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How To Pray For Those Who Hate You

How To Pray For Those That Hate You | By Jamie Rohrbaugh | FromHisPresence.comSomeone made it abundantly clear to me recently that they hate me.

I don’t know why, because they didn’t come to me directly. I’m not aware of anything I’ve done that would have caused their animosity. But it’s there, nonetheless. The whole thing makes me very sad.

After the situation happened, I was just in shock. Speechless. If anything similar has ever happened to you, you’ll understand what I mean. I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears. And afterward, I didn’t know how to respond. In a daze, I started just trying to think my way through the situation.

I remembered that Jesus said that if someone hates me, I am to pray for them. In Luke 6:27-28, He said:

Start-quote“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.””

And Matthew 5:44-45 says:

Start-quote“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

So that’s where I started. I was too numb to do anything else. But I didn’t really know how to pray about it.

But I was so angry that I didn’t do very well at first.

Honestly, looking back, I see that my first prayers were from a heart attitude of “Oh yeah? I’ll show you. I’ll pray for you to be blessed, because I’m doing what the Lord wants me to do, and you’re not.”

Horrible. I know. What terrible motives. Lord, I’m so sorry. (Am I the only one who has ever done that?) But, at least I wasn’t angry or cursing this person. I was genuinely concerned for their well-being, even though my heart’s motives weren’t pure. (In the past, before I met Jesus, I would have been very angry and definitely would have said horrible things about them. So I thank God that at least He is changing me.)

Then I got some sleep and went to the Lord the next morning about it. When I did, I saw things very differently. I thought I’d share what I saw, in case you might be dealing with a similar situation.

Here’s what the Lord showed me about how to pray for those that hate you:

1. God loves the person who hates me just as much as God loves me.

This person is the beloved child of the Father. Papa God’s heart beats for them, just like it does for me. My Father loves them with an everlasting love, and is working in this person’s life just like He is working in my life.

Do you have someone who hates you? If so, would you take the time to realize that God earnestly loves and yearns after them, just like He loves and yearns after you?

2. Because God loves them, I know His heart breaks when He sees this situation.

Seeing things from God’s perspective suddenly changed my perspective. When I realized that Jesus sees this situation, and that it grieves His precious heart to have this person act/think/talk this way, then suddenly my motives changed. No longer was I praying out of an “I’ll show you – holier than thou” attitude. Instead, I was praying out of my love for Jesus.

I don’t want to see Jesus’ heart grieved. I don’t want Him to be sad. I don’t want to see Him hurt.

When I saw God’s heart breaking for this person, I was suddenly able to pray out of sympathy with Jesus. My prayer changed from “holier-than-thou” to “Daddy God, please bless them and heal their heart because this is wounding Jesus, and I can’t stand for Jesus to be wounded anymore. Oh God, please overwhelm this person with Your love for them.”

It became about Jesus, not about me. And in reality, isn’t that what every sin and wrong response is about? It’s not directed at me–not really. It’s just sin rebelling against Jesus.

If you are in a similar situation, ask Father God to help you pray in sympathy with Jesus. Ask Him to let Jesus receive His full, glorious inheritance in the person that hates you.

God responds to prayers like that.

Related: THE book that changed my prayer life forever and taught me to pray on behalf of Jesus is Power, Passion & Prayer (Pure Gold Classics) by my hero, Charles Finney (Amazon affiliate link). Digest it one chapter at a time, and I guarantee it will wreck you forever too. :)

3. I’m not accountable for their actions, but I am accountable for responding rightly.

I won’t answer to God for someone else’s actions, but I will answer for my own.

My response is between me and God. I want to walk before God in white, with clean hands and a pure heart. Dear Father, help me to respond rightly.

The same goes for you. If someone has treated you badly, they were wrong to do so. But their wrong doesn’t make it ok for you to respond sinfully.

Walk before God in white. Respond with righteousness, peace, and love. That is all we are responsible for. God will take care of the rest.

I don’t know how the situation I’m dealing with will turn out, but I know God will handle it. I can rest in Him… and so can you.

