Read 2 Kings 5:1-15

Elisha sent a messenger to say to [Naaman], “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.—2 Kings 5:10 (NIV)

The story of Naaman—a leper—reminds me of myself years ago. When I was a young adult I had some problems with my father. For years I prayed earnestly that God would show him the many faults I found with him. I was angry and hurt, and it was the only perspective I could see.

After I spent years praying with no visible change in my father, it occurred to me that perhaps I was praying the wrong prayer. I began asking God to change me and to give me a forgiving heart. What had happened with my dad wasn’t going to change. It was over and done with. I wanted to move on but sensed that I would not see an improvement in our relationship unless I began this new prayer.

The answer finally came. My heart was changed, and I forgave. This allowed a relationship to grow. It wasn’t a grand, quick miracle any more than Naaman received a miracle before he had completely followed Elisha’s instructions. But the right attitude and following God’s direction resulted in a similar outcome. Just as God healed Naaman, God healed my heart.

Prayer—Dear God, help us to look to you for guidance and to recognize and accept your guidance when it comes. Amen.

Thought for the day—I can pray to God to change my heart.

—Margie J. Harding, Maryland