A Prayer for Overlooking More and Getting Annoyed Less
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) I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Eph. 4:1-2) Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:36)
Dear Lord Jesus, these two verses corral my attention and commend your grace; because lately, I’ve been hair-trigger annoyed—too easily irritated by life in a broken world. Owing my attitude, I’m thankful that you are the consummate “Over-looker”—patient beyond measure, overflowing with kindness, and the Liberator of tense, self-centered, restless hearts.
This side of glorification, I don’t really expect to be irritation free; but certainly, the gospel is big enough to help me show my annoyance less quickly, less often, and less harmfully. And certainly, the gospel is powerful enough to help me repent quicker when I act immaturely—getting agitated by slow traffic, slow waiters, and low talkers too easily; and taking quips, slights and remarks too personally.
So, Jesus, give me all the grace and wisdom I need to know what to take seriously and what simply to overlook. Give me gospel big-heartedness and gospel thick-skinned-ness.
I don’t want to keep a record of annoying things done around me or to me. Nothing good comes from my replaying every intentional or unintentional slight I experience, or aggressive or passive-aggressive comment I hear. I’m really not the point, and don’t need to take myself quite so seriously.
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 harm. Help me to steward my words, body language, and “freedoms.” 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.