Praying For the Converted

I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 1:16-20 NLT)

As I look at this verse, I am disappointed by the lack of prayer I devote to those people to whom I have introduced to Christ. In some ways, I am content to letting their relationship carry on once they have truly given their lives away. I think I should follow Paul's example and pray for my friends and that they will be given increasing spiritual wisdom, that they will grow in their knowledge of God, and that their hearts will be filled with confident hope.

I pray that all of my friends continue to understand the incredible greatness of God's power for us and how incredible that is in relation to our incredible weakness. May we lean on Him to sustain us and carry us.

Want To Excel At Sports? Embrace Bitterness

Back in the day (it was a Tuesday if I am correct), the Michael Jordan show was the most exciting thing to watch on television. When he played with Chicago I became a Bulls fan – just because he was that good.

Induction Speech
Last week, Jordan was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame. In what should have been a time of celebration, Michael flipped things upside down a bit. During his induction speech, Jordan showed why he was so motivated to become the best player of his time: he embraced bitterness.

According to a Yahoo article, Jordan took shots at various players and coaches. His speech revelaed bitterness dating all the way back to his sophomore year of high school. What it showed was that as good as Jordan was, he was never able to let it go. Over the years, he held onto his failure, hurt, and pain like a kid clutching a toy.

His Bitterness, My Bitterness
The thing is, Jordan is not alone. Take a look at Brett Favre. Part of the reason he is playing with the Vikings is so that he can take a stab at his former team. My question is why? Why would a man embrace bitterness toward the Packers after spending so many years with them.

The bitterness these two men hold are their own and no one will be able to share it with them. For, “each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy” (Proverbs 14:10). But, it can serve as a warning to all of us.

Free Yourself
Do not embrace joy-stealing bitterness. In fact, take it one step farther: “do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (Ephesians 4:26). Do not even let bitterness have a chance to take hold… unless you want to be a superb pro athlete. Then, game on!