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A Prayer for Atonement
By Greg Laurie
For Your name's sake, O LORD, Pardon my iniquity, for it is great. - Psalms 25:11
Peter couldn’t take it anymore. He had watched His Lord’s anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane. He had watched the group of soldiers come to arrest Him. So he took out his sword, took a swing, and removed the ear of the high priest’s servant.
In a way, I understand Peter’s frustration. Had I been in the same situation, I might have done the same thing. We might almost commend Peter for his heroism and bravery. But in reality, Jesus did not do that at all. He told Peter to put the sword away. Poor Peter. He couldn’t seem to get it right. He always seemed to be doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. He was sleeping when he should have been praying. He was talking when he should have been listening. He was boasting when he should have been fearing. Now he was fighting when he should have been surrendering. He always had it turned upside down. You see, Peter failed to see that he was fighting the wrong enemy.
Our enemies are not flesh and blood, the Bible says, but principalities and powers. And they cannot be defeated by ordinary measures. Far too often we take things into our own hands and try to assist God, to sort of help Him out a little. And far too often we do not pull out the most powerful weapon in our arsenal, which is prayer, and use it in these times of battle.
As Christians, we are too quick to protest and not quick enough to pray. We are too quick to picket and not quick enough to preach and focus on what God has primarily called us to do. We need to realize that we are fighting a spiritual battle. Therefore, we need to use spiritual weaponry.
Heavenly father, we are all your children, and you love us in a way we can hardly fathom. Help us to see past the issues that divide us, and see one another with eyes free of hate. We have sinned. We have struck at our brothers and sisters with malice in our heart. We have made enemies of others while claiming to be your disciples. Help us to atone for these sins, and remember to love our neighbors and we love ourselves. Amen.
*Editor’s Note: The following is an abridged version of “Fighting the Wrong Enemy” by Greg Laurie. To read the full article, just follow this link.