When we’ve been hurt by another person and it’s not fixed, what do we do? When they neither seem to notice what they have done wrong, nor care about the misery they have inflicted, let alone say they’re sorry, how do we deal with it?
Often our reaction to pain is anger and we want to hurt back. The thought of forgiving our adversary seems impossible to do. But, more than that, harboring bitterness and resentment make our lives miserable. We don’t want to be bound by the chains of discord; we want to be free to be peacemakers.
Where do we find the strength to excuse offenses committed against us and pardon the offender? How do we go one step further and love the person we vehemently dislike?
When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, says Matthew 5:44 (MSG)
So why does the Bible tell us to respond to our enemies with prayer? What difference does prayer make to a relationship that is out of sync?
When we turn to prayer our attention becomes more about God and less about us.
- Changes the orientation of our hearts to be turned outward to God instead of inward on ourselves.
- Shifts our perspective from self-preservation to relying on God’s transformation.
- Challenges us to grow in obedience to God’s will and become more like the children of God we should be.
We can use prayer in our challenging relationships so we see a breakthrough in our feelings and an improvement in the relationships.
Being vengeful and unforgiving is not our business; they are God’s concern. Instead, mercy and forgiveness are the duty of a child of God, as they are the obligation of a perfect heavenly Father.
He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous, says Matthew 5:45.
Yet, it’s hard to forgive and it’s even more difficult to love a person who has wronged you.
We have to work at forgiveness in prayer, but when we do, in the end, it brings us peace and gives God the glory.
I have prayed day after day for many months for a relationship that seems unfixable. But, eventually the animosity that kept my heart and mind captive has gone. Now, I’m in a position to love the person who seemed so unlovable.
I invite you to take the practical steps towards forgiveness and love in the Tough Love Prayer Challenge. I’m excited for you to discover this transformational approach to your difficult relationships.
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