So there I was sitting in church and struggling with the behaviour of a specific individual that has been made worse with our relocation to Singapore 4 years ago... so much so that i wish at times that we are still living overseas.
At this point where I am struggling with anger, resentment, indignance. .. God chose to put a thought it me.
A thought that I would love to reject but I know I cannot.
Honestly I have mostly tried to ignore or pretend to be unperturbed by the specific individual. But I know I am. Deep within, subconaciously the resentment has grown so much in me that it has taken a toll on me and my closest. Especially in the last 4 years. The negative thoughts I have entertained were endless and scary. So much so I am angry at the individual for being a stumbling block in my life.
Alot of times I feel terrible because I felt that I shouldn't be such a small minded person. That i shouldn't be so judgemental. That i should be more accomodating, loving, thoughtful. And that I should try to accept the behavior/comments -- at least don't be too disturbed by it. But I found that I can't. Maybe it is pride. Maybe it is because i am opinionated. Maybe it is because i believe that while basic respect is a given any more needs to be earned regardless of seniority. Maybe it is something else. I don't know. Maybe I am just being difficult and spoilt.
I find it very difficult to accept something that I feel is wrong. This has been a point of contention for me for the longest time.....
And yet God says let us put this aside. Whether I can accept it or not does not matter. (What?!?) Whether I like it or not makes no difference. I am to stand in the gap and pray. Pray for the person. What??! Pray for someone that is driving me nuts??
O dear. Can I do it? By my own physical strength and human mental capacity - honestly no.
God knows i cannot. So He even put the gist of the prayer into my mind and so here goes ....
Dear Lord, I pray for myself (and the person I am representing) :
- I pray that you will forgive me (and the person I am standing in the gap for) of my focus on myself;
- help me (and the person) to let go of the past and break the chains that bind. Chains of low self esteem, insecurity and lack of significance;
- soften my (and the person's) heart so that I am open to your words and wisdom and the counsel of the people around me.
- remove my pride (and the person's) as it is standing in the way of your work in me.
- help me (and who I represent) so that I can enjoy and experience the freedom that is in you. Free to love, free to receive, free to give. Free from expectations. Free from self criticism. Free from the negativity that others generate.
I pray all these in Jesus' name. Amen.
The reason I am writing this prayer down is to remind me to pray. To continue to stand in the gap. To encourage myself to follow the ways of the Lord rather than wallow in self pity and feeling indignant.
Reminder that while I may not agree with the behaviour and I don't accept the comments, thoughts and behaviour -- I can continue to pray for the person. It doesn't mean I embrace all that the person says and do. But it does mean that I acknowledge that any improvement or change that I see is the work of God for there is nothing that I can do. I can only pray.
It seems impossible. But I am therefore praying for a miracle that things will change and improve. That God will move wondrously.
It is only possible with the grace of God.