God’s pathway to wholeness
By Julie Hasling
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven…” (Matthew 5:44-45 KJV)
As soon as I opened my eyes one morning the Lord prompted me to pray for someone—specifically for their success in life. I complied. As I began to pray, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that there was a wound in my soul causing me pain. The wound developed as a result of hurtful things this person had done to me in the past. Even though I had forgiven them, whenever this person came to mind, it caused me pain. I just didn’t know how to get rid of that hurt! But, as I obediently prayed for this person, my heart felt a warming sensation as that injury passed from my life!
People cause us pain—sometimes it is gravely intentional but most of the time it is not. And people will not always acknowledge their transgressions thus we may never get an apology from them. But as time goes by and the pain lingers, we don’t seek the apology as much as we seek relief from the pain associated with it. Like a pebble in one’s shoe, we can limp along in life, or we can stop and take care of the matter.
The key to ridding our souls from the pain of indiscretions, betrayal, abuse, neglect or any other kind of wrong that has been inflicted on us is by practicing what the opening passage says. Freedom comes through obedience to this verse—it is found by blessing those who curse us, doing good to those that hate us, and praying for those who persecute us. In this way we can find freedom, healing, and wholeness. Isn’t that what we really want above anything else? To be free of hurt and pain? And isn’t that what Jabez prayed for in 1 Chronicles chapter 4? In fact, the name “Jabez” actually means “pain.” “There was a man named Jabez who was more honorable than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful. He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, ‘Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!’ And God granted him his request.’” (v 9-10)
I’m sure you have seen quotes about forgiveness like this one: “Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.” —Johnathan Lockwood Hule. This is a true statement. Unfortunately, it is only the first half of the equation to wholeness—praying for those who wrong us is what releases us from the shackles of torment. (Matthew 18:21-35) This may not make sense to the rational mind but it is something Jesus taught as a way of dealing with these types of issues.
Healing, of any kind, originates from the Lord. So, as we go to the Lord in prayer on behalf of the person who wronged us, the Holy Spirit, in turn, will soothe and heal our soul!
A final thought: Our enemy will try to lie to us by bringing up past hurts that have already been dealt with! Don’t fall for it! The wounds we have already acknowledged and prayed over should be mindfully settled in the past. (Ephesians 10:13)
Today I pray that you find relief from all spiritual wounds as you meet the Holy Spirit in prayer!