When someone asked me to pray for someone who was already on my private prayer list, I cringed. Not because I wasn’t already praying for him, but because I always found it hard to muster up the enthusiasm to pray for that person.
It’s hard to pray for people who have hurt people you care about.
While I nodded ascent on the outside, I wrestled on the inside regarding my ongoing struggle to forgive and forgo.
In order for our prayers to be heard, we need to forgo any bitterness or thoughts of revenge. Otherwise, our prayers won’t be heard by Almighty God. And before we can attempt to get God’s attention, we need to pay attention to our own hearts. Have we forgiven others?
One of the greatest gifts we can give is to forgive. And besides, God’s forgiveness of us has holy strings attached to it. Listen to what the Bible has to say about this:
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15 NIV
Last I heard that person still hasn’t apologized for his hurtful behavior. Many around him scurried to hide the scars he caused. They enabled him to avoid significant consequences for his actions.
I pray for him because it helps me not to hate him.
Whenever we forgive others, it’s one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves.
It maintains the conditions needed for our own forgiveness.
How can we not forgive and pray for others when we’ve been forgiven of much? When the unrepentant fall into the hands of a Holy God, it’s a horrible thing.
How can we wish the wrath we’ve been saved from on others? It’s an everlasting place of suffering that’s unquenchable. This is the thought that helps me think kinder toward those who haven’t been kind. I know what it feels like to admit my sins to God. And even though I’m forgiven and God tossed my sins into the depths of the deepest sea, I still look forward to the first day in heaven when I won’t remember them either.
While Stephen of the New Testament was being stoned to death for his faith, he prayed for forgiveness over his perpetrators. Stephen copied Christ’s behavior in offering the same grace God offered him because that’s what we’re supposed to do.
We’re to walk as Jesus did. We’re to be grieved at the thought of anyone dying without having trusted in Him who came to save us. He didn’t come to condemn people. We were already condemned. He came to undo our condemnation.One of the greatest gifts we can give is to forgive. #faith #devotional Click To Tweet Whenever we forgive others, it’s one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. #inspirational Click To Tweet
And now I’d like to close with a poem:
Condemnation for our sins
Has been cast aside
And we’ve been born again
To be part of Christ’s bride
Forgiveness is now ours
And ours to give to others
For if we don’t offer it
We’re not forgiven by our Father.
Grace blessings ~ Wendy Mac
When have you found it the most challenging to pray for someone? How did you overcome your hesitation to pray?