Praying against an enemy

This post is part of my lenten series: 40 prayers for Russia's orphans.  Won't you join us in lifting up some of the most vulnerable children in our world today? 

Day 22
Arie's former baby home has a website. I'm not going to share it, but on the website there are pictures of children who are available for adoption.  The website is all in Russian but with the help of google translate I found my way around it, back before Arie came home. Since he's been home the website remained the same and Arie's picture was always up there, unchanged.

Until today.

Today one of my fellow adoptive mom friends showed me that the site was finally updated. Arie's picture is gone and there are new, updated faces in its place.

They are the faces of Arie's friends. His pseudo-siblings, waiting for families in Russia.

I'm emotional as I write this.

For one, I know that a couple of those toddlers have families waiting for the in the States; families who desperately want to bring them home, but whose hands are tied because of the adoption ban. They are deeply loved but some terrible, awful legislation is standing in the way of that love. "Awful" doesn't even begin to describe it.  To stand in the way of an orphan and a loving family... that's a terrible place to be. I pray the politicians who are standing in the way will move out of the way. And if not, I pray God moves them.

Another thing that makes me so emotional is a shirt.  The shirt that Arie wore when we saw him on our court trip. This shirt:

One of Arie's little friends is wearing this shirt in his new photo on the website.

When we saw Arie in that shirt we tickled him and kissed him and loved him with our whole hearts.

Now this precious little boy- 6 months younger than Arie- is inside that same shirt. But he's without a mama's love. Without a papa's love.  As the saying goes, it hits too close to home.

Every day that I wake up as a Christian is a day that I decide to forgive. It's just what it means to be a Christian: to forgive even the worst offenders again and again and again. It's really an impossible thing to do, but for the grace of God. I only do it because God has forgiven me my sins and my sins against God are far, far greater than any persons sins against me could be.

Still, it is right to be angry at injustice. And the injustice these orphans suffer isn't just the result of an abstract law. It's the result of decisions made by people. One person, in particular whose name I won't type out on my blog, but you can read about him in this New York Times article to get an idea about how he conducts himself.

Here's the thing I'm struggling with: I really want to hate to his guy. But I also don't want to be unforgiving.

So today I'm going to pray from a few verses in Psalm 83, a psalm against enemies.

Some of the psalms that pray against enemies seem so angry and spiteful and not in-line with Jesus' message of peace and love. In response to this seeming contradiction one of my wise seminary professors told me to think about these Psalms in the Pauline (meaning, from the apostle Paul, author of most of the New Testament) terms of "old self" and "new self." When someone comes to saving faith in Christ, the old self dies and the new self comes to life. The old self bows to selfish desires, lusts, greed, sins, etc whereas the new self submits to the Holy Spirit who guides us to everything true, noble, pure, and beautiful.

I think that's a really good way to pray this Psalm with that particular Russian politician in mind. And others like him. That he would die to his old self and rise again to the new self, in Christ.  That, as we will pray in a moment, his old self will be shamed, terrified, and destroyed so the new self can rise in love and submission to our Holy God.

So let us pray:

Dear God,

Do not keep silent.
Do not be deaf, God; do not be idle.
See how Your enemies make an uproar;
those who hate You have acted arrogantly.
They devise clever schemes against Your people;
they conspire against Your treasured ones.

Make them like tumbleweed, my God,
like straw before the wind.

As fire burns a forest,
as a flame blazes through mountains,

so pursue them with Your tempest
and terrify them with Your storm.

Cover their faces with shame
so that they will seek Your name Yahweh.

Let them be put to shame and terrified forever;
let them perish in disgrace.

May they know that You alone—
whose name is Yahweh—
are the Most High over all the earth.



  1. Anonymous3/12/2013

    Jill...I discovered your blog yesterday and I've been reading non-stop. I am so encouraged to be reading about your adoption and your relationship with God. I too am a Christian, so I love hearing how you so beautifully describe and talk about both. I didn't see a place to send you an email...but was hoping I might be able to ask you a few questions about adoption and the church. Do you have an email that I might can get to "pick your brain" (haha, so to speak)? Thanks!

    1. So glad to hear that you have been encouraged through our story! Awesome. Yes you can send me a private message via my blog's facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/addingaburden Look forward to hearing from you!


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