Ouch! Prayer is hard work! The Deacon's Bench reminds us that today's Gospel reading holds us all to a very high standard. "When was the last time any of us here prayed for Osama Bin Lidin?"
Not me, Lord! I've been too busy patting myself on the back for my constant prayers for those adorably cute babies in the Children's National Hospital NICU ward.
'Cause it's easy to pray for adorably innocent babies, even if they happen to have "unadorable" yellowish green NG tubes coming out of their nose.
It's much harder to pray for angry guys from foreign lands who desire to plant explosives on my local Metro Redline.
And I'd argue that praying for abstract enemies who hate my country and desire to blow up my children on the Redline Metro, are far easier to pray for and far easier to love, than my more personal enemies in real life who seem to get kicks and giggles from their emotional sucker punches to me, my kids and my spouse.
Jesus lays done the line clearly for us -- LOVE YOUR ENEMIES! Pray for them!
We all know that I'm a major sinner in the "Christian who lacks meekness" department.
Guess I just got my prayer project for Lent!