A Prayer for Being Less Easily Annoyed
Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult. Prov. 12:16
A quick-tempered person does foolish things. Prov. 14:17
Dear Lord Jesus, of all the prayer-worthy things I can think of, “annoyance” has never made it onto my supplication list, until now. Through the convicting work of your Spirit, I see and grieve that I’m too easily irritated. Have mercy on me, Prince of Peace. Free my hair-trigger too-easily-annoyed spirit. How can I possibly reveal the magnificence of the gospel when I’m showcasing the arrogance of my aggravation?
I’m annoyed by the guy who races me when two lanes are becoming one. I’m annoyed when the bar code reading machines in the self-checkout lanes can’t read my items. I’m annoyed when the gas pump trickles way too slowly. I’m annoyed by waiters who talk too long at my table. I’m annoyed by fish that won’t bite. I’m annoyed by humidity when I want to jog.
I’m annoyed by low talkers and loud talkers. I’m annoyed at people easily annoyed. I’m annoyed when there’s not enough milk for a late-night bowl of cereal. I’m annoyed when I have to repeat myself. I’m annoyed at whiners, so much that I start whining. I’m annoyed at people preening in front of mirrors at the YMCA, as though I never peek. I’m annoyed when people use way too many words and way too big of words to say something way simple, as though that’s not me.
I’m annoyed at ever having to wait in line for anything. I’m annoyed by the color orange. I’m annoyed at any box that has the words “requires some assembly” written on it. I’m annoyed by bad eschatology. I’m annoyed by road construction. Oh, Jesus, if only those were the only things that annoyed me!
My prayer? Gentle my heart with your kindness and grace. Grant me much quicker repentances. Help me to slow . . . way . . . down. Help me to live in the moment, and not simply live to get somewhere on time or get something done. Let me see people with your eyes and respond to them with your heart. There are no ordinary people around me. Everybody matters. Everybody has stories of heartache, foolishness, fear, and longing, just like me.
Lord Jesus, thank you for dying for all of my sins, including my “annoyability.” I love being loved by you more than anything else in the world. I have no greater hope than knowing one Day I will love like you love. So very Amen I pray, in your gracious and patient name.