Why Not Try This? …Pray for Somebody You Don’t Like

Several weeks ago it was Dustin’s (our seventeen year old son) turn to lead family worship. He surprised me when he said “Let’s go around the circle and say the name of somebody we don’t like. And Dad, don’t act like you don’t dislike anyone.”

When it was my turn I mentioned that name of someone who is very difficult to get along with. When we had all taken our turn Dustin then said, “Now we’ll go around the circle again and pray for the people we each mentioned.” I realized that it had been a long time since I had prayed for the person I had mentioned.

I think every pastor has at least one person in his district he has a hard time getting along with, sometimes in spite of his best efforts. The widow of one retired pastor told me she found a note in her husband’s Bible after he died. It had been written years before by a young girl in the congregation. It said “Pastor —, you are the best pastor in all the world. Everybody loves you.” In the margin her husband’s handwriting said, “Not so” then listed three families who had made life very difficult for him in that district!

Right now would be a great time to take a few moments and ask God to surround some difficult-to-get-along-with person with His love and turn their heart toward Him.

“We must have our lives so hid with Christ in God that when bitter speeches and scornful words and unkind looks meet us, we shall not permit our feelings to be stirred up against this class, but shall feel the deepest sympathy for them, because they know nothing about the precious Savior whom we claim to know. We must remember that they are in the service of one who is the bitterest enemy of Jesus Christ, and that while all heaven is opened to the sons and daughters of God, they have no such privilege. You ought to feel that you are the happiest people upon the face of the whole earth. Notwithstanding, as Christ’s representatives, you are as sheep in the midst of wolves, you have One with you who can help you under all circumstances, and you will not be devoured by these wolves if you keep close to Jesus. How careful you should be to represent Jesus in every word and action! You should feel when you arise in the morning, and when you go out upon the street, and when you come in, that Jesus loves you, that He is by your side, and that you must not cherish a thought that will grieve your Saviour. . . .” {That I May Know Him, p. 183.4}

1 Comment

Filed under Pastoring, Prayer, Why Not Try This?