“Life is an uphill battle. But it’s our choice whether or not we make it up the mountain. We can choose to give up or keep climbing to see the view at the top. The view is almost always worth the climb.”-Alexis Wohler. God put this saying on my heart when I was going through […]
Praying for those people that hurt you can sound like a complicated thing. It can even sound worse than it is. Satan can make your heart hardened towards the people that hurt you and can make it extremely hard, if not impossible to forgive them. When people hurt, you the first thing you probably want to do, is hurt them back. However, being good to those who hurt you is a better alternative. Praying for them can be extremely hard when you’ve been hurt one too many times by someone in your life. But God can help you start to pray for them. All you have to do is ask Him for His help.
Why You Should Pray for People That Hurt You
Prayer is the key to peace. Praying for people that hurt you not only brings you peace. It may help God change their hearts as well. When you pray for those people, you are allowing yourself to think of them and pray for their needs, instead of your own. You are praying for them instead of thinking of or wishing bad things to happen to them because of their bad behavior.
Although it can be tempting to think or wish of bad things happening to those who hurt you, it feels better once you start to pray for them instead of thinking bad things about them. It takes guts and courage and a lot of discipline to pray for people that hurt you. Do you start out feeling as though you shouldn’t pray for those people and start to think something like, “Man I have so many other things that I could be doing with my time,” but then God speaks to your heart through His Holy Spirit and helps you pray for them. You may even start to enjoy it, too.
Jesus Prayed for Those Who Persecuted Him
You can follow Jesus’ example. How, might you ask? Think of it this way. Jesus constantly prayed for the people that hurt Him with their refusal to believe in Him. He was ridiculed, mocked and beaten savagely. Then He was put on a cross with both His hands and feet nailed to it, with a crown of thorns driven deep into His head. He still showed love and the ultimate sense of compassion for everyone that mistreated Him. He did it not because He had to, but He did it because He wanted to. He has the ultimate sense of compassion.
He not only showed His love and compassion by dying on the cross for their sins. He also tried to help them see their sin so they could turn their lives around and accept forgiveness from Him. He also forgave them and loved them unconditionally so that they could come to know Him as their Lord and Savior. He even prayed that His Father would forgive them because they didn’t know what they were doing. If Jesus can pray for the people that hurt Him, how can you do anything less?
Praying for Those People Takes Courage
Praying for people that hurt you is very difficult, but once you start doing it, it can become a habit every day. Satan makes it difficult to pray for them because he makes it seem more feasible and more attractive to try to treat them the same way that they have treated you. Hurting someone in the way they hurt you may seem like a better option at the moment when the anger really hits you, but the reality of it is that wanting to challenge someone to “an eye for an eye” game of revenge is not the smart or mature thing to do. The best and matures thing is to pray for those people and forgive them.
Forgiveness Can Be a Hard Topic Too
Forgiving people is hard too. Sometimes the last thing that you want to do is forgive someone because of the pain they’ve caused you. But again, think of Jesus. If Jesus hadn’t forgiven you, then you wouldn’t ever be able to have the eternal life in Heaven that He freely gives you through salvation. If you choose not to forgive those who have wronged you, then God won’t forgive you for the wrongs you have done either.
It is a pretty scary thought when you realize the truth of that statement. It can hit you like a ton of bricks at times. “Wait a second. I have to forgive because, if I don’t then God won’t forgive me?” That fact alone can scare you into forgiving someone with all your heart pretty quickly. It can change the way you think about holding on to grudges as well.
Praying for those people can help change their lives and yours. Prayer is the key to peace in your heart, and it might even bring them peace in their life and their heart. Wouldn’t you rather be known as a person who prays for your enemies than known as a person who wants to get back at them for everything that they have done to you? Wouldn’t you rather figure out that forgiving them brings you peace so you can try and move past the things that are bothering you? Wouldn’t you rather try to rekindle the friendship, or at least be civil with one another?
How has praying for people that have hurt you changed your perspective on forgiveness and prayer?