“Satan loves to divide families by creating disunity. In fact, one of the most subtle and lethal ways the devil attacks us is by dividing and conquering our relationships. He wants to ruin all of our relationships – with friends, spouses, small groups, parents, siblings and kids. And he knows that the quickest and easiest way to do this is by getting us to divide over our differences.” Chip Ingram
I’ve shared in a few other posts about how the enemy likes to create discord. Throughout Fervent, Priscilla talks about the different ways the enemy sets out to attack us. Yes it is a book on prayer, but it is also a book to help open our eyes to the enemy’s schemes.
Part of fervently praying for those we love is to first know what we are up against!
The more my eyes have been opened to the crafty ways he has worked in my life, the more angry I am, and the more challenged I am to do things differently.
My typical response to conflict is to fight. Get defensive, point fingers and fight my way out of any responsibility. Clearly this is not a productive or healthy way to approach a loved one and often times I find myself in that place where I have harmed someone I care for.
This type of response only causes hurt. Clearly I don’t want that for anyone I love, but I am human and I DO make mistakes, lots of them. And there are consequences, because even though forgiveness is given, the hurt doesn’t always go away instantaneously…and waiting through that healing can be hard.
Years of not properly dealing with frustration and fighting unfairly led to my constant use of the silent treatment. Justifying my behavior in thinking that at least I wasn’t saying anything rude…I failed to recognize that cutting someone off can be just as damaging.
And I have found that in these moments, the enemy knew my weakness and my heart, which wasn’t centered on what God would have me do, and in the silence I felt more and more justified.
Brick by brick, walls were built. The mortar that held those bricks together were lies masked as truth.
I wasn’t praying for discernment. Change him, fix that…never fix me Lord. THAT should have been my prayer all along!
Then I was listening to the Love and Respect book on tape and the author said that in those moments when you are mad and hurt, feeling justified in your anger and not wanting to let go, you should be praying this…“Change me Lord, and bless him (or her)”
It is hard to be angry at someone when you are praying for God to bless them!
Sometimes that is all we can utter. Some days I said it but didn’t really mean it! But doing it changed me. The action of praying for someone else brought peace to my heart. The walls started to fall down and I wanted to let go of the hurt and anger more quickly. I wanted to take responsibility for what was mine.
I think God knows it isn’t easy. We are going to fight against praying for someone we are angry with. But if I take even a moment and remember the sacrifice made on my behalf, by a sinless and loving God…how can I not try and do the same for others?!
Satan would love it if we forgot about the unconditional love God has to offer. He wants us angry and bitter and defeated remember?!
So when you have conflict in your family, stop and see it for what it is. Before you say something hurtful, stop and pray. Oh I need to learn this lesson for myself…I write these words for me first and foremost friends!
We can bring ALL things to God in prayer. The more we do it, the more natural it becomes. Our response may just be one of prayer first instead of hurt. The enemy wants our families but we don’t have to stand around and let him have them! Fight back with prayer!!
Lord, we pray protection over families today. The enemy would love to see our families broken but we know that You are a God that restores. Help us Lord to fight for our families in prayer. We take time Lord now to lift up those we may be in a struggle with and ask that You bring peace. Help us to humble ourselves and to love our family unconditionally. We commit today to fighting all enemy attacks with prayer! In Jesus Mighty Name, Amen.