A Prayer for Stewarding Our Anger Well
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Eph. 4:26-27
Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools. Eccl 7:9
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. James 1:19-20
Dear Lord Jesus, I can think of certain door-to-door salespeople I wish I’d never let across the threshold. One toe through my front door, one minute into their “pitch,” and I’m wishing I could usher them on their way. Oh, that I’d be that wise when the devil approaches my heart and home, for he only come to rob, kill and destroy.
Of course, if he came knocking in a red jumpsuit with a three-pronged pitchfork in hand, sporting sixties-style beatnik facial hair, I’d have no problem turning him away. Unfortunately, he often comes in the back door through my impatience, irritation, aggravation, and anger.
Jesus, help me steward my anger.
Lord Jesus, anger has always been a confusing emotion to me—one I’ve tried to avoid, one I’ve tried to convince myself I don’t really have a problem with. I’ve been on the destructive end of anger and rage. I remember the fear, the confusion and the shame.
I don’t wish such a crushing of the spirit on anyone, but I certainly own the ways my anger has nonetheless brought harm to people I love. Though I don’t get very loud and large, I can seep and leak passive aggressive arrogance and spitefulness. Have mercy on me, Lord, and free me.
You’re not telling me never to be angry but to be careful not to sin in my anger. Jesus, help me be angry at the right time, for the right reasons, in the right way. Only you can redirect the wasted energy of my anger into patience and loving-kindness. Only you can replace my idol of control—the fuel for much of my anger, with a greater worship of you and submission to your purposes.
Right now, Lord Jesus, I throw open every door and window of my heart. Come on in and establish multiple footholds of mercy, grace, and compassion. I abandon myself to your beauty and bounty today. So very Amen I pray in your peerless and priceless name.