I’ve just got to share with you what happened to me after joining in with our prayer ministry group at their October meeting!
We started with a short devotion, about praying for difficult people. The reading was from Exodus, 32:1-35, where Moses prays for the Israelites in the desert after they worshipped the golden calf in his absence. These were a “stiff-necked” people, but still Moses asked God to forgive their great sin.
“If not,” Moses said, “then blot me out of the book you have written“.
Yes, he really said that!
I don’t know how quick I would be to pray that. To be honest, I couldn’t even remember the last time I had in fact prayed for a difficult person. I’d been praying for all kinds of people that I happen to like, but…
After the devotion, our group’s leader, Betty, asked us to think of a difficult person and pray for him or her every day for the next week. Then we began to pray for those in need.
Great meeting, but a difficult assignment. And as I began to carry it out later that week, I realized why – because it went against my preconceived notion of prayer as championing the cause of deserving people.
Pray for a difficult person? Why would I want God to bless someone like that?
Well, I did it anyway. I prayed for the most irritating person I knew, every day, simply asking God to bless her.
And do you know what?
An amazing thing happened, praise God! I discovered something new growing inside of me – compassion for that difficult person – and I began to really mean those prayers.
I also realized that I had myself been, and can still sometimes be, a difficult person, someone hard to pray for – the wandering sheep that our Good Shepherd laid down his life to find, the sinner for whom He died on the The Cross to save.
So now I am inviting you to pray. Think of a difficult person in your life, and pray for that person. God will bless you in it!