What happens when your heart has become harden towards another person due to a circumstance and you find it hard to love the person in spite of their apology or lack thereof?
There have been times in my life, thankfully not many, where I felt it hard to pray for another person because they had wronged me. But I knew I had to be take those feelings captive immediately and bring them under the obedience of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) before they took root.
What worked for me was acknowledging the situation and how I felt about it. Then, I took it to God in prayer. God is concerned about everything that concerns us. I’m not afraid to tell Him how I feel because He already knows it. I also acknowledged that He didn’t want me to remain in this place (i.e. angry and unforgiven), so I went to the Holy Bible to read what God says about the matter. I encourage you to do the same.
Luke 6:27-36 hit home for me:
Love for Enemies
27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
So I did what the verses said in the scripture. I prayed for the person. Initially, it did not come easy. Sometimes you may not have a whole lot to say initially about someone who has hurt or irritates you. But I knew as a child of God, Jesus’ blood shed on Calvary covers this person as well, and that God loves them. So I chose to be obedient to my Savior and submitted to Him, denying the flesh.
What if you don’t know what to pray for concerning the person? The Holy Bible says the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words (Romans 8:26 NLT). I trust the Holy Spirit to pray for me when I do not know what to say in prayer. You may just start off by acknowledging your feelings and praying for help in forgiving the person. However you are led to pray, I believe God will answer and help you to live the righteous life He has called you to live.
Remember, we can do all things through Christ and not by ourselves. We couldn’t even save ourselves, contrary to what so many people in the world believe. As I’m typing this blog, I have a strong feeling stirring up inside of me, so I’m going to keep going…being nice is not going to get anyone into heaven. God’s word is clear when He says:
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
We need Jesus Christ. It’s only through accepting Him as God’s Son and our Lord and Savior that we receive salvation. I pray whoever needs to read this, will receive this message today because tomorrow is not promised. God’s Word is flawless (Proverbs 30:5). If you are not saved, please visit my Salvation Prayer page. Each day is a gift and we should not take it for granted.
Looking back, I was able to conquer those feelings through prayer. The more I prayed about the situation, the easier it became to let go and forgive. God changed my heart and I was able to forgive. I am now able to speak to the person today without any emotional baggage. Praise God! The weight has been lifted. I truly believe if you are facing the same struggles, that He will help you to forgive and pray for the person as well.
Prayer changes hearts and circumstances. I can attest to it. You will be free, especially when you’re in the person’s presence, if you have to be, so the enemy will not win over your emotions. God has given us the authority over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19); therefore, we have the power to overcome.
I pray this messages reaches whoever needs to read it today! Amen.
Love you all in Christ,
Ayesha L. Shoulders