If you are dealing with someone who hates you, please understand that God loves them too. Pray for them in sympathy with the heart of Jesus, that Jesus would no longer be grieved. And don’t let sin rob you of clean hands and a pure heart.

Do any of these things resonate with you too? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Thanks!


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I love 'em. Your feedback means the world to me. It keeps me going when writing gets hard. Please keep your comments coming.

Sometimes, though, because my schedule is so intense between my family, my day job, and my church, it takes me a few days to respond to comments. Not always, but sometimes, and I apologize for the delay. I get 'em right away, though, and I start praying for you right away if you've asked for prayer, and I'll respond as soon as possible.

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  1. Good reading

  2. Kimberly Gooden says:

    This really helped me. When people are malicous and spitefully, it really hurts. Just recently someone told my husband that he hated him and he hated the words that come out of his mouth. What was so shocking about this was we thought this person was a friend. I was praying for him, but it was the wrong type of pray. I woke up the next morning still full of vengence. I googled prayer for those who hate and your blog really inspired me. God is an awesome God.

    • I’m so glad it helped, Kimberly. I know that hurts when a so-called “friend” turns on you. I’m so sorry that happened. Hang in there. I know our Papa will bless you for responding with a right heart. :)

  3. This article really helped me, i was answering to a post on face book. About letting God back into our schools…. We after I posted my thoughts, I was surrounded by Atheists who called me names, taunted me, and said all kinds of hatefull things about my God. The more I tried to explain my faith in Jesus, they had each others back and it was awful.

    • I’m so sorry that happened to you, Peggy. Whenever people say nasty things to me, I’m reminded of what Jesus said in Matthew 5:11-12: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” I always find great comfort in that verse! I hope it will comfort you too.
      Thank you for reading my blog!

  4. You’re post is very insightful. I know people that don’t like me and they don’t even know me. But, i don’t think i have ever had anyone say that they hate me or one of my family members directly. Although, my own father called me a fanatic. I feel really bad for you all and i’m going to add in my prayers tonight that i pray for others that have to deal with mean people especially those like you Jamie, that pray so profoundly for those that persecute you. God Bless you, Di

  5. A few years ago, I lost a dear friend over something I had done, although at the time I didn’t know about it. I knew there was something wrong with our relationship, but I didn’t know what until I approached her last year. Once she finally told me what was wrong, I acknowledged my error and asked for her forgiveness. She supposedly forgave me and said all was well, but all is not well. We are not friends anymore. My heart is broken. Your article was such a blessing. I want to pray like this. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

    • Jennifer, I’m so sorry that happened to you. I pray that God would even heal and restore your friendship as you pray for her. I know Papa must be very proud of you for desiring reconciliation. Thank you for reading my blog, and for sharing your story.

  6. Thanks so much this is just what I need, I have been facing work place bullying, my nerves are wrecked and I have been trying to pray for them, but this makes me realize that I am not alone.

    • Ruthie, I am so sorry you’re dealing with that. I pray Papa would comfort you and hide you under His wings, where you’ll be safe and sheltered from the world (Psalm 91:1). You are definitely not alone. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Thank you so much for this. Our family is struggling with another family member (close family member) who is far less than kind. And every time I forgive them and peacefully pray for them, they attack again. I realize also that I am not battling flesh here. A their comes to kill,steal and destroy and he us working through this person to break up our family. And now this is a beautiful perspective and she isn’t just hurting us but also My glorious Jesus. So now I can pray from another direction.
    Thank you as always for sharing !!

  8. Thank you so much for this. Our family is struggling with another family member (close family member) who is far less than kind. And every time I forgive them and peacefully pray for them, they attack again. I realize also that I am not battling flesh here. A theif
    comes to kill,steal and destroy and he us working through this person to break up our family. And now this is a beautiful perspective and she isn’t just hurting us but also My glorious Jesus. So now I can pray from another direction.
    Thank you as always for sharing !!

