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Praying for Difficult People

Written by Lori Stout on

 

Difficult people – we all have them in our lives.  Whether it’s a relative, friend, or coworker, believer or non-Christian, each of us has someone in our lives that we may struggle to be around. And it’s not as if we can avoid these people. So how do we respond? The Word of God speaks to this issue beginning with our own attitude. Here are some ways we can pray about these people in our lives as we strive to honor Christ in our relationships.

Lord, I come before you with a burdened heart. I’m struggling with ______ and lately, I feel like I’ve been allowing sin to rule my attitude and actions.

I come before you to confess the sin in my heart that’s been outweighing the truth of who you are and who you want me to be.

I cannot discern my own errors. Please forgive my hidden faults. May the words of my mouth and the thoughts in my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:12-14)

Remind me of your ways, O Lord, teach me again your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. (Psalm 25:4-7)

Father, thank you for the undeserved grace and mercy you have extended to me. As I continue to pour over Your Word, help me to respond in a manner worthy of the calling I have received, toward the difficult people in my life. You have reminded me that …

You are a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. (Psalm 9:9-10)

You are my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? You are the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid?… (Psalm 27: 1, 5-6)

Your ears are attentive to my cry; You are close to me when my heart is broken and my spirit crushed. (Psalm 34:15-22)

Thank you, Lord, that I can rest in the knowledge that you are a God of truth and justice – knowing that the difficult people in my life do not have the final word. But just as you are not done with me, neither are you done with those who seem so hard to get along with. Help me be a source of grace and kindness in their lives. Whether they are Christians dominated by the cares and distractions of this world or non-Christians who don’t know the truth, help me be a redemptive influence in their lives.

You remind me that my love must be sincere so help me to humbly honor others above myself. Help me to be hospitable giving a blessing even when I feel persecuted; striving to live in harmony with others; refusing to repay evil for evil. Help me to do what is right and to live at peace with everyone. I will refuse to be my own avenger but will leave that up to You. As the Holy Spirit enables me I will strive to be kind to my enemies and ask that you will use my gracious behavior to overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:9-21)

In humility help me consider others better than myself – not just my own interests but the interests of others with the same attitude that you displayed. (Philippians 2:2-5)

Thank you that I am a redeemed person, so clothe me with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Help me forgive others, putting aside my list of grievances just as you forgave mine. Above all help me practice self-sacrificial love striving for unity. (Colossians 3:12-14)

Father, You have called me to love the difficult people in my life. They have been placed in my path not by accident, but as a part of your perfect plan. Help me to view these people through your eyes. I pray that when I am feeling angry, or frustrated that you would stir up in my heart the desire to first confess my own sin, to dwell on your promises, and live out the commands you have given me to love one another.

I pray that as I interact with these people that I would be salt and light. I pray that you would open their hearts and minds to the truth of who Jesus is and that you would use me as an instrument of friendship and redemption in their lives. Lord, help me to remember that I’m not here for my own glory or convenience but for your glory and as a living emblem of your grace. Amen.

*Please note that verses have been paraphrased and pronouns have been changed to make the process of praying through particular portions of Scripture easier. Please look up the references listed in your own copy of God’s Word in order to read the text verbatim.

Lori Stout

Lori Stout is a member of College Park Church who enjoys serving the Lord through her gift of writing. She has been writing articles on faith and motherhood for more than three years.

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