WHAT JESUS EXPECTS OF US
Well, my friend, it’s for real.
Jesus does call you to pray for those who have hurt you, but He understands how difficult it is. In fact, He knows everything about you, so there is no reason to try and hide your feelings of anger and frustration.
You can find great comfort in knowing that you can go to Him with absolutely everything you have going on in your life. Your joys, concerns, and yes, even your challenges. In fact, there is absolutely nothing you should try to hide from God.
“Gather strength from Him and rejoice in knowing that He is not waiting for your circumstances to improve. Rather He meets you right in the middle of your mess, taking every painstaking step with you! He is ready to provide you with everything you need to get through this.” Finding Peace in the Mess 30-Day Devotional and Prayer Journal
HAVE YOU EVER HURT SOMEONE?
I’m sure you never set out to hurt someone intentionally, but I have no doubt it’s happened a time or two. Heck, we’ve all hurt people and wished so desperately that we could take it back.
How awful did you feel when you realized you had offended someone close to you?
I imagine that at the time, you would have liked to know they were praying for you and working on forgiving you.
If Jesus can love you unconditionally, no matter what you’ve done, couldn’t you pray for someone who has done something to you?
In the book, The Power of the Praying Wife, Stormie Omartian writes that you must long to do right more than be right, to give life more than get even.
So tell me, my friend, are you ready to do right? Are you ready to give life?
Then it’s time to begin praying for them.
A PRAYER ON FORGIVENESS
I know it can be difficult to pray for someone when you’re hurting and angry but to help you get started, begin with something like this:
“Lord, I know you want me to pray for this person. You already know how difficult this is for me and at this point, I really don’t want to (remember, you don’t have to sugar coat it. He already knows). But Lord, I pray your will in this person’s life. I pray they turn to you for direction and forgiveness and see how much they have hurt me.
Please give me eyes to see them from your perspective, and a heart to want to forgive. I ask for patience while you work your will and to show me how to be the loving Christian you have called me to be.”
I pray this every day – over and over again. I ask God to help them humble themselves before Him, and ask that they want to seek his forgiveness, want to change, and no longer treat people in this way.
But I also ask for eyes to see them through His perspective, to show me what I have done in the situation, and how I can grow in this difficult time.
WHAT YOU’LL DISCOVER
Do you know what happens EVERY SINGLE TIME I pray this for someone? Jesus shows me a look at this person through His eyes.
Want to know what I see?
I see a person who is struggling just like me. I see someone who is living in this fallen world and needs forgiveness and grace, just like me.
But that’s not all He shows me. He also reveals my role in the situation.
Did you catch that? It bears repeating…I see what I’ve done wrong in this situation.
I know without a shadow of a doubt that He will also show you what you need to learn in this challenge and what role you played in this difficulty. You only have to open yourself up to what it is He is teaching you.
Perhaps He’ll point out that you haven’t forgiven them, or maybe that you were talking about them behind their back.
Perhaps you didn’t show them grace as you should have. Grace that Jesus ALWAYS gives you so freely, grace that you probably don’t deserve. (Because I know that I sure don’t!)
Talk about humbling!
You set out to begin praying for someone else and the wrong they did and Jesus straight up teaches you something more about yourself!
Let me tell you it’s one of those “whoa moments.” One where it feels like he just picks you up and says, “Hey! Listen up! You’ve got something to learn here too!”