Monday, March 28, 2011

Start Praying

So how many of you have a "difficult" person in your life that you have to interact with on a regular basis?  You could be in this situation with a person from work, church, circle of friends or even your family. I have one of these people in my work life right now, and I'm finding it to be quite a challenge!

Do you remember when you were in elementary school, and your teacher would write nice little comments on your report cards?  I would often get little notes that said things like, "Kelli is a hard worker!" or "Kelli is very quiet."  One of my favorites was, "Kelli gets along well with others!"  I used to think that last one was still true about me.  I try very hard to treat everyone equally, to not hurt feelings, and to generally interact well with others.  However, if that was a criteria for a current job evaluation these days, I'm not sure that I would score well on that line!

I'm not sure what I originally did to get things off on the wrong foot with "Kathy", but I just can't seem to win. I really do not go out of my way to aggravate this person, and in fact, I try to keep my communications with her to a minimum.  Which by the way, was one of her latest complaints:  I was recently told that I need to communicate with her better!  Yikes!

It didn't take long for me to realize that my way of handling things isn't the best way. First, I prayed about it:  For patience, "Lord, please help me to keep my temper!"  For understanding, "Lord, help me to understand why she acts this way!"  And For wisdom, "Lord, please help me to know how to handle this!"  All to no avail!   So I turned to my Bible.  Why I don't always do this to begin with, I don't know!  I thought maybe I wasn't praying right, so I looked up a few verses on prayer, and one in particular stuck out to me:   

Matthew 5:44 ~ "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;"(The underline is mine)

When I read this verse, the words themselves were not at all difficult to understand.  When I began to try to transform these words into actions, though, it was another story altogether!  This is Jesus, Himself, speaking to us, and He intends for us to take this to heart and follow through on it.  All this time I had been praying for myself, and maybe I should have been praying for HER!"  My first thought was to pray that she stop being so mean, but then I revisited another part of the verse, "Bless them that curse you".  Am I supposed to pray for BLESSINGS for her?  For this woman who has been so difficult to me, as well as to other employees?  For the woman who already seems to have it all?  For this woman?!

At this point, I took a deep breath.  I knew I could do this.  I strive to be a godly woman.  I fall very short of the godly woman that I should be, but I do try.  I am a grown-up, and I am mature enough to put my own feelings behind me.  But it's HARD!  Sure, I can say the words, but I am pretty sure that Jesus wants me to MEAN them!  I took another deep breath and tried again. I prayed for blessings for her and for her family. I  could actually feel some of the tension release from my shoulders as I prayed.  It was not an eloquent prayer, but I believe it was sincere.  I know I can't stop there.  I need to keep praying for her, and I do.  Some times are easier than others, and sometimes, in the heat of the moment, I forget to, but the next time I try a little harder.

I found some other verses that I'll share with you at the end.  I do recommend that you try this.  You are praying for someone else, but I think you'll reap many of the benefits yourself!  You know, this kind of puts a different spin on the phrase, "I'll be praying for you!", doesn't it?! ;) 

Proverbs 25:21-22 ~ "If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat: and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:  For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee."

Romans 8:26 ~ "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities:  for we know not what we should pray for as we ought:  but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."

James 5:16 ~ "...The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

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