Praying & Interceding For Difficult People
We might as well admit it up front: this is a difficult teaching. But it’s not one that we can ignore. After all, Jesus didn’t avoid it. Without ever looking like a weakling, he showed that radical forgiveness is possible. In fact, his steadiness in the face of misunderstanding, gossip, and persecution was probably a major reason why he made such an impression on his followers—and on us.
“How can I be like that?” we wonder.
The answer is simple, but challenging: by loving. Love kept Jesus going through all the hardships involved in announcing the kingdom. Love made it possible for him to forgive, even as he hung on the cross. Love—both the desire and the decision to forgive—formed the foundation for everything he said and did.
So let’s ask Jesus to fill us with his heavenly perspective today. Looking at others with eyes of mercy goes a long way toward undercutting the tendency to revenge. Maybe this week we can try to perform at least one act of kindness toward someone who has hurt us or who rubs us the wrong way. Perhaps we can get more serious about following the promptings of the Holy Spirit—especially those that touch on relationships we find difficult. Praying and interceding for people who are out to hurt us can also help cultivate an attitude of forgiving as we have been forgiven.
How much effort even these little steps require! And yet, how abundant is the grace God is willing to give us! He has poured out his Spirit to make the impossible possible. All we have to do is keep trying, knowing that the one who began a good work in us will bring it to completion.
“Jesus, though I find some of your teachings very hard, I want to follow you all the way. I put my trust in you and in your saving power.”
Daily Reflection from The Word Among Us (www.wau.org)