Daily Prayer Reflection: Do we complain or pray?

Night and day we pray beyond measure to see you in person and to remedy the deficiencies of your faith. Now may God himself, our Father, and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we have for you, so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. 1 Thessalonians 3:10-13

"Night and day we pray..." Can you imagine the struggles of the first apostles as they set out to tell people of this wondrous, but logically unbelievable news? What of Jesus himself, who was abandoned at every turn? I think I can safely say that I would most certainly "vent" at the end of the day. Ok, let's call it what it is - I'd have a few complaints. Yet, we hear Paul talk about how the apostles prayed night and day for those to whom they went. Jesus to his very last prayed for those who betrayed him.

Prayer has a fruitful end. Whether it is the end we wish to see or an end we will ever see is not the point. Prayer in the hands of God, for the right purpose, bears fruit. Our complaints, though they may relieve us of some frustration in the short term, do not really bear any worthwhile fruit. When I was really struggling with some people in my life, I received some wisdom through a friend. She had been praying about the situation, and asked if I ever prayed for the person. I admitted I didn't really, and she suggested I start doing so every day. If nothing else, entering into prayer rather than a litany of whining changed my own heart toward them, and in the end, the only thing I can control is me.

Today, challenge yourself to lift up those people and situations in prayer that most lead you to complain. Do so daily, even just for one week, and see where God takes your heart.