Hmm… Praying for the Prickly Pear

Typical habitus of an Opuntia with fruit
Image via Wikipedia

In 1995, the state of Texas selected the prickly pear cactus as the official plant of the Lone Star State. Found in the deserts of the American southwest, the fruit of most prickly pear cacti are edible, although it must be peeled carefully to remove the small spines on the outer layer before eating. If the outer layer is not removed properly, barbed bristles can be ingested, causing irritation and pain of the throat, lips and tongue. Hmmm… is there a prickly pear in your life? You know what I mean… the person who causes instant exasperation as soon as you hear his/her name, see his/her face, or think about him/her, that one person (or two) you approach gingerly (or steer clear of) in order to avoid the painful jabs from the stinging barbs of words, attitude, and behavior. Several months ago, the leader of our Yada Yada women’s prayer group challenged us to pray for the bristly person/people in our lives. Hmmm… how do you pray for that someone you do not want to think, see, or hear about? Hmmm… that sounds like a good place to start, asking God how to begin, and telling Him why you find it difficult to do so, which is exactly what I did. After some time, it became easier to pray for my prickly pear and as I prayed, I noticed some interesting things… praying became easier because my God chicks were praying with me, and praying had not produced change in the pear as much as change had been produced in me. The prickly pear had lost some of its sting because of the alteration in my attitude. Hmmm… remind me, who is the prickly pear I am praying for? (James 5:16 The Message)

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