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Praying For Those Who Hurt Us

How to forgive someone who has hurt you. Pray!

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I exposed a sin, reluctantly, that had been going off and on for years. It was destroying my marriage and I was sick of it. The other person involved (a christian for years) was so irate and she had every nasty word and hate thrown my way.

I was deeply hurt by the ongoing sin and the response by those involved and even from (in my opinion) the passivity from the others who knew what was happening. 

I’m sure we all could quickly come up with one or two names of people that have hurt, betrayed, lied and/or offended us. It happens. We are a fallen people. 

Our first human response is usually to want nothing to do with them any longer and maybe even try to hurt them back in return by snubbing them or worse. Isn’t there a bible verse that says something like an “eye for an eye”? 

The “eye for an eye” quote comes from the book of Matthew in the New Testament. Let’s take a closer look at what it says:

 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.” Matthew 5:38-40 NIV

God doesn’t want us to take revenge, hate, nor return the hurt towards those that have scarred our hearts. And equally He doesn’t want us holding onto the pain and letting it fester inside us and allowing it to turn into bitterness.

It’s actually the opposite of what He wants us to do. Read Romans 12:19.

God wants us to pray for those that hurt us. 

The best way to deal with the ones that hurt you is to pray for them. Pray for your enemy.

How To Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt You

To be completely honest, my first thought of God wanting me to pray for those that hurt me was a huge NO. I don’t want to think about them. I’d be content if they didn’t exist. To be sure, I definitely wasn’t thinking about praying for them. 

Let’s see what the Bible says on this issue.

“Bless those that curse you, and pray for them that despitefully use you.”  Luke 6:28 KJV


But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use and persecute you.” Matthew 5:44 KJV

As Christians, we also need to remember that the fight isn’t against each other. The bible tells us the real battle is against satan and his demons. So we must acknowledge what is behind people’s bad behavior.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12  

I felt God gently tugging at my heart to let go of the pain I was holding and pray for my enemies as I read those verses. 
So try to picture me dragging myself to my prayer spot, acting like a spoiled child who hates chores, and praying. While praying, I asked God to forgive my unwilling heart and to change me. 
And I prayed. I prayed for healing over the situation. I prayed that all involved would have repentant, humble hearts. I prayed for restoration and redemption over the marriages. I prayed for a true surrender and salvation over everyone involved. I prayed for God to help me forgive and release all pain to Him. I prayed. With tears soaking my lap, I prayed. 
Healing and forgiveness is a process. Sometimes I still have to pray over this situation. Bringing it to the Lord every time the enemy or my own flesh recalls the painful situation. 
God cares for our pain and circumstances. He is always here to comfort us, to be our strength, to heal our wounds and be our refuge in hard times.

However, those of us in Christ, need to stand on the knowledge of who He is and who we are in Him. We should be firm in our identity in Christ. This includes acknowledging and responding to painful situations in a way that glorifies Christ. 

God loves those that hurt us. He wants to see them restored, redeemed and renewed in Him. He has hope, grace, mercy, forgiveness, wholeness, joy, peace and so much love for ALL of us – even for those that hurt us. 

I want to offer you encouragement for when you are battling the thought of praying for someone that has hurt you. 

God sees. He sees and He is big enough to handle your raw feelings and emotions. Tell Him all about your pain. God knows what you are thinking anyways. You don’t have to hide them or pretend you feel differently. It’s ok to not be ok with the harm others have caused you. However, after you tell God all about your pain, humbly pray for your offender – asking God to bless them. And, it is ok to tell God you are having a hard time praying for the ones that have hurt you.  

The more time we spend time with the Lord in prayer, washing His feet with our tears, He offers a great exchange. He will fill us with the fruits of the Spirit and transform us into who He wants us to be. We need to stand on the truth of who Christ is and who we are in Him. 

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How to forgive someone who has hurt you. Prayer is the only way to have that true freedom in forgiveness.

9 thoughts on “Praying For Those Who Hurt Us”

  1. Starla, this was so good! It goes against our sinful nature to want to pray for those who hurt us, but thankfully God has put in us a new nature when we claim Jesus as our Lord and Savior- and with the Holy Spirit's help, we CAN pray for those who hurt us. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. I love this post! I use to struggle with the anger i felt with my enemies, i couldnt even hear their names without getting frustrated, but i too felt the need to pray for them! Now i have a heart for them, when i see they are struggling, i hurt for them! Praying for your enemies is so important and so true to overcoming and forgiving! Its so important that we realize that satan is the true enemy as well, pray for those who persecute you! AMEN to that!

  3. Thank you for this post. Im currently going through raw emotions about my husband’s infidelity. It’s good to know God understands that l dont feel like praying for him right now eventhoug l need to.

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