2 minute read.
When you pray for someone, God softens your heart. Not at first, especially if the person hurt you deeply. I have people in my life who are extremely difficult to bring before God. Pain inflicted intentionally isn’t easily forgotten, especially falsely accused. But pray for them we must:
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” (Matthew 5:44 NIV)
Our path to healing comes through prayer. If we’re going to overcome the offense, then we must soften our hearts. A prayer I’ve begun praying, “God, keep my heart soft,” illuminates how hard it is. Every time someone hurts us, our hearts harden. We build walls to protect us from further injury. But walls don’t heal, they separate. If we’re to become whole again, we mustn’t let our hearts become hardened towards our offender.
“Bless them, fix me.”
Author Priscilla Shirer has a simple prayer she uses for praying for others, “Bless them, fix me.” These four words are potent for hardened hearts. Easy to utter, prayed on repeat; eventually, you genuinely want God to honor the prayer. When you reach the point where you feel no more angst, your heart is once again soft.
What happens, over time, God reveals the truth to you. Typically, whether God shows you something about yourself or the other person, it helps you see the humanity in the situation. All of us are sinners in need of grace. Prayer reminds us of that fact, which in turn helps soften our hearts.
Soft hearts produce kind actions. Instead of causing more hurt in the world, you stop the vicious circle. Healing people help others heal; hurting people hurt them. You have a choice. You can help solve the issue or become part of it. Prayer enables you to deal with the situation without causing more harm. Keeping your heart soft will help all of your relationships, especially the one with God.
Lord, thank You for keeping our hearts soft. Forgive us for hardening them when we’re in pain. Help us today seek You first and foremost. Bless those who have hurt us, fix the things in us that need fixing. Help us become healthy and whole, spreading Your light wherever we go. IJNIP. Amen
Question for reflection
Who do you need to pray for today?