Turning the Tables on Holiday Strife

Holiday get-togethers with extended family remind you of greeting cards which picture smiling faces, with everyone getting along.

Really? Is that how your Thanksgiving dinner pans out?

I don’t know about you, but in my decades of holiday dinners, I’ve noticed some holiday get-togethers not only are sprinkled with mild bickering but can also serve up a few hot heads. Today, more than ever, we must learn the secret art of walking on eggshells. And don’t even talk about all the political opinions in the room. Really. Don’t. Or it may not just be the turkey that gets burned.

Yes, today most families find that division comes in so many styles and varieties.

You know how it starts! Someone innocently, or not, says the wrong thing. Suddenly someone gets a bad case of hysterics, sobs, or slams the door—which is a real dinner spoiler.

So, what if I could offer you an idea on how to tame the holiday tension? Would you be interested?

OK, what if we made a pact, a secret plan, that only you and the others reading this article know about? What if we prayed, like down on our knees?

Well, sure, you’ve heard prayer can change things. And though I’m not promising you a holiday miracle, I am

promising you that if you follow my prayer directions below, you may get even more than a piece of pumpkin pie in peace. What would that be worth to you? Let’s pray!

Dear Lord,

I invite You to my holiday get-together. Please come and bring Your peace that passes understanding. Serve me with Your peace first, so that I can serve it to others. I ask that Your peace reign, even if only through me.

I also close the door to the enemy who would love to stir trouble into my family this year.

Enemy, you are not invited. Even if someone opens a door for you to salt our dinner with strife, I say no in the name of Jesus. I take authority over this and any other stews you plan to serve. I pray this in the name and the power of the blood of Jesus.

Furthermore, I’m not entertaining your strife, division, anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, hurt, pride, bruised feelings, or arguing. And I say, you may not give these evil presents to the others at my table. Forget about it.

Lord, instead, I’m asking You for a holiday miracle, one of peace and love, one where You become our special guest. And Lord, may Your miracle start with me. Pour Your love in and through me, and cover all those I love with Your love, even if I don’t appreciate their points of view.

Lord, I invite Your Holy Spirit to rest on me. Help me to see my loved ones through Your eyes. Even if they come to the table angrily, may they leave refreshed.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Linda Evans Shepherd is the author of Revell’s Prayers for Every Need, a little book that could serve as holiday favors or even peace offerings.

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