He follows with a nice discussion, which he leaves unanswered, in the end. His readers are chipping in, though, so if you have a worthwhile contribution, go for it.
There’s another application to the prayer for people in need. You’ll find it on a million blogs of 12-step addicts all over the Internet, copied and pasted with the last breath of folks looking to free themselves from the “bondage of self.”
“If you have a resentment you want to be free of, if you will pray for the person or the thing that you resent, you will be free. If you will ask in prayer for everything you want for yourself to be given to them, you will be free. Ask for their health, their prosperity, their happiness, and you will be free. Even when you don’t really want it for them, and your prayers are only words and you don’t mean it, go ahead and do it anyway. Do it every day for two weeks and you will find you have come to mean it and to want it for them, and you will realize that where you used to feel bitterness and resentment and hatred, you now feel compassionate understanding and love.”
This is not at all the Christian “turn the other cheek” thing, which is just a lie. This is about cleansing ourselves of resentments, because resentments, when they accumulate, are pure poison and can kill us.
Make no mistake about it, forgiving someone for their behavior, or even for their transgression against us, even for a crime they committed, does not mean they’re not responsible for it and shouldn’t be punished. For their own good they should be punished.
But when I as an individual pray for them, they no longer live rent free in my head. They’re God’s responsibility now, and the police and the court and whatever else.
Thought I should bring it up.
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About the Author: Tibbi Singer is a veteran contributor to publications such as Israel Shelanu and the US supplement of Yedioth, and Jewish Business News.
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