Fervent: Prayer Strategy for Your Hurts
Have you put together your prayer strategy for your pressures? I hope so! This week we are moving on to Prayer Strategy number nine, your hurts! If you're just joining us, come on in! We're working through the book, Fervent by Priscilla Shirer. If you want to purchase the book you can do so through this affiliate link by clicking here. (This post contains an affiliate link, which provides me with a small compensation when you purchase your book through my link. Thank you so much for supporting my small business!)
I think we all know exactly what it feels like to be hurt. Nevertheless, I always like to look to the dictionary to really wrap my mind around a word and all it entails. So what is the definition of hurt? It means...to cause emotional pain or anguish, to suffer pain or grief, or to cause damage or distress. I feel like the definition seems to simple when the emotions associated with being hurt can seem so complex. Do you? Is there a specific person or an event that comes to mind when you think of a past hurt? Has someone hurt you so badly that just thinking of it brings tears to your eyes or a burning anger in your heart?
This chapter of the book sure hit a soft spot in my heart. For the last 11 months I've taken time to heal from past hurts, and I can tell you that it is something I have to surrender to God daily. That job I've mentioned in past blog posts that I left in December, well it did a number on me. Yes, the 8 years I spent there led to convictions about my own heart and priorities, but the ending of that season of my life was especially difficult for me. Someone I considered to be a really good friend said some of the most awful, hurtful, and disrespectful things to me. This person knew exactly what to say to hurt me....and let me tell ya, they did not hold back. I spent the first few months of the year so angry and so resentful. How could this person treat me like this after working together for so long? Did they even consider me a friend at all or was I just a means to an end for them? And to deepen the wound a little more, this person showed no remorse for their actions. They didn't once acknowledge their wrongdoing, or show any sort of sincere regret for their actions and the hurtful things they said to me. And man has it been hard for me to let it go. In the book Priscilla says, "Unforgiveness is a "strategic design" craftily implemented by your enemy to "outwit" you, to cripple your effectiveness in prayer and your power to stand against him victoriously. Which is why, if I were your enemy, I would do everything possible to keep you from forgiving anyone and everyone who's done you any wrong." And this sweet friends, is why creating a prayer strategy for our hurts is so very important!
Did you catch that last part in the quote above.... "what they owe you." Do you feel like someone owes you for how they treated you or what they said to you? I sure did! I really felt like the person who wronged me owed me a sincere apology where they actually acknowledged that the way they treated me and the awful things they said to me were wrong. And so many times, I've thought, if this person would just admit their wrongdoing and give me a sincere apology then I could let it go. Move on. Loose the resentment and anger I have towards them. I think there are two problems with this thought though. One, the likelihood of getting that apology I want is pretty stinkin' small. And two, if I were to actually receive that apology would it really heal the deep hurt? It might certainly help, but I believe God is the only one who can truly heal my wounded heart. Psalm 147:3 says, "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."
Friends, I know forgiveness is hard. Really hard. Especially when the hurt runs so deep. But forgiveness is God's command. Keep asking God to help you fully forgive those who have hurt you. I know that when I need to have the heart to forgive someone, that God is the only one who can make it happen. Ezekiel 36:26 says "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." I pray that God will give me a heart to forgive and forget, and I pray that God will protect my thoughts and emotions from the enemy. I've noticed the harder I press in to God to give me a heart like His, a heart overflowing with forgiveness, that the enemy presses in even harder with those thoughts and feelings of hurt, betrayal, and resentment. Satan wants our hearts burdened. He wants our lives shackled to past hurts. He wants anger and resentment brewing in our hearts. Because when our hearts are full of hate and anger and bitterness, our relationship with God is hindered. God wants us to be FREE. Free from the hurt, the anger, the bitterness. He wants our hearts to be overflowing with love, grace, and forgiveness. Galatians 5:1 (MSG) says, "Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you." Let's refuse to allow past hurts or events to shackle our hearts and hinder our intimacy with God and let's do so through prayer!
Are you ready to pray fervently and create a prayer strategy for your hurts? To get started, here are some scriptures you might consider adding to your prayer strategy! If you're following along in the book you can find these scriptures, plus more, on pages 164-167.
- When ever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. Mark 11:25
- Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Eph. 4:31-32
- Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. "But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Rom. 12:19-21
- As those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forviging each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Col. 3:12-13
Go ahead and grab your Heartfelt Prayers Journal and craft your prayer strategy for your HURTS. Remember, if you don't have a journal, you can download this Prayer Journal that I created specifically for this study and use it throughout the series!
As I mentioned before, I'll be sharing my prayers with you to serve as inspiration as you work to craft your very own! Here is the prayer strategy I wrote in my war binder, for my hurts.
I'm praying for you as you work to craft a prayer for your hurts. See you next week as we dive into the final prayer strategy, number ten, on relationships.
Rooted in the love of Jesus,
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