Why in the world would you want to pray for someone who has hurt you? When someone hurts me, that is definitely not my first reaction. We have all been hurt, disrespected, shamed, disregarded, and taken advantage of. How does Jesus expect us to pray for the people who treat us this way?
We first need to realize that Jesus knows that it is difficult because He knows everything about us. You do not need to hide how you feel from Him. You can share everything with Him – your joys, concerns, disappointments, weaknesses, challenges, all of it. Think about all of the times you have hurt someone – both intentionally and unintentionally. Did you feel bad once you realized that you hurt them? Would it have comforted you to know that they were praying for you? Praying that Jesus forgives you and shows you the error of your ways? Pray that He grants you patience while he works in the heart of the other person. Pray that He gives you the grace to accept what has happened, and the perspective you need to move on. Pray that the other person is led to Him.
Praying for the person that hurt you allows you to see things through God’s eyes. You will be able to see them as a person who is much like you. You will also be able to see your own wrongdoing – whether it be not showing the other person grace, talking about them behind their back, or not forgiving them.
I am not saying any of this is easy. We can be so paralyzed by our feelings of hurt and frustration towards the other person that we cannot even think straight. In these situations, we should go to the Lord in prayer and ask for His comfort and thank him for his unconditional love. We should ask for His guidance through this incredibly tough time, and the strength to come out of it stronger.
We are all works in progress. The Lord does not expect us to easily forgive those who mistreat us – but He does expect us to forgive them in the end. The next time someone wrongs you, turn to Jesus first. He is there with comfort, healing, and understanding. All you have to do is ask for it. He knows a thing or two because He has seen a thing or two.