A Prayer to Release Sinful Anger - Your Daily Prayer - April 29

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A Prayer to Release Sinful Anger
By Emily Rose Massey

“Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity." - Ephesians 4:26-27, NASB

The other day, my husband and I got into a heated argument. We both became so angry with one another that we continued to go in circles and rehash the argument. I found myself not thinking clearly and saying things that were hurtful towards my husband, things that I did not believe to be true. I constantly interrupted my husband with what I wanted to say and never let him voice his concerns. In my frustration, I became so exhausted and confused that I didn’t have any energy to continue the conversation. 

Thankfully, before we drifted off to sleep, we both took some time to calm down and began to apologize for our anger and hurtful words. Knowing that anger that is not restrained can often lead to sin, and in this case, it did, we both repented to the Lord and to each other. The Bible provides much instruction and wisdom regarding the sin of unrestrained anger. In the book of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul makes an interesting and helpful correlation between sinful anger and the schemes of the enemy:

“Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity." -  Ephesians 4:26-27, ESV

Paul doesn’t say, “Don’t be angry;” he merely says do not sin in your anger. Anger isn’t evil, yet anger can easily become the occasion for sin if we are not guarding our hearts. The Lord created us with a ray of emotions and understands that it is completely normal to experience overwhelming feelings when we are stressed, disappointed, offended, rejected, and hurt—especially anger. In Ephesians 4, we read that being angry is going to happen, but that is not the issue. The issue arises when we do not control our emotions and allow our anger to consume us so much that it causes us to react to that anger in sinful words or actions. 

For me, when I struggle with this sinful behavior the most, I can often allow myself to outburst by yelling at my children, slamming doors behind me, or saying hurtful words towards the ones that I deeply love. When I allow myself to lose control in those situations, the enemy is given an opportunity to cause destruction in both my own life and others. If anger is not controlled, it can lead to more destructive behavior. Jesus even tells us in the Sermon on the Mount that anger toward a brother is equivalent to murder (Matthew 5). God is after our heart, and He does not want anger to remain in it and breed more sin.

Obviously, I see how my flesh and the enemy can lure me into those kinds of sinful behaviors when my emotions get the best of me, but I don’t have to take the bait. Anger will inevitably come, but I can choose to process those emotions with the Lord and with those with whom I am feeling angry. It is not healthy to go to sleep angry either, so it is important to settle those frustrations quickly so that reconciliation and peace can be found. We must release the anger and not allow bitterness and resentment to take root. When anger leads us to act out sinfully, we are given an opportunity to run to the throne of grace and receive Christ’s mercy when we repent for our sins. God is faithful to forgive us and strengthen us with His grace to overcome every temptation to lash out in anger. May the Lord help us renew our minds with His Word and give us the patience we need to endure frustrations with self-control as we release anger to Him.

Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father,
Your Word has so much to say on the sin of unrestrained anger, yet we give in to this temptation all the time when we are challenged by our selfishness. I repent for sinning against those who have been made in Your image when I did not prefer them above myself and allowed my words or actions to cause pain. I know anger will present itself in my heart, but I do not have to be trapped by it or consumed by it. I trust that You will provide a way of escape when I am tempted to sin in my anger. Holy Spirit, help me look to You for help to handle those overwhelming feelings. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for Your grace to empower me to release anger to You and walk more Christ-like. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Diana Simumpande

headshot of Emily MasseyEmily Massey began writing short stories and poetry as a little girl, entered the blogging world in her early 20s, and published her first book in 2015. She enjoys being a stay-at-home momma while still being able to pursue her passion as a writer. Believing she has been forgiven much, she loves much, and desires to point others to Christ and His redemptive and transforming power, especially by sharing truth found in God’s written Word. If you would like to connect with Emily, you can visit www.emilyrosemassey.com

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Originally published Monday, 29 April 2024.