Dear heavenly Father, these Scriptures cut to the chase and bring conviction to our hearts. We are your beloved daughters and sons, but today we are also your “busted” daughters and sons; for resentment comes to us as quickly as someone steals our parking place, or eats the saran-wrapped piece of cake we hid in the “frig,” or fails to include us in some social event. It’s amazing how quickly a little slight can launch us into a big spite. Have mercy on us, Lord, and grant us fresh grace, thicker skin and bigger hearts.
But Father, being slighted is one thing, but being assaulted by the betrayals and failures, deceit and lies, attacks and abuse of others, is an altogether different matter. These aren’t things to shake off, but deep wounds, broken hearts, and incredible pain to bring to your throne of grace. You’re not calling us to denial, but to yourself. Have mercy on us, Lord, have big mercy; and grant us wisdom, strength and tons of grace.
Father—through the power of your Holy Spirit, the truth of the gospel, and the gift of community, don’t let our appropriate anger morph into destructive revenge. Don’t let our raw hurts become a band of vigilante marauders, not just bent on getting even, but upping the ante—repaying harm for harm, evil for evil, and death for death.
Don’t let our vulnerable hearts become gardens for the planting of roots of resentment and bushes of bitterness; and keep us from medicating our pain foolishly. Father, as Jesus has forgiven us, so help us to want to forgive others. Write stories of redemption and restoration with the ink of our hurt and your grace. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant name.