EXit Prayers: How to pray for the “EX” in your life
Has God ever asked you to do something that you didn’t want to do? Has he ever asked you to pray for your enemy/person who hurt you? Give money to someone at church or just be kind to someone who annoyed you?
Tasks like these are some of the most challenging acts that we’ll ever be asked to perform. No one but God knows why we are asked to do them but as with all things, the requests are for a reason.
Over the past few weeks God has really been dealing with my heart in the area of forgiveness and grace. I’m pretty quick to forgive others but I’ve learned that I struggle to give grace in certain situations. My biggest area of challenge is when someone does something that hurts my feelings or offends me. When God asks me to show grace in these situations, it feels like he’s asking me to climb Mount Everest or trek 10 miles in snow without a jacket or boots. I don’t like it, lol.
Recently, one specific person has been the focus of God’s requests, and out of ALL of the people in the world I really feel like “ummm…really Jesus?!? Like are you sure that you mean this person….you remember what this person did, right?” These exact words came to mind when I felt a nudge to pray for this person and show grace to them. It seriously took me about 10 minutes to be obedient and even then, I mumbled the prayer that God placed on my heart lol.
Anyhow, just as I was in the midst of being stubborn I logged onto Facebook (to be a little more stubborn lol) and came across the following post by Pastor Tony Evans:
When I read it, the only thing I could think of was “why are you holding onto this Erika?” I didn’t have an answer but I knew that God already had a solution called grace. God knew that person was going to hurt me way before it happened. He was there when it happened and he’s still there today. God is still standing in that spot of pain therefore, I can walk away because he both it and me covered. I can walk away from that place and allow God to do what he needs to do in my life and in that person’s life too.
Earlier yesterday evening that person crossed my mind again, and I felt a nudge to pray for them again. I thought to myself, “okay, here’s your chance to do it right and let it go once and for all Erika.” But instead of speaking the prayer, I decided to write it this time. And instead of saying some measly prayer that just says “Dear God bless this person,” I got specific and prayed the kind of prayer that I would want someone to pray for me. This time, I showed grace and prayed for the person as if I was praying for myself.
As I wrote out my prayer, it dawned on me that the prayers I prayed for that person’s life could possibly come to pass in my own life. I want God’s all in my life, so I prayed the kind of prayer that would allow God to give his all to that person. When we release grace upon those who have offended and hurt us, we also release them from our lives. We allow the painful memories and thoughts to exit our heart and mind, and we allow ourselves to enter into the next phase of God’s blessings for our lives.
Generally, once a relationship has ended we refer to the person as an “ex.” Whether you need to let go of a person or an experience, it’s still a relationship that you’re taking a step to disjoin; therefore, I’ve creatively called prayers for these things and people “EXit Prayers.” Just like an exit interview at the end of a job, an exit prayer allows you to evaluate your heart and release the things that serve no purpose to your personal, emotional and spiritual development.
If you’re holding onto unforgiveness or just being stubborn in showing grace to that person, I encourage you to release it so that you can be free. I felt so good after I wrote my prayer last night and I’m willing to bet that you’ll experience the same when you do it.
Below is an excerpt of my EXit Prayers!
I ended up writing eight prayers for this person however, you may feel led to write fewer. Whatever you write, it’s not the quantity it’s the sincerity of your heart that matters the most. Ask God to search your heart before you write your prayer, and then date it. I’m going to keep mine tucked in a special place so I can mark it as my “Release Date” because just like an album, I believe that prayer is going to make history in my relationship with God. =)
Reflection: Do you need to write an EXit prayer today?
Scriptures: “But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve” (Jeremiah 17:10).
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15).
Prayer: God, search my heart and reveal who needs my forgiveness and grace today. Grace me with the strength to be obedient and release your grace upon him or her. The places you desire to take me are too wonderful for me to hold onto someone else’s grace and my own unforgiveness. In the name of Jesus, Amen.