PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Luke 6:36 says, “Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.”
Jesus spoke these words at the end of His admonition to love our enemies.
Loving our enemies is hard to do, so we tend to follow this commandment by loving our enemies from a distance.
Pray for them from a distance.
But there’s something about mercy that kind of puts us in closer proximity, don’t you think?
Dictionary.com defines mercy as, “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.”
That’s a powerful word with a powerful meaning.
And it feels far more personal than our tendency to love and pray from a safe space.
Let’s keep looking at the word “merciful.”
The book of Luke was written in Greek and in this particular verse, the original Greek word was “οἰκτίρμων,” meaning to be merciful and compassionate.
It’s a term that can be cross-referenced back to Matthew 5:7, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”
Sort of along the same vein as, “but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses,” which Jesus spoke in Matthew 6:15.
We are called to forgive others as our Father forgives us, and we are also called to show mercy, just as our Father is merciful to us.
How do we show mercy?
Obviously, extending forgiveness is a sign of mercy.
But one act of mercy keeps coming to mind and it’s a prayer that we will see others through the filter of Christ’s love.
Our love, forgiveness, and mercy will never be strong enough.
We need to pray for Jesus to equip us to do it.
We need to pray for Jesus to put His love for others in our hearts so that we can show true mercy.
Today, as you pray, thank God for His mercy.
Acknowledge that it’s within His authority to punish us, but express gratitude that He chooses mercy instead.
Ask Jesus to give you the ability to see others the way He does, so that through that, you can show Christ-like love and mercy.