Praying for Difficult People

Pray imageLast week my sister was telling me an inspiring story about how she turned a bad situation to good. Someone had said something to her that criticized her beliefs. She stewed about this, letting it make her angry for days. But not liking the way the anger made her feel either, she realized an opportunity to turn that negative energy to good. Instead of being angry, she prayed for the rude woman. I’m not sure for what exactly. Perhaps it was for the woman to learn better ways to communicate, or prayed that this person would find the good to comment about instead of the negative. But she prayed. Even after being treated rudely, she prayed. And she said it felt great.

Only a few days had passed when I had the worst customer service experience at Office Depot. I left in such shock that the employee at the copy desk could be so rude, that I couldn’t let it go. I let it eat at me until I realized it was really going to affect the rest of my day. Call it divine intervention; I could hear my sister’s story and thought, yeah, I need to pray. So I mustered my strength to pray for the little runt, ok fine, copy employee, to learn some manners. That regardless of how busy he might be, he treats all people with the respect they deserve. I prayed that good would come his way so that he wouldn’t feel like his life only amounted to working behind that desk. I was amazed how much better I felt.

That very same night I got worked up over listening to a story of some veteran programs being taken advantage of and in the midst of my frustration, heard it again- pray. So I did. And I’ll be honest, the topic still frustrates me. But praying for the offender almost made me feel like I had a little control over the situation. That maybe this person needed my prayers to “see the light” and do better. And if my continued frustration keeps me praying, that can’t be a bad thing, right?

Stopping to pray for someone else instead of focusing the attention on myself was eye opening. I was amazed at how liberating it felt to let go of the annoyance and give it to God. As we roll into the holiday and winter season our patience will be tested with long lines, bad drivers, and an excess of family time. Who knows, maybe you’ll hear my voice and pray. I hope it helps!


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