Then Joseph said to them, “Please come closer.” They did, and he said, “I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. Now do not be upset or blame yourselves because you sold me here. It was really God who sent me ahead of you to save people’s lives. This is only the second year of famine in the land; there will be five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor reaping. God sent me ahead of you to rescue you in this amazing way and to make sure that you and your descendants survive. So it was not really you who sent me here, but God. He has made me the king’s highest official. I am in charge of his whole country; I am the ruler of all Egypt. Genesis 45:4-8 GNT
If I were to make an action plan based on Joseph’s response to his brothers, this is what it might look like. First, decide with my head that I need to come to a place where I might forgive with my heart. Secondly, depend on God because forgiveness does not come naturally to me. Thirdly, understand my emotions and allow my feelings to catch up to my decision. And lastly, pray for my enemies and those I think are persecuting me – love them.
I think of Jesus’ prayers, there were so few recorded. I cannot imagine how He felt when He prayed this one.
At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud shout, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why did you abandon me?” – Mark 15:34 GNT
Of all the prayers He could have spoken, I love that He chose one from the Psalms, a traditional prayer or maybe a more prophetic prayer being fulfilled. It may not have been as long as some of His spontaneous prayers but I love knowing prayer had a place in His life.
Paul gave us the best examples of requesting prayer from his friends.
I urge you, friends, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love that the Spirit gives: join me in praying fervently to God for me. Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to God’s people there. And so I will come to you full of joy, if it is God’s will, and enjoy a refreshing visit with you. May God, our source of peace, be with all of you. Amen. – Romans 15:30-33 GNT
I want to learn how to pray with strength and I am motivated by Paul’s request for prayer. If I want God to use me, I need to depend on people who depend on Him by being in prayer.
Father, my strength to forgive, to love, to be a follower of You, to be a shoulder for others and to proclaim the Gospel comes through my conversations with You. I am thankful that Your door is always open.