“Pray for those who persecute you”
This is one verse of the Bible that I learned a long time ago. I remember telling friends about it in school. They thought I was crazy. Then they real-life unfriended me. So I prayed for them too. I never believed this verse to be wrong; although it sure is hard!
Here’s what I know:
1) God doesn’t make mistakes. So if he said to pray for them, then he meant it.
2) I personally feel bad with prayers like, “Please let them have a horrible rash in sensitive areas”. So the prayers transform my immediate thoughts and help me gain understanding and compassion. Like, “God, you know my first thought is to want some retribution here. But, this other person is also your child. And they are being a completely butthole to me. They need your help God. They must have something wrong or incomplete in their life to feel the need to treat other people, including myself, like this. Please help heal what is broken in their life. And please help me be patient, yet strong with this.”
3) When I pray for those who persecute me, I know the prayers will help them. Because . . well, there’s God on the other end of that prayer. But the act of praying for them also helps me. I let go of a lot of the anger, the hurt, and the stress that a situation like that brings.
Tonight I am thankful that when confronted with a crappy person, I can pray for them. Believe me, that is not generally the first thing that comes to mind!!! But, it is definitely the thing that brings the most peace, the most transformation, and the most end to a situation. It lets me be done with the crappiness well before the crappiness actually ends. The crappiness just can’t make me crappy after I pray for them (many times, after I pray for them repeatedly!)