Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
A few years ago I really felt that God gave me a revelation about the verse “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” At the time, I was feeling that a work colleague of mine was ‘being mean to me’, and I was both not enjoying this and also not hopeful for what it meant for our working relationship moving forward. I had always struggled with the idea that I was supposed to pray for God’s blessing for a person who was not being kind, but I felt that God really used that verse to teach me an important lesson. When thinking about how to pray for this particular person God revealed to me the brokenness that was causing this person to act unkindly. I realised that generally unkind behaviour comes from a place of hurt and brokenness, and that when praying for someone who is being unkind to us without any cause, we need to pray into the hurts and brokenness they have.
As adults in a school, both staff and parents, we want the children in our school to feel safe, both emotionally and physically, but many times children will act in unkind ways, and I believe this is a result of different broken bits.
I often admire parents that regularly pray for their children. In the middle hub the words “Do your best and God will do the rest” are up on the board. I feel that prayer is one way of inviting God into that philosophy. As parents and teachers we do our best, and then we trust God to take the seeds that we have planted and develop these into beautiful fruits.
As parents though, your children are not being planted in isolation, they have many other children that are growing and developing around them too. Each of these children have an impact on those around them. I encourage you therefore to pray for all the children in our school, as they learn, play and grow together.
My pastor in Wellington makes the analogy that Christians are like jagged rocks at the bottom of a river. God’s living spirit is the water that flows over the rocks, but as this happens the rocks are also rubbing up against each other, wearing off the jagged edges. We need our interactions with others to develop the goodness that God wants to see in us. Inviting God into those interactions is part of the beauty I see in a Christian school.
As I began to pray for my workmate in earnest I felt my heart soften towards them, my inner self challenged and strengthened, and I saw the jagged edges of both myself and my workmate gradually smoothed off. I encourage you also to pray for the members of our school community – children, staff and parents. That in our experiences together and through the work of His spirit we might all have our jagged edges smoothed off and together we will reflect something of the Glory of God.