FOCUS QUESTION: Are you praying for those who hurt you?
Luke 6:28 tells us, “Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who mistreat you.”
Okie dokie…yeah, um, no. CAN I TAKE A RAIN CHECK?
I don’t know about you, but every time I read this verse, I have the tendency to…well, pout. I KNOW THAT’S AWFUL. BUT IT’S THE TRUTH. I can think of about 581 things I’d rather do than devote even an OUNCE of thought to the people who have hurt me…much less PRAY FOR THEM.
Because it hurts.
It hurts remembering what they did to me.
I don’t want to think about it, I don’t want to talk about it, and I sure don’t want to pray about it.
So, I take a rain check.
I question, “Why do I have to pray for them? Don’t you remember what they did to me? It hurts too much to think about them…and you want me to pray for them? That can’t be right. No, no. This can wait.”
But the truth is, it can’t.
I think we all know it can’t…but when it comes to praying for those who have wronged us, we suddenly refuse to take God for His word.
WHICH IS SO SILLY OF US, YOU GUYS.
A few days ago, a sentence in my She Reads Truth devotion really stuck out to me. It read, “Our spiritual need is greater than our physical discomfort.”
When we put off praying for those who have hurt us, we become angry and bitter and…dare I say it…filled with hatred and rage! This can tear us apart and destroy our hearts.
I know, I’ve been there…I’m STILL there.
For whatever reason, even though I’ve seen the power of God at work in my heart and have experienced the emotional and spiritual benefits of fervently praying for those who have hurt me in the past, I still struggle and have a difficult time bringing myself to do it.
WHY IS PRAYING FOR THOSE WHO HURT YOU SUCH A HARD THING TO DO?
Is it because we feel the wound is too fresh? Too deep? Too painful?
There is no wound and no broken heart Jesus can’t heal.
I need this reminder. Always.
R.C. Sproul stated, “Prayer does change things, all kinds of things. But the most important thing it changes is us.”
There is freedom found in praying for those who hurt you.
When we are repeatedly praying for those who have hurt us, a transformation takes place within us.
Now, let me be clear. This change doesn’t happen overnight. It’s not a quick-fix. We can’t pray for someone once and expect results. We have to CONSISTENTLY pray for them.
I’ll be completely honest. There have been several times when I have bluntly stated, “God, I don’t want to pray for so-and-so…and right now, you and I both know I don’t mean what I’m saying. Help me mean it, God.”
And you know what? He did.
Eventually, my heartless prayers became heartfelt and God changed the way I felt towards that person! He slowly began to chip away the anger, bitterness, hurt, and disappointment I had felt for so long.
Piece by piece, He chiseled at me. Piece by piece, He healed my heart and if He did it once, He’ll do it again!
I need to stop taking a rain check when it comes to praying for those who’ve hurt me. I need to stop turning down God’s offer to heal my heart and tend to my spiritual needs.
We should never compromise our spiritual, eternal needs for temporary, earthly comfort. Praying for those who hurt you is life-changing.
Who do you need to start praying for today?