There is no escaping that the call to love is always a call to people – even.the.difficult.ones, but how do you love people who annoy you? How do we obey Jesus’ command to love others as we love ourselves if we really don’t like them to begin with? We PRAY! I know it’s the complete opposite of what we want to do, but then again, so is everything that pertains to the Kingdom. Surrender leads to freedom. Serving is how you lead. Forgiveness, not anger, is how we overcome. Death actually leads to life. Choosing to pray for people who frustrate us means choosing to act on what we say we believe – that God’s ways and thoughts are higher than our own ways and thoughts. It means we choose to follow the instructions of our Lord who commands us to, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” By intentionally praying blessings over people who feel like a thorn in our side, we are responding redemptively, which means God can work through our choice and advance the culture of His Kingdom in us and through us. If we act and react to annoying people based on our feelings, then we advance a very different culture – and it’s not God’s. Prayer is a most powerful weapon in our spiritual arsenal that enables us to bear witness to the reality of Christ in us, even while we’re in the pressure cooker with difficult people. Prayer helps us renew our minds by fixing our thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure and admirable. It looks for the good things in people to dwell on. So, now is the time, ladies, to take off our super-saved, second-level Christian personas and get honest about some prayin’ we need to do!!! Who do you need to pray for? A family member? Friend? Neighbor? Classmate? Associate? Someone in your church? Then don’t wait! Pray now and continue to pray until heaven make its way through you. Take that person’s human name off your situation and remind yourself that your battle is not against flesh and blood. Choose to love your enemy or the person who annoys you because obedience trumps feelings, and obedience means you’re choosing Christ.