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A Prayer for Protection
By James MacDonald
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. - 1 Corinthians 13:6–7
Love protects. Real, biblical love always protects others. When we abandon protecting love, our relationships unravel. The Apostle John reminds us of that with a graphic illustration: “For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous” (1 John 3:11–12, ESV).
Remember Cain? He was the first child born on Earth, the firstborn son of Adam and Eve. But he’s notorious for murdering his brother, Abel. In fact, the word translated murdered (or slew) literally means cut his throat. Cain brutally killed his younger brother.
Why? Why do people hurt each other? Why did Cain hurt innocent Abel? John tells us clearly. “And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous” (1 John 3:12). Never underestimate the conflict that rages in the heart of a person who is in the process of rejecting God. Never underestimate the tension that person feels between your life and his. “Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you” (1 John 3:13). In this context, the word world refers to the people you know: your neighbors, coworkers, friends, and family members who have not received Christ and are not walking in Him—and who feel the dissonance between your life and theirs.
If you want God’s protection on your family, choose love instead of hate. Turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39). Go the second mile (Matthew 5:41). Avoid the life of Cain. Choose instead the way of love, and experience God’s protection over your relationships.
Father God, open my eyes to see the ways I’m like Cain. What conflicts am I allowing to brew in my family? What anger is bubbling into murderous rage in my relationships? Thank You for the clarity to see how hatred kills relationships. I choose instead the way of love. Love protects. Help me to protect those I love by loving them. Your way is always best, Father. I pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Editor’s Note: Content taken from the Our Journey Online devotional, Love Protects, written by James MacDonald. You can read that piece in full here. All rights reserved.