Bend My Anger

This week was the last session of the fall semester of Soma Worship at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. Soma is an ecumenical Christian prayer service held weekly during the semester during our noon common worship period. In one of the prayers included in today’s service, there was a line asking God to “bend our angers into your peace,” a line that stayed with me well after the prayer service was concluded.

If we are honest, we are forced to admit that we all get angry at times. Sometimes that anger is justified; we should, for example, get angry at injustice in the world, wherever we find injustice.

We could, of course, simply pray to God to help our anger dissipate and there are times that may be appropriate. But there is a lot of energy in anger, energy that perhaps could be harnessed and used. It can’t really be used effectively in the form in which it arises in us.

Hence my attraction to the line in the prayer. Our anger needs to be transformed and channeled into something productive, something that can have some positive effect in one way or another on the source of our anger. And so it seems to me that the better prayer is to ask God’s help in bending and shaping our anger, in taking the energy in that anger and turning it into something that can be a positive force for good.

I have to admit that there have been a number of things lately that have generated anger in me. And so I fervently pray, Lord, bend my anger.

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One thought on “Bend My Anger

  1. That is so well-put! I stopped by here from NaBloPoMo and I enjoy your site a great deal!

    When I was wrong mom always told us to use our anger to make positive change.

    It’s so tough, because anger is such a blinding emotion, and I find it so much easier to “run away” – but the example set by Christ is the opposite. In anger he rebuked Peter to “Get behind him” when Peter was voicing temptation, and in anger he cleansed the temple – with a whip!

    It’s hard for me to grasp sometimes – I always envision Jesus as calm, patient, and gentle, and certainly those are real aspects. But anger is another emotion provided to us by God and Jesus demonstrated its positive power to us in Scripture.

    When I consider that “he who knows what to do and doesn’t do it” is sinning and that we are commanded “in your anger do not sin”, I have to admit that sometimes waiting to “cool off” isn’t right. I should instead ask the Lord to control my anger and turn my actions to make appropriate use of that energy.

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