Those It’s Hard to Pray For
By Jennifer Slattery
“Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:28
I’d walked beside a woman, invested in her, prayed with and for her, and did all I knew to help her grow and be successful. But then, she turned on me and quickly acted ugly. The injustice of the situation pricked against my pride. How could she, after all I’d done for her?
So, I stewed, growing increasingly indignant. More and more angry, while sensing God’s gentle but persistent tap on my heart: Forgive. Love. Pray.
Still fighting negative thoughts and emotions, I closed my eyes and, out of obedience, did the latter. At first, my actions felt unnatural, like words forced through gritted teeth. But as I continued to pray for her, my heart softened. I began to see her and the situation differently, not through the lens of my pain but instead, through the lens of hers. I caught a glimpse of the healing and growth God wanted to bring about in her.
And suddenly, I understood—this wasn’t about me. It never had been and it never will be. It was all about Jesus Christ saving and transforming our broken world. Jesus demonstrated this in all He did. His love for us, when we were the “offender” and living in sin, drove Him to the cross so that you and I might be saved. As recipients of His grace, we’re to love others with that same focused, selfless compassion.
When we pray for those who’ve hurt us, we reveal our Savior’s heart in a tangible and beautiful way.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, is a multipublished author of Hometown Healing among other titles who also writes articles, Bible studies, and devotions. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com or book her for your next women’s event.
Visit WhollyLoved.com for more inspirational messages or to book them for your next women's event