DAY 3 - WHY SHOULD I PRAY FOR THAT PERSON?
She didn’t like me. There was no getting around the fact that my supervisor directed little more than spite my way. I tried to be a good team member, friendly and efficient, but nothing altered her attitude. It seemed the more I tried to change her opinion, the more I became the target of gossip and recipient of biting sarcasm.
People certainly give us plenty of reason to gripe, don’t they?
“That guy just cut me off on the highway! Who does Mr. Important think he is anyway?”
“No way! That selfish person took the last bunch of bananas when it was OBVIOUS I had my eye on them first.”
“Gahhh! I’ve waited all week to have this bowl of Lucky Charms and someone leaves only a teaspoon of milk in the carton?? Seriously, WHO DOES THAT??”
While it may be easy to get irritated or offended by the actions of others around us, today’s scripture reminds us that we are to pray for all people. Yes, ALL people. I have to admit; it took the Holy Spirit’s nudge to open my eyes to see my unpleasant supervisor as He saw her: a beloved child of God created in His image. Instead of trying to change my supervisor, I began praying for her. What resulted wasn’t a nicer supervisor, but something even more valuable…I changed. The Lord gave me compassion for a woman fighting a battle that had nothing to do with me. My heart expanded with love and I was changed. Honestly, I still didn’t like (or trust) my supervisor, but heartfelt prayer gave me the first taste of what it was to sincerely love someone while expecting nothing in return.
Is there someone who regularly gets on your last nerve? Pray that they would recognize the Lord’s presence in a new way today. The person who belittles others? Pray for their joy to be realized in Christ. Someone who looks differently or acts differently or believes differently than you? Pray the Holy Spirit surrounds them with His grace. You may just find that bringing another person in prayer before the Lord does the most remarkable thing—in both of you!
Discuss as a family, without naming names, what kind of behaviors do we find irritating? How do we tend to react to these behaviors? Read Genesis 1:27 and 1 Timothy 2:1-6. How does knowing each person is made in the image of God change how we look at others? If Jesus gave His life for all people–even people who irritate us—what does that say about how we ought to treat others? Pray together: Lord Jesus, please help each one of us to love and see others as You see them: as greatly valued and created in Your image.
PRAYER & REFLECTION
- Ephesians 4:2 says “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” Ask the Lord to reveal areas in your heart where resentment or irritation or hurt may be hindering this response.
- Make it a point today to pray for someone in your life who may not “deserve” it. Keep your eyes on how the Father works in your own heart as you sincerely seek the best for this person.