Persecution and Prayer

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Have you ever felt persecuted? I’ve felt a little picked on this week for things like my faith and our family’s decision to homeschool. I admit that I don’t have thick skin, at all, which is why I generally avoid like the plague anything remotely smacking of confrontation or debate.

I also have this annoying tendency to dwell on perceived attacks, real or imagined. And, by dwell on, I mean play the event over and over in my head for days.

Yes, days.

I was dwelling on one such event that felt like an unwarranted personal attack earlier this week when God placed some verses on my heart:

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” – Matthew 5:11-12

“But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” – Matthew 5:44

So, I decided that, rather than indulging on my tendency to dwell, I would pray for my “persecutors” every time the situation came to my mind.

I prayed for them a lot for a couple of days.

And, I honestly believe that this was a much better use of my time than dwelling because the truth is, if I believe what I say I do (and I do), then there is more at stake here than just a difference of opinion and my hurt feelings. Someone’s eternity is at stake. And, it occurred to me that maybe that was at least a little bit of why this situation was on my mind so much – because the Holy Spirit was reminding me that I needed to pray.

I’ve often wished that I wasn’t so thin-skinned, that I didn’t let little things bother me like I often do. However, maybe I shouldn’t see it as being thin-skinned, but rather being sensitive, which wouldn’t be a bad thing if what I was being sensitive to was the prompting of the Holy Spirit to pray for the salvation of those who don’t know Christ.

Intercessory prayer warrior sounds a lot better than whiny girl who gets her feelings hurt too easily, don’t you think?

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13 Comments

  1. Amen Sister! I love this post because you are not alone. I think many of us deal with these feelings and your words are very encouraging. Thank you sharing this and, in doing so, helping us to remember where are treasure lies.

  2. I tend to do the same thing. I will think about it and think about it until I have worn a rut in my brain.

    Those are great verses to remember.

  3. Oo, I am the same way about confrontation and dwelling!

    I also found prayer a good help for road rage. Cut off in traffic? Someone driving like a maniac?

    “Dear Lord, please help this person get to their destination safely and without hurting anyone. If their speed is warranted, please be with them in their trouble. If a troubled heart brings their emotions to their steering wheel, please bring them solace. If a disregard for themselves and others on the road lead them not to care, please lay it upon them to take seriously the short time we all have on this Earth.”

    That takes me to a whole other place than “LEAD FOOT!! It’s the pedal on the left; you should try it sometimes!”

    I haven’t had to deal with attacks on my decision to home school, but other matters reach right through my thin skin. Prayer isn’t something I have tried. I should. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Thanks so much, ladies! I debated about posting this because it felt a little uncomfortably transparent, but your comments have made me glad I did.

    And, RebelAngel, I love your prayer for road rage! I am so going to have to remember that. Sometimes it’s hard to keep in mind that people may have things that you don’t even know going on that cause them to either not even notice what’s going on around them in traffic or not even care.

    I still remember an incident with someone in traffic when I had gone to get my step-dad, who was in the last two weeks of his battle with cancer, some medicine. I remember thinking, “Lady, if you only knew what was going on in my life, you would cut me some slack.”

    Anyway, thank you all again for your wonderful comments.

  5. How I needed this blog post! I was in a similar situation earlier this week and felt overwhelmed. I have often been confronted but never in a situation like this, I felt like I was being swallowed by evil. Then, of course, I wanted to be mad at the women, but you are so right, prayer is the answer.

  6. Do I need to go knock some sense into someone for you? Oh, wait, that would be the *opposite* of what your post should inspire me to do. 😉

  7. I’m a dweller, too! I usually replay all the misconstrued or inefective or unclear things I said, or the things I wanted to say. Interstingly I get no flack for homeschooling but a lot for my faith. That’s why I am soooo grateful for our Christian homeschool co-op.

    Thank you for this post, and I am praying for you, too.

  8. What a great post. I also dwell on things and have found that praying for the person helps…but that usually only happens after a huge inner struggle with my own thoughts. This is definitely something I need to work on! Thank you for this great reminder!! (HUGS)

  9. Ugh — totally! I am a big crier and one who dwells on things. I try not to, but it’s like sometimes I just can’t help it.

    Hope you are feeling better!

  10. I just came across your blog. And I LOVE it. Especially the title! My oldest is 3 and I’m feeling called to homeschool! Which kinda freaks me out. I want my kids smarter than me!!!

    Anyhoo, every time I mention that I want to homeschool people look at me like I’m out of my mind! “What about socializing your kids?”, is the first thing people say. Of course I don’t have a good answer, because I’m new to this whole thing!

  11. i totally agree! and would add how an Artist can do much better work with pliable clay than stiff and brittle blocks. you’re soft for good cause. being sensitive is not being weak. hold strong to what you know is True. and by the looks of it, you are well supported in your corner.

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