I lift up Ruben and pray that he would continue to come to a deeper understanding of how great your love is for him
that he would more fully grasp how wide and long and deep is the love of Christ
that you would continue to bless him with the joy of his salvation
the hope that you have called him to
assurance in his identity as a child of God
contentment in his relationship with you
comfort in his times of trouble
and your peace that surpasses all understanding
while revealing what your will is for his life and how he should walk out his faith
While he is away from home I ask that you would give him safe travels
and be with his family until he returns
I ask that you would forgive me for the feelings of contempt that I have felt towards him
and I acknowledge him as my brother in Christ regardless of my feelings
as you alone have the knowledge to fully know
and the authority to determine the salvation of your children”
Do you have any specific prayers that come to mind when you think of street preachers that tell you or someone that you love that they are evil and going to hell? What about others that have hurt you in the past?