“You’re driving me so bonkers…I’m going to pray for you!”
I was speaking with a friend/colleague the other day about how the students are starting to drive us a little mental. (We really really need a holiday!) She was talking about how she’s been increasingly short tempered and blunt with them. We were voicing our frustrations and discussing how it’s really not fun to be the cranky and crabby teacher. Suddenly I found myself telling her to pray for them by name and to pray for help to love them. I recalled something from years ago, how when I worked in Indonesia a teacher had shared about how she’d sit on her student’s desks in the mornings and say quick prayers for them before they had even shown up to school.
I remembered how I used to pray every day for a particularly horrible girl I went to high school with. I remember noticing how on the days I prayed for her, she was nicer to me.
I remembered how God answered those very specific prayers.
The act of praying for someone irritating is difficult but effective. Whether it’s just to pray that God would give you enough love to love them properly or whether you’re at the point where you can take it a step further and pray for God to bless them.. using prayer to deal with people is freeing. It’s such a simple solution yet we often are scrambling for other more complicated, less obvious ways to deal with our problem people.
The Bible instructs us to pray for our enemies. Not only should we pray for them but we should pray that they will be blessed. Yikes! It’s amazing how praying those kind of prayers immediately starts to change our own hearts. You can’t have a heart filled with anger and frustration and ask God to heap blessings on someone horrible… it just doesn’t seem to work. Little by little our hearts start to change and soften.
I have realized that I have been very slack in terms of praying for specific people. Yes I have the regular people I pray for, family, friends, certain requests for prayer I’ve received but when it comes to praying for specific students and colleagues etc, I have fallen miserably short.
And so I will resolve to pray more for those the Lord places in my path. I will pray for those students who irk me but also the ones who I think are fantastic. I will pray for the colleagues who are my friends and the ones who drive me a bit batty. I will work to be in a constant state of prayer so that my words and actions can do nothing but reflect His Son.
This will be my goal, my new approach to living life and praying, my new way of looking at and praying for the world around me.