An Annoyance Prayer
Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult. Prov. 12:16
A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. Prov. 19:11
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Col. 3:13
Dear Lord Jesus, these Scriptures cut to the quick and right to my heart. Lately, it hasn’t taken as much to irritate and annoy me, and I want to own it, even as I come to you for grace and freedom. You are the consummate “Over-looker”—so forbearing and forgiving, though I do plenty or things that would justifiably provoke you.
This side of glorification, I don’t really expect to be annoyance free. But certainly the gospel is big enough to help me show my irritation less quickly, less often, and less harmfully; and certainly the gospel is powerful enough to help me repent quicker when I do act immaturely—taking offenses and slights, loud talkers and slow traffic, late people and bad manners, cars that won’t start and whining that won’t stop, way too seriously.
So, Jesus, give me all the grace and wisdom I need to know what to take seriously and what simply to overlook, and acceptance of the fact that as long as I live in this broken world, broken things will abound. Give me gospel big-heartedness and gospel thick-skinned-ness; give me the grace of acceptance and kindness.
I don’t want to keep a record of annoying things done around me or to me. I don’t want to put every intentional or unintentional slight or aggressive or passive-aggressive comment on my iPod and then push the replay button. No good can come from that.
In fact, Jesus, I ask you to help me be far more aware of when I’m the one being unnecessarily annoying or irritating to others. Convict me when my sense of humor leads to someone else’s hurt. Help me to steward my words, body language, and “freedoms.” Jesus, help me to give others fewer reasons to need this prayer when they’re around me. So very Amen I pray, in your loving and kind name.