When God Asks You to Pray for Difficult People

This article is by Brandi Hawthorne and published by Team Jesus Magazine


Dreaded Encounters

I regularly encounter a person who makes me uncomfortable. She’s brash and rude. She’s one of those people you can’t tell anything. And, when she’s wrong, you can’t find a drop of humility. She brags about not getting along with anyone. And, she’s often praised for her behavior.

I’ve tried being friendly. I’ve tried being positive. But, when I see her – I cringe. I want to walk the other way. I just wish she wasn’t present.

Recently, she’s been popping into my head. And, each time I think of her that same feeling of dread and disgust washes over me.

And, I’d ask myself, “Why are you even thinking about her?” I even tried to pray her away, “Lord, please remove her from my mind.”


Pray for Difficult People Like They’re You.

One morning, I was trying to knock any thoughts of her out of my head when I heard the Spirit, “I don’t bring her to mind for you to speak badly about her. I bring her to mind for you to pray for her.”

Now, I’m no stranger to prayer, and I’m pretty sure I prayed for her the first time I encountered her nastiness, so I felt a little like “Really?” when I heard these instructions.

I can’t give you any miraculous updates as a result of these prayers because, well, I haven’t witnessed any. But, only God knows the heart of a man.

I just want to remind you that the situation and/or person you find popping into your head, filling you with dread, anxiety, fear, and frustration – pray about it and/or pray for them!

And, I don’t mean my “God, remove ’em” prayer. Pray about them the same way you pray about you. I’m sure my initial prayer for her was nice, but now I pray for her as if she’s me.

Lord, I pray for her financial situation. I pray for healing from past hurts. I pray for peace. I pray God that you’d make her heart flesh again. I pray for Your grace and mercy to cover her…

And, I do this each time she crosses my mind.

I’ll be sure to update you when God allows me to see His work. But, until then, I’ll just keep believing that He that began a good work in her will see it to completion (Philippians 1:6).

So, what’s the play call?

Remember there’s nothing too hard for God. No situation is too hopeless. He doesn’t laugh at small matters and He doesn’t run from the large ones. God cares about what concerns you.

I know it feels good to share with your spouse or your friends, but how long does that last? Taking our cares to God not only transfers them from our shoulders onto His, but we can also rest in the fact that He’s working it all out for His glory.

Leave a Comment