It was a deep conversation with an old friend late one night that put everything in perspective. Suddenly I knew the piece I've been missing on this journey. I'm not going to share the missing piece with you just yet, but I will share a firm reminder she gave me.
We have to pray - not just for ourselves, spouses, and children. No. We also have to pray for those who hurt us. We even have to pray for those who hate and actively seek to harm us. If they are consumed by it pray that much harder. It is not always our place to tell someone whether the malice is justified, but we can pray for that hatred. We can pray for healing. We can pray for blessings.
Praying for those who send us reeling is no small feat. Be honest with God about that. Confess that it's a struggle. Then do it anyway. Blessing them blesses you, too. Did you know that? Returning to that place of love and recognizing we are all God's children blesses you. It helps you heal.
It doesn't mean you are perfect or even blameless. It isn't condescending. It's powerful. Prayer is the greatest gift we can give someone.
Pray for abusers just as you pray for the abused. Pray for the negligent, enablers, and hesitant observers. Above all, hit your knees and pray for the greater good.
In all things, pray for the greater good.
"But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
Matthew 5:44 NIV