  9. WOW… God has been telling me this over and over and over….. and over. and to OBEY…. I had a situation happen that involves another women and an affair. She still attends our church and makes herself very visible. And I KNOW i must for give her and pray for her with a SINCERE heart. pray for my strength. . . . but i will obey and pray for a pure heart and follow that with praying for her. Thank you

    • That’s awesome, Kevynne. Yes, I know it can be tough at first but it will definitely get easier, and Papa will answer your prayers to bring His will into the situation! Thank you for reading…

  10. I am dealing with a situation at work, with a “friend” who it turns out is not a friend at all. while being kind to my face, she was spreading rumors, hurtful & untrue rumors behind my back. she was also telling others about personal things i had confided in her. nothing had happened in our “friendship” that would make me think she felt this way but apparently she felt this from the beginning when she met me. (why pretend? i will never understand) So i cut off all communication with this woman & she has heard from others that i know the awful things she has said about me and she has not reached out to me at all. for me i feel like that speaks volumes. At first i was very angry & didnt pray for her at all, then after a few days i moved on to being hurt (kind of like the grieving process) and i began to pray that god would work in her life & that she would change her ways. (even though i dont know if i could ever let her back in) After reading this article I realize that i can pray for her from a place of love for Jesus, while keeping her at a distance to protect myself, my family & my other friendships. thank you.

    • Amen, Jessica. I’m sorry you’re going through that, but you’re right–praying for Jesus’ sake makes it sooo much easier. I pray Papa would bless you as you lift this woman up.

  11. what if the person who hates you is mentally imbalanced (or evil?) and actually sends you threatening emails implying they will kill you? should you pray for them?

    • Yes. Pray for them. And go to the police if you’re in danger. :) It’s the state’s job to defend the helpless in situations like that. So do both. :) Be wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove. :)

  12. Wow. Talk about the Lord at work! I contacted you yesterday for your thoughts on this exact subject in hopes you would have an old post I could refer to. I continued to pray for the person who hurt us, for the situation, for comfort from the hurt, and for wisdom in dealing with it. When I checked your blog this morning this post jumped out at me. It was exactly what I needed. Thank you Jamie!

    • Debby, that’s so awesome. I got your email and prayed for you. It does take me quite awhile to respond to emails sometimes because my schedule is so full with my day job, but I will get back with you. In the meantime, I’m so glad Papa encouraged you with this post! Praising God with you! He’s so good. :)
      Have a great day, and I will continue to pray for you.

  13. I appreciate your post. I am struggling with the person who hates me is my Mother. I have struggled since I was a little girl wondering what it is I have done for her to give me the silent treatment for days. I have asked. From what I have learned from seeking therapy, my Mom is a Narcissist possible struggling with other psychosis issues? I believe this is a spiritual battle and have hoped/prayed for years for healing, restoration, and Gods will/way to prevail. I have two older brothers, I am like an only because of the age difference and only girl. I have been the scapegoat in the family, and can’t take it anymore! I have lived with my parents to help them out with their health and house and have been kicking myself for allowing myself to stay in such an unhealthy environment. I have only neglecting caring for myself…. I know scripture talks about the struggles coming from within family and I just feel so overwhelmed by the idea of how evil, evil can be! If you don’t have family, than you have nothing….and I am trying to cling to the fact I have a Heavenly Father who loves me but I just wish He would heal and restore my family. Selfish reasons to want to feel loved and belong to a family who will love and care for you. Yet, I am concerned at what lengths my mom can/will go to…since I was six years old, hide in the closet I would pray to God asking Him that My Mom would/could love me. I feel I have waisted now forty years of my life on not ever being able to live up to/or be loved and accepted by my family and don’t know what I have done to deserve this…..?

    • Hi Chris,
      Thank you fo reading. You haven’t done anything to deserve that. No one deserves to be treated like that. I would strongly encourage you to seek professional counsel about what practical steps to take to protect yourself from a situation that sounds like it is really impacting you in a negative way. Pastoral counsel or a licensed professional counselor might really help right now. You have to take care of yourself and trust God to heal your family. You cannot bear this burden.
      I’ll pray for you. Please don’t be afraid to get wise advice so you can live healthy and whole, even if you have to make some bold changes, ok? Papa God will lead you. He has only the best in mind for you, always, in every situation.

