Praying for the People That Bug You the Most

Praying for the People That Bug You the Most

In a Christian life, we’re surrounded by people we love, folks we barely know, and those that bug us. (And yes, we are those people in other people’s lives, too!) I used to obsess a little about the folks that bugged me. These were people who would be snarky with me for no reason (or no reason I could see), or wonder endlessly why someone who behave as they did.

I think in these times, we forget about the freeing power of prayer. It frees us from this negative spiral of thoughts that take us down without even realizing it. It allows us to let go of things that would otherwise take up so much space in our head that we’d have little room for anything else. For anything positive.

A couple years ago, I started a practice of praying for the people that bugged me the most. I hadn’t been doing that before then. I’d pray for the people I liked best. I’d pray the prayers they wanted me to pray (please let them get this house, please let them find love, have children, heal their body‚Ķ) and I still do for those people. I still echo their wishes to God and pray for their best life.

But now, I pay close attention to the people that really bug me, too. These are ones that frustrate me, bring out the worst in me, and sometimes even make me mad. I pray to God for their goodness. I pray to God to help them live the kind of life He wants them to live, and then I pray for Him to help me get rid of the negative thoughts I have. I ask Him to show me how He sees this person.

show-me

It’s a challenge. I’m not always good at it, especially when those people who bug you wind up being the very ones that hurt you, too. The thing I pay most attention to is the negative behaviors that come out in me as a result of being around these people.

I think that if we don’t start with ourselves, though, this exercise can get a bit arrogant. Praying for someone else to change is never a good thing. What if they really don’t have to change? What if their behavior is solely meant to teach you something? No matter what it is, no matter what these people are doing, there is always a lesson in it. The thing to go back to is that no matter what, God loves these people as much as He does you.

god-loves

 

That will blow your mind, won’t it?

That person who sat there making snotty comments under their breathe while you tried to tell a story? He loves them. The one who talked about themselves for an hour but then couldn’t stand to hear someone else do the same thing? Yup – He loves them too.

Hard to realize at times, which is why I no longer spend time focusing on it. I focus instead on just praying for them as they are, asking God to bless them and to help me be the person He wants me to be around them.

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Cherie Burbach About Cherie Burbach

Cherie Burbach is the founder of Putting on the New. She is a poet, mixed media artist, and freelance writer. She's written for About.com, NBC/Universal, Match.com, Christianity Today, and more. Her latest book is: Art and Faith: Mixed Media Art With a Faith-Filled Message. For more, check out her website.

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