Recently, I prayed with a young woman I had not previously met who was suffering many stresses in her young life: a struggling child, her grandfather’s recent stroke, a difficult ex-husband and a lack of peace. She is a born-again believer and deeply desires God to move in her life. As we prayed through these issues one by one, I sensed the Spirit urging me to ask her if she had forgiven her ex-husband. I had no idea what had transpired between them…only that this was a sticking place in her journey of transformation. I took a deep breath and asked the question, “Rosa, have you been able to forgive your ex-husband?”
Her eyes opened wide, and she looked startled. “No, I haven’t been able to go there. There was so much abuse.” I prayed for the painful situation in her marriage. Then, I prayed for her ex-husband, asking God to transform him by the renewing of his mind and to change his story and draw him to Jesus.
Is there someone you need to pray for today who has damaged or hurt you in some way? Perhaps you are angry with people you don’t even know – politicians, workers on strike, someone who continually parks in your space, etc. Can you ask God to give you the grace to pray for them? So often an inability to pray for certain people blocks the fullness of God’s blessing. We allow the “enemy” to give us feelings of hatred and a desire for revenge…when Jesus says, “…love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). This is not an easy or simple assignment for many…but it is the way of the kingdom. If we desire a life that follows Christ, we must obey this directive from the One who prayed from the cross: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
Prayer as everyday life compels us to connect with the Father through the Son no matter who or what circumstance tries to trip us up in the midst of our journey towards Christlikeness. Neglecting to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us is
May the ministry of forgiveness continually be part of us as we step into each day’s journey so that God will be honored and glorified in the midst of His people.
Kim’s passion is to see God’s people recognize that prayer is a creative, continual moment by moment lifestyle as we align our hearts with the plans and purposes of God for His glory and the sake of His kingdom. Her ministry involves writing, teaching and consulting. She also compiles and edits HPM’s free daily devotional, Connection! and blogs regularly on the HPM website).
Kim graduated from Whitman College with teaching credentials and a BA in Psychology. She has a Masters degree in Spiritual Formation and Leadership from Spring Arbor University.