Here’s what happened when I tried praying for those who hurt me
Hello friends, I hope you’re doing okay! I certainly am, because I’m on a break from school and it’s been the absolute best. I’ve been surprisingly productive so far. I guess we finally are growing up :)
Today I want to write something that’s sort of a sequel to my last post, where I spoke about God defending Moses when he (Moses) was accused by Aaron and Miriam.
Someone (very kindly) left a comment asking about praying for those who offend you/ hate you and asked what I think about it. Here is an excerpt from the comment:
“I totally agree with all you have written, although I have always found the whole praying for your enemy thing counterintuitive. I feel it’s not natural for you to want to forgive someone who hurt you. It feels almost impossible.I am confused because I find it hard to imagine how sincere one can be in doing that.”
In this post, I’m writing completely from my personal experience. I did not read about this in any book. I did not hear it from anyone. I simply experienced it when I thought I was hurt beyond repair. Lol. Isn’t Jesus good, though? :D
Here are a few things that I’d like to point out:
Praying for those who hurt me saved my life, quite literally. I learnt to pray for those who hurt me when I ran out of options. With every thought, every regret and every tear, I felt my heart breaking in two and my emotional pain overcome my body. Apart from puffy eyes and headache that came from crying, I developed chest pain simply because I was too hurt. I promise you, I’m not being dramatic, this really happened.
During that period, I often felt like my chest would explode and I would die in that minute. There was a permanent lump in my throat and I felt miniscule. I felt lost in this big bad world and that all my dreams would never come true. I rarely thought about the future because it always scared me. I felt like I would be swallowed in the cacophony of the world. This was me; the ambitious, driven young woman who I once was, yet I had lost my spark. I was devastated even more.
It really isn’t funny, but as I think about this, I laugh. I laugh because it was at that moment that I began to earnestly pray for those who had offended me. I had to pray for those people because that was the key to my recovery. So, praying for those who hurt me saved my life.
In December last year, I went through a similar experience where I was hurt again. (Haha- once bitten twice shy clearly did not apply in my life.) But this time around, I was prepared to fight my way through the hurt. I had experienced the silver lining that comes with recovering from something that I thought would break me and I yearned for that feeling. I also knew that the fastest way to get there was by praying for those who had hurt me, again. And this was when I began to pray for them genuinely.
I’ll use my friend Chidinma as an example simply because I love her and she’s on my mind. Hey boo <3
Here is a sample prayer I’d say:
“Lord, I commit Chidinma into your hands. I ask that you be with her. I know that she may be stressed about everything from school work, to her post-graduation plans, but would you Lord please show her your love and grant her peace. I commit her family members into your hands (I knew all the family members of the people who had hurt me. Yeah, we were pretty close). I ask that you be with them, bless them and provide for their family. I ask that you help Chidinma to be a strong and courageous woman. I pray that most importantly, she will be the woman you have called her to be. Lord, please bless her, help her to love you, help her to know you. In Jesus’ name I pray.”
I’m being dead serious about this. I would not for once, mention what happened to me or how they had hurt me. This was not because I did not acknowledge the hurt, but because by not mentioning it, I avoided all negative feelings and prayed a genuine prayer. This is what worked for me, it may not be the same for you.
How often did I pray?
I prayed as often as I thought about them (the people who hurt me). I prayed as often as I saw something that reminded me of them. I’d stop in my tracks and offer a prayer, which could be one minute long or ten minutes long, depending on how I was feeling. But I always followed the same formula: pray with as much intensity as you would for the person you love most in this world.
How did I know my prayer was genuine?
I always felt better after praying. Oftentimes, I’d feel this unexplainable peace and quietness of spirit when I prayed. I knew that I had to pray the hurt out of my system and I knew that with each prayer, I was getting closer to my goal of total forgiveness and restoration.
Do I still pray for them?
With time and with prayer, not as often (isn't that ironic, lol). When I think about them now, I don’t feel the anger that I once felt, and that’s because I’ve prayed it out of my system, and I’ve prayed myself back to full emotional health. With God's help, of course.
I have to say though, I only learnt the true meaning of praying for those who hurt you the second time around, and that’s because I had seen the benefits of forgiveness. My recovery certainly will not be the same as yours, but always remember that there is power in prayer. Jesus prayed for those who crucified Him, so there certainly is no one that you cannot pray for.
Till next time, bask in the love of Jesus!