PRAY: Prayer for Those Who Feel Misunderstood
|Photo © Andrew Pieper, 2012
|“But that’s not what I meant!”
Whether or not we say them aloud, our hearts scream these words. Someone has taken what we’ve said or done the wrong way. They misread or misinterpreted us, and we don’t like it. They should know better. They should talk to us before assuming the wrong thing.
The other day, someone misunderstood me. The familiar emotions surged and the tears stood in my eyes. After the conversation, I felt betrayed. Hurt. How could someone who knew me well, who cared about me think the worst?
And then I remembered. They misunderstood Jesus, too. Of course, my motives are never as pure as His, and both my words and actions more prone to misinterpretation. But somehow, it helped to remember His repeated attempts to communicate the necessity of the cross to His closest friends and followers. The fact that they never received His message fails to comfort me. The fact that He loved them anyway does.
Father, I thank You that I have in some small way the opportunity to share in Christ’s suffering. I praise You that in this way and others, He identifies with me in my weakness, yet without sin. Help me to walk away from wrongdoing and to embrace the truth. Help me not to prove myself right or someone else wrong, but to seek to live a life of integrity. Help me to care more about others than myself and to willingly allow myself to be misunderstood that Your glory might shine through me.
God, I confess to pride in my communication abilities. I confess to sometimes-selfish motives in saying and doing just the right thing. When You expose my wrong, Father, help me seek Your right. May I desire not to look good but to be good because You live Your life through me. May I desire not to appear righteous but to embrace the righteousness You’ve achieved for me. And may I willingly follow in Your pattern as despised and rejected when to do so serves Your kingdom purposes. In Your holy name I pray, AMEN.
Have you experienced a time when you felt misunderstood? Has misunderstanding strained relationships between you and a friend or family member? Feel free to share your prayer need in the comments below, or email me to share your concerns. I’d be honored to lift you before the Father.
And I’ll do my best not to misunderstand.