Are you willing to pray for those who have hurt you? Are you willing to pray for those who have spitefully used you?
But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Luke 6:27-29
Most people will pray for their enemies…those prayers may sound something like, “God, You see what they did to me and You should do something.” Those aren’t really difficult prayers to pray. “God, please help me to forgive them” might be a little more difficult.
In my experience the hardest prayers to prayers to pray aren’t for “enemies” at all. The hardest prayers to pray are the honest prayers for the people we love. Or the truly honest prayer for someone who you loved who spitefully used you.
The Hubs and I had a conversation about a couple that we really loved but who have been to hell and back all in the name of serving Jesus. It is so apparent that they are wounded. It is sad. It is effecting every relationship in their lives. They have become very isolated because they keep everyone at a distance. Anyone who has approached them about their woundedness or the fruit that they have been producing (fruit that comes out of woundedness is…well, it’s bitter fruit that breeds bitterness and woundedness. Wounded people wound people.) is immediately cut off. No one is allowed to speak into their lives. These are wonderfully talented, gifted people who have a deep calling on their lives. Hear me here…these are NOT people who hate God. They are not out there selling drugs or molesting children….these are people who are trying their hardest to build the Kingdom of God in their own way and their knowledge. They love Jesus but they have been hurt and they have hurt others.
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16
This passage in the Message version says it like this:
Are you hurting? Pray. Do you feel great? Sing. Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of the Master. Believing-prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if you’ve sinned, you’ll be forgiven—healed inside and out.
16-18 Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again.
19-20 My dear friends, if you know people who have wandered off from God’s truth, don’t write them off. Go after them. Get them back and you will have rescued precious lives from destruction and prevented an epidemic of wandering away from God.
Here’s the thing…the most fervent prayers come from a place of deep love. The people who are praying for them; the people who deeply love them will not acknowledge that they are wounded or “not perfect”. With good reason, because anyone that suggest they are wounded are immediately rejected and cut out of their lives. A cycle has been established. Those people who have recognize that there is a problem are cut off, rejected, gossiped about and end up wounded thus spinning them into a place of seeking their own healing. The people who love them and are praying for them are blind to the need for healing. No one is praying “hard prayers” for them.
Sometimes a hard prayer is as simple as, “God, please bring them into alignment with You and Your Kingdom.” A healthy leader; a whole leader welcomes a prayer like that because they want to be aligned with God. All a wounded person hears is, “You are saying I am not aligned with God.”. The truth is, it is very easy to veer off from God…if you get off track by even a millimeter or a fraction of a millimeter, you are off. Off is off.
As I thought about it, I am willing to pray “hard prayers” for them but I am not sure how fervent my prayers are for them. One thing I know for sure is, if I submit (give) myself to God, He will put the words in my mouth to pray for them. Have I been willing to pray for people who considered me a “throw away” person…when the Holy Spirit is involved, “Yes”; a resounding “Yes”. Holy Spirit inspired prayers are the most powerful prayers because those are the prayer that God is prepared to answer quickly.
When I consider this situation, I believe that these dear people shouldn’t be where they are today. I am not talking about geography. They have become isolated. When God created the whole world the only thing He said wasn’t “good” was man being alone. From the passage in James we find that our healing comes through confession; shining a light on the sin in our lives, not to shame us but rather so He can come in and heal us and make us whole. When sin (darkness) is illuminated is has no where to hide and then it can be dealt with.
I love that God doesn’t write people off! Even when people hurt you or reject you…don’t write them off. Pray some hard prayers for them. Pray for their healing. Pray for their wholeness. Because healing and wholeness are God’s will for all of His people.
What if we all prayed a hard prayer for someone who has hurt us? Imagine if healing began to flow through our churches and even our nation? Imagine a church of people who are whole and flowing in their gifts and callings….I want to be a part of that church…I want my church to be that whole! (Our church is a very healthy church but there is always room for more healing.)
Pray a hard prayer this week. Pray for someone who wrote you off. Pray for someone who has hurt you. Ask God what His heart is for them and pray His heart, even if it is a hard prayer to pray. And pray for someone you love this week. Ask God to help you pray the hard prayer for them too…ask Him to show you what hard prayer you can pray for them even if it means you have to take them off of the pedestal you have put them on. Honoring people is good; worshiping people is never okay.
God Bless you all. Have a great week.