Praying for Those Who Hurt Us

Forgiving others

Recently, I saw a poster on Facebook that said: The saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies!

It’s so true, because when betrayal comes from those closest to us—friends, relatives, church members—its sting is deep.

So how do we handle it? Usually, we react with a defensive attitude and a desire to strike back, but Jesus tells us to forgive: And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins (Mark 11:25 NIV).

“But what if they don’t apologize?” you might ask.

Forgive them.

“What if they don’t repent?”

Forgive them.

“It doesn’t mean you act like everything’s fine, and it doesn’t mean you will be reconciled with them,” says Mark Driscoll. “It doesn’t even mean you overlook the offense or bless the offense. But it does mean you give up the inclination to vengeance and pass the matter up to God’s court for trial.”

Because we’re sinners, vengeance is a natural inclination, so we need to ask for God’s supernatural inclination to forgiveness. We also need to stop rehearsing the offense over and over in our mind.

We also must ask God to search our hearts so that we might see our own sin in the matter. We need to pray as David prayed: Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting (Ps. 139:23-24 KJV).

Mary Geegh, a missionary to India, once faced a situation where someone had blamed her unfairly and when she asked God what to do, He said, “Face your five-percent-to-blame.”

That’s a great little motto to place over our hearts. In any situation there’s usually always something for us to confess: pride, blame, irritation, lack of love, etc.

Finally, we need to begin to pray for the one who hurt us. Pray God’s blessings for them. Pray for their spiritual growth and for God’s love to fill their hearts.

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