I froze in horror, humiliated, torn between anger and tears. My leader stared, eyes wide open, deer-in-the-headlights style. Someone had just made it abundantly clear they hated me—right in the middle of a room packed with people. The entire group stilled, mouths agape.

I don’t know why they hated me; they chose to spew their hatred out for all to hear, without coming to me first about the reason. I’m not aware of anything I did that would have caused their animosity. But it was there, nonetheless, and I was in shock.

The leader did his best to diffuse the situation and get the meeting back on track, but I heard none of it. As soon as our session was over, I left as quickly as I could. In a daze, I tried to think my way through the situation. How should I handle it?

I remembered Jesus said that if someone hates me, I am to pray for them. In Luke 6:27-28 (NJKV), he said, “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.”

Also, Matthew 5:44-45 (NJKV) says, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

So that’s where I started. On the way home that night, I began to pray. I didn’t really know how to pray about it, and I was so angry that my true heart attitude was “Lord, smite him…”; but I began to pray anyway.

Honestly, looking back, I see that my first prayers were from a heart attitude of “Oh yeah? I’ll show you. I’ll pray for you to be blessed, because I’m doing what the Lord wants me to do, and you’re not.”

Horrible, I know. What terrible motives. (Lord, I’m sorry. Am I the only one who has ever done that?) But I wasn’t cursing this man. Even in my confusion and hurt, I was genuinely concerned for his well-being—despite my impure motives.

Things changed in the morning, though. After a good night’s sleep, I went to the Lord about situation … and when I did, I saw things differently. I understood the following:

I could pray for the person who hated me because God loves him just as much as he loves me.

This man is the beloved child of the Father. I see God as my Papa, and God’s heart beats for him, just as it does for me. My Father loves him with an everlasting love, and he’s working in that man’s life just like he is working in mine.

Does someone hate you? If so, take the time to realize God earnestly loves and yearns after that person, just as he loves and yearns after you.

Because God loves the man who hates me, his heart is grieved too.

Seeing things from God’s perspective changed my attitude. When I realized that Jesus saw the situation—and that it grieved him to see that man act, think, and talk the way he did—then suddenly my motives changed. No longer was I praying out of an “I’ll show you, holier than thou” attitude. Instead, I was praying out of my love for Jesus.

I was able to pray, “Daddy God, please bless that man and heal his heart, because this is wounding Jesus, and I can’t stand for Jesus to be wounded anymore. Oh God, please overwhelm this person with your love for them.”

It became about Jesus, not about me. And in reality, isn’t that what every sin and wrong response is about? Sin is not directed at me; it’s simply rebellion against the lordship of Jesus. According to Ephesians 6:12, people are never our enemy.

If you are also dealing with someone who hates you, ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray in sympathy with Jesus. Ask him to change that person’s heart so that Jesus is no longer grieved by their sin. God responds to prayers like that.

I realized that I am not accountable for someone else’s actions, but I am accountable for responding rightly.

I won’t answer to God for someone else’s actions, but I will answer for my own. My response is between me and God, and I want to walk rightly before God. I desperately desire to maintain clean hands and a pure heart. So I pray, Dear Father, help me to respond rightly.

The same principle applies to all of us. If someone has treated you badly, they were wrong to do so. However, their wrong doesn’t make it okay for you to respond sinfully. Isn’t it better to walk before God purely? To respond in righteousness, peace, and love?

In the long run, our own actions are the only things for which we are responsible. We cannot change other people’s hearts, but we can trust that our good, good Father will take care of the rest if we will just obey him.

We may not know how the situations we encounter will turn out, but we can be assured that Father God will handle it. We can take shelter under his wings and rest in him, no matter how the enemy arrays himself against us.

Beloved reader, if you are dealing with someone who hates you, I pray you will not repeat the same mistakes I made. Instead of the “Smite him, God” prayer that was foremost in my heart, I encourage you to respond rightly. Remember that God loves the person who hates you. He is grieved by their sin, so we can pray in sympathy with Jesus. And no matter what, please don’t let sin rob you of clean hands and a pure heart.

Are you dealing with someone who hates you? If so, do any of these things resonate with you today? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Jamie is an author, speaker, and Presence seeker whose heart is for the local church. Called to edify, encourage, and equip the Body of Christ, her passion is to see sons and daughters of all ages transformed by the strong love of Abba Father. Jamie blogs at FromHisPresence.com about prayer, personal revival, the supernatural lifestyle, and prophetic ministry. Jamie is the author of The Presence Seeker's Creed: Living for Another Age; Arise, Shine: A Vision Retreat Handbook; and Ruth: A Study of Favor, Redemption, and Restoration. Her articles can be seen around the web, including on WorshipMinistry.com, (in)courage.me, Gifted for Leadership, and The Christian Journal.

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  1. No, you sure aren’t the only person who has done that, and I think that the fact that we choose to pray for those people when we WANT to ask for them to be smited, (smitten?) is the proof that what we say we believe is truly what we believe. Our emotions are not our will, so whatever they choose to do, your post proves that we can choose over and above how we feel, and we can become the person God is calling us to be.

