(Jesus said) "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Matthew 5:11-12
Unlike many families who forego praying when they go out, this family, with their children, took turns praying.
This time it was their five-year-old boy who had the honors. This is what he said: "Come Lord Jesus, be our Guest and let these gifts to us be blest." Then, he added, "And, Lord, if Mom would add the gift of fruit pies for dessert, I would be even more thankful. God, this is Your friend, Danny, signing out for the entire family. Amen."
Most of the people at the other tables smiled, especially at the last part. Most did, but not all.
At the next booth, with her back to the family, a lady whispered, so all could hear, "No wonder this country has gone to the dogs. Kids, today, don't even know how to say their prayers. As if God doesn't have other things to do than provide fruit pies. And since when do we sign out at the end of a prayer." She said other things, but you get the drift.
The boy, who had prayed, asked his mother, "Was that a bad prayer? I didn't know I shouldn't pray for fruit pies." Mom said, "Danny, I'm sure God liked your prayer." One man leaned across the aisle and said, "I've been praying for a lot of years, and if I know God like I think I do, He would rate that prayer as being one of the best He's heard. In fact, I think it's a shame more people don't ask Him for fruit pies. Fruit pies can be good for our hearts and souls."
Unsurprisingly, mom did buy fruit pies for the entire family. Returning to the table, she warned her children, "Take it slow. They're hot, you know." During the mother-mandated cooling time, the little boy picked up his fruit pie, knelt on the booth seat, turned around, tapped the lady who had put down his prayer and said, "Here, I want you to have my fruit pie. Fruit pies can sometimes be good for our hearts and souls."
That story, as good as any I've heard, reminds us you don't have to be fearful of your life to be persecuted. Indeed, the devil and the world use many methods to persecute people as they try to follow Jesus.
If you have found that to be the case, if you yourself have suffered for Jesus' sake, please remember He knows and has promised to bless you. If you have been singled out for bearing witness to your faith, please keep it up and continue to do what is right.
And pray for those who are doing the persecuting.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, help us stand firm in the Gospel which we have been given. In large ways and small, may young and old proudly proclaim the wonders of Your love, grace and salvation. This I pray in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries