A Prayer for Strength, Forgiveness & Your Enemies
By: Erica M. Ponder
Many people that know me know that I have a very transparent attitude, and with that attitude comes my faith in God. Over the years, I have proudly embraced the fact that I don’t have to be perfect in order to be a Christian. I’m a Christian, because I know that I need God. I need Him everyday. I need Him every hour. I need Him every second. Recently, I have allowed myself to be in several situations that have diminished my faith and made me question who I was as a woman.
The amazing thing about being in a relationship with God is that no pain, even the pain that you bring upon yourself, even the pain that He told you to let go of, is ever wasted. God always makes up for the lost time and the mistakes that you make. The problem is that sometimes we as God’s children allow anger to linger and become cancerous, causing us to become the very people we despise. Today, I allowed the anger that I thought was taken care of to fester and control who I am. My anger began to tell me that I was trapped when God told me I was free. My anger told me I had to fight when God said that He would fight all of my battles. My anger told me to critique and accuse when God said that vengeance is His and I only had to be still. You see, anger is natural when your heart has been broken. Anger is normal when you’ve been wronged or lied to. What is not normal is the desire to not forgive. It takes a strong person to forgive. The world has told us that we have to hold unforgiveness over our hearts like a shield so that we won’t get hurt again. The world, however, won’t tell you that unforgiveness will block your blessings and weaken your spirit. A weak spirit results in an ineffective you. When you are ineffective, you are fruitless, unproductive, and useless.
Unforgiveness holds you back from the complete person you could be. Now, think back to who you were before you had your first heartbreak. Think back to who you were before you were bullied, lied to, or betrayed by someone you trusted. What were you like? Were you more approachable? Were you more willing to step out of your comfort zone? Holding on to those things makes us “incomplete” in a sense. Those very things that we lost before our pain can help us leap over barriers and break into what God has for us. Learning to forgive comes with time and practice, but more importantly, prayer. When you can actively bless your enemies, God will actively bless them and you. Why should we bless them? Because it frees them of the the things they’ve done, just as God has freed you over and over again. Why should you forgive them? Because it frees you. I wrote a prayer that exposes the weakness in these areas of my life. I hope that it may bless you as you learn to forgive every offense, every heartbreak, and everything that the enemy sent to destroy you.
I am coming to You first of all thanking You for never leaving my side. We have stepped out against Your will and have decided to do things on our own, over and over again. I am tired of being in my own way. I am tired of wanting control when my control has caused more damage than good. Help us to solely trust You, and not our feelings and emotions. Help us to tap into the blessings that you have stored up just for us. Help us to want to let go of the pain so that we may obtain the promise. Show us why You had to relieve us of that pain by allowing our greater to come into fruition. Destroy the power that the people who claimed to love us have over our heart and my life. Prepare a table for us in their presence so that even they will know no pain was wasted in our lives, and even they will be blessed because of our ability to overcome.
Guard our heart and our sanity, Father. Allow the energy that we use toward anger and getting our point across to be geared toward seeking You, following Godly connections and seeking the path that You have for our lives. Help us to no longer live in anger and hurt from this day forward, God. Help us not to believe the enemy when he causes our minds to believe that we are still trapped and that we have to fight for the things that You told us to let go of. Help me to enjoy my freedom more than I enjoy being in bondage. Sometimes it takes an impossible kind of faith to move forward into the unknown. Equip us with the courage to move forward from what’s behind us, even when we are uncertain of what is before us. Remind us that we are free when we want to go back to the things that held us hostage. Even after all of our mistakes, help people see the God in us through our actions and our words. Forgive us for not trusting You completely when you told us You were turning it around. Forgive us for lacking patience and understanding, Lord. Forgive us for allowing what they did to us hold us back from the very things You have in store for us. Remind us that we are victorious when we feel weak. Give us the strength that only You can give Lord, yet allow us to possess Your gentleness and love. And now God, we ask that you bless our enemies. Bless the people that have taken advantage of our hearts, even when we gave it to them over and over again. Bless the people that made us cry, and allow us to forgive them for giving them the power to break our spirits and step all over our feelings. I pray that they seek You from this day forward. I pray that they seek integrity in their lives and that they blossom into the people you want them to be. Remind them that there is nothing too hard for You, God. Soften their hearts, and let them know that no matter what they’ve done, they can still come to You. Remind them that your wrath is only for a moment, but Your favor lasts for a lifetime. Mend their hearts, God. Let them know that they are loved, even when the people around them can’t seem to love them. I pray that they are never lacking anything in You. Deliver them from the things that are keeping them in their wilderness. Let them know they are strong. Give them, as well as myself, the peace that surpasses all understanding.
We love you, Lord, and we thank You for keeping us, even when we rejected Your protection over our lives. Thank You for remaining faithful towards us. Thank You for providing for us every single day. Thank You for the blessings that You have prepared for us. We love You so much, God. You deserve all the glory and the praise. You are a faithful God. You’ve seen us messed up on countless occasions, yet You were so willing to repair us. Thank You for Your sufficient grace. I would be nothing without You in my life.
Now, live free.