  14. I came across this page through Pinterest, and I know it was God that led me here, and I’m so thankful He did! I was betrayed by my family, when my husband of 25 years abandoned me and our 3 sons. Several members of my family took his side and did very hurtful and spiteful things to me, and it’s still going on after almost 3 years. I’ve tried to forgive them, but the hurt and bitterness is ever present. Now that I have read your story, and seeing how hurtful this all is to my Jesus, like you, I don’t want to see Him hurt anymore. Now I can pray better and with a different heart. Now my heart can heal, and I pray God will change theirs. But most importantly I want to be clean, and free from anything like true unforgiveness, in my heart. I love the Lord so much, and I will be set free from these wrong feelings and be pure in my own heart, and have the peace God wants me to have. Thank you for sharing!

    • Sharon, I’m so terribly sorry that you’ve been through that situation. But wow, I praise God for encouraging you through this post. May grace and peace be multiplied to you as you strive to walk in white before the Lord. Thank you for reading, and for sharing your testimony. I hope you have a wonderful evening, and may Papa God bless and restore you on every side.

  15. Jamie,
    I SO enjoy your wisdom. Wow!!! I’ve read quite a few of your posts, just today alone, and they’ve been INCREDIBLY helpful! Seriously, Papa has blessed you in the wisdom department:) Keep them comin…
    love them <3

    • Hi M, thank you so much for your sweet encouragement! So glad Daddy God blessed you as you read. Thank you for sharing, and I’ll definitely keep on by the grace of God! :)
      Have a wonderful day!

  16. Thank you so much. It was reaffirming to me of how to deal with a friend who has fallen in spirit towards you and using carnal weapons to inflict pain on another. But the way we react is what defines us whether to sin or righteousness. We have all fallen and missed the mark and it’s good to be reminded that God and Jesus loved us in spite of our falling. He is such a kind and patient God in dealing with each and everyone of us. Human nature has to be put into submission and God’s word to help us deal with these hurtful situations. To look at them from Jesus ‘ s eyes helps us have the compassion for a fallen brother or sister and to remember if we are that fallen brother or sister in the future that someone would bestow on us prayers and the love of Jesus. We live in Him. X. Many thanks x

    • Hi Caroline. I’m so sorry you’re going through that, but yes, you’re absolutely right. In Jesus alone we live, and move, and have our being. Even when it’s hard, if we are willing to see someone with His eyes, we will be filled with LIFE – the true life of the Holy Spirit.
      Thanks so much for reading and sharing! I pray your situation gets better very soon. :) Hang in there!

  17. I really love how God shows me what to do when I am struggling with matters in my life. I see answers in so many ways and it’s amazing. I am struggling with 2 family members. Though I don’t understand why or what I’ve done, they show it through bullying and trying to turn other family members against me. Two in which are my children. I truly don’t want anything bad to happen to them, only hope and pray they find kindness in their hearts and understand me. Thank you for this. It helps me alot.

    • Deanna, I’m sorry you’re going through that, but I know God will reward you for obeying Him and praying for these folks. May He defend and shelter you from the storm, and give you His heart to love these people in the midst of this situation.
      Thank you for reading and sharing! Have a wonderful day!

  18. Jamie thank you for this site. I don’t know how I found you. I am praying for my ex wife and I . I know we loved each other once, but now it’s painfully aware she will not even speak to me anymore. we share a son. he’s caught in the middle. yes I do still love her. I had my share of blame in the split again . I only ask you say a prayer for us . thank you for your site.

    • I would be happy to pray for you, Pete. Thank you so much for reading and sharing. May Daddy God increase His grace upon grace to you today and lead you into His perfect will for your situation and your family. I know He loves you very much, and He will work even this out for your good. May He comfort you, encourag you, and lift you up today.

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