They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. (Isa. 11:9)

THE NURSING HOME was quiet today. Scott sat close to his dad’s bed, holding his hand, as he read aloud from the Bible. “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.”

Scott had flown in three days ago after the doctors told him his dad was near death. It was hard to see him like this, his strength almost gone.

“Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.”

This man—no one had tormented him more. His father was abusive, stripping him of any self-worth. He’d spent most of his adult life in counseling, fighting his father’s demons.

But Jesus changed all that for Scott in his early forties. Over time, he began to find his worth in Christ. Soon, it led him to do the unthinkable—he began praying for his father. Then, five years ago, his dad called him on the phone.

“Son, guess what? I accepted Christ into my life today. I can’t tell you how happy I am!”

For five wonderful years, Scott had what he’d always dreamed he’d have.

“I love you, son.”

“I love you, Dad.”

“The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.”

Receive from Jesus, Root of Jesse, the power to pray for those who’ve hurt you.

Thaddeus Barnum is the author of the devotionals Real IdentityandReal Love(WPH), as well as a pastor in Connecticut.