    In years gone by, I made these same choices, and they’ve changed me, and I’m thankful to God that He began to teach me early on. What has resulted, believe it or not, is that now, in my 60’s it’s quite hard to offend me, and I no longer struggle with my emotions when I’m praying for people who are unlikely to pray for me in the same way. it’s worth doing it God’s way, that’s for sure, because that’s how we become more like Him.

    1. Bev, I’m so sorry that I didn’t see this comment earlier. Thank you for your encouragement. I can see how it’s a sign of growth–just one that we really wish we didn’t have to demonstrate! LOL. I hope I get to that place where I’m un-offendable. I’m certainly way harder to offend than I used to be, but sometimes… 😉 Help us, Jesus. 🙂

  2. My daughter in law told my 5 year old grandson she hates me . She says negative things to him about me. I feel so sad for him. I love my son and daughter in law and grandson so much. I don’t know what I have done wrong . She won’t communicate with me anymore. Sometimes I feel like giving up. I do pray a lot and I love Jesus. Please help me

    1. My daughter in law hates me as well. It is so heartbreaking and she makes sure to hurt me every opportunity she gets. I pray about this all the time. I haven’t done anything to deserve this treatment. If I have God forgive me. I understand how you feel.

  3. God has been teaching me along the years to truly pray for those who persecute you. At first, it was hard for me to do, but as God has applied trials and seasons to my spiritual journey I recognized I could not escape the lessons but engage them…in prayer and supplication. I pray for all those individuals who hate us, slander us and misuse us, that they will have a damascus road experience to see the glory of the Lord. We do not know the outcome of all our prayers…but…God is faithful in keeping his word, in listening to our petitions and addressing hateful acts..for he does say the wicked shall not go unpunished. Please remember the beauty of our trials..if you accept them without bitterness…they will truly change us for the better and we grow more and more in the likeness of Christ.

  4. Yes! A co-worker of mines do. I didn’t do anything to her but she don’t like me. I didn’t handle the situation the right way the first time… by putting fear in her mind. I am so sorry Jesus. I now pray for God to bless her and heal her in Jesus name. Amen. I want to talk to her show her love… just don’t know how to approach her. Any scripture that can help?

  5. My son 8th grade teacher hates him and gives him a hard time, I have taken it higher up. She calmed down but she started again. My son is a nice young man and others teachers have said it too. Teach me how to pray for her. God I need your help.

  6. I have the same problem where i work. I know they all hate me especially the director.ive been here for 6 months and they are even letting me go but they just don,t know how happy I am to go and never see these evil people again. I will stay till the last day whether they like me or not. You just don,t know how uncomfortable I feel but just knowing the Holy spirit is with me and protecting me from them. I,ll tell you they are not gonna rob me of my Joy! I,ve tried everything the bible say’s and they don’t change. On my last day I am gonna shake the dust off my shoes and never look back to such rotten hateful people.

  7. I am not wanting to accuse or be mean, but I do feel very hurt and don’t want to get to a point where I get very angry and sin. I have assisted some employers from a different department to assist in translating for families and as I was trying to help this supervisor find the students file she yelled at me telling me to get out. It was awful. She did not apologize and it seemed she was stressed. Till this day she ignores me and I get such cold vibes from her. I ignore her and I pray for her, but I can’t go through this everyday. I am worn out I feel I can’t enjoy my job

  8. The devil plans to rob our peace and joy so I have been reminded to plan to pray for people and situations that come up: pray for my enemies for peace no matter what the circumstances will be. I know that I deserve much of what I am getting back personally as I have not responded according to God’s word. I have not been taking time in the early a.m to read the word and make my spirit strong. I have to remind myself that God is my vindicator. I have to forgive myself – again- for being vengeful and pray as I rise each new day. I am very discouraged with myself as I think by age 65 I would have this down by now. I am realizing that I often have unrealistic expectations of people. Just need to accept them for who they are and pray for peace with them and ask God to bless them. This prepares me for the right attitude of humility and dependence on God. Some people need to be gently given careful boundaries however as they try to get you to allow unhealthy behaviours (smoking, staying up late at night, unhealthy eating, drinking, etc.)

  9. thank you very much. i was stressed but now i’m free. some people they deserve such prayers because they just hate you with no reason.

  10. yes people can show hate for no apparent reason. I cant explain it nor do I understand why some people have shown jealousy towards me and been nasty. I am in my seventies now and suddenly other believers seem to sense something in me that they havent got…..i hope it’s the Holy Spirit!!
    zThank you Jamie….and yes, I pray for them!!!

  11. I am a man, working mostly with women. I don’t make inappropriate comments but try to be nice and friendly. However for some reason, a couple of the women have just decided they despise me for being me. It’s obvious in how they treat me. Frequently they won’t even say hello when I say hello to them. I can’t think of anything I’ve done that deserves the animosity I feel from them. It’s palpable. How can I pray for them when I honestly have no idea what I could have done to deserve this treatment. I feel like they don’t like me just because I’m me…if that makes sense. What do you suggest?

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