How to Pray for Someone Who Hates You
How do you handle knowing that someone hates you?
What do you say to someone who hates you when you encounter them?
My initial response to conflict like that is to write it off. I don’t like to simmer in uncomfortable situations so I settled with the idea that how others feel about me isn’t my problem and it is what it is. I had a mentor (very lovingly) challenge me on that perspective.
She said (and I’m paraphrasing) if all it takes is conflict to get me to bow out of the scenario, how am I supposed to share God’s love and the gospel with people?
Hatred is uncomfortable, but is it really reason enough to stay separate from people? Or is it one more reason to persist in showing them, Christ-like love?
And when we can’t love in person, when that door to a relationship is closed, how else can we best love those who hate us?
How to Pray for Difficult People
Difficult people need Jesus just as desperately as you and I do. We don’t know their backstory. We don’t know what they’re going through, what they’ve dealt with, how they’ve been hurt, the influences in their lives or the examples that have been set for them.
What we do know is that whatever the hurt, Jesus is the solution.
Whatever the injustice, it is Jesus who one day will make all things right.
Whatever they’re going through, it is Jesus who gives us the strength to endure.
And whatever love they desire or that has been withheld from them, it is Jesus who fills that void.
So instead of approaching hate with an attitude of “it’s their choice” or “it’s not their problem,” let’s remember, if we have a relationship with Jesus, we have the hope that ever hurting, broken, guarded, mislead, or “difficult” person needs.
One of the ways we can extend this love is through prayer. We may not have the perfect words to pray, but we can turn to the Bible and learn a thing or two about how to pray for difficult people. David, Paul, Joseph, Stephen, Peter; JESUS – there is much to be learned from all of them. So let’s examine some of these stories and let God’s words lead us in praying for the difficult people in our lives.
A prayer for dealing with a difficult person
Sometimes instead of focusing our prayers on God changing others, it’s wise to focus our attention on the work that needs to be done in us. Paul shares this very lesson in his letter to the Roman church. He says,
And not only this, but we also celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
The trials we face give us the opportunity to grow in Christ-like endurance and character. They force us to be intentional about putting God’s love on display. So when you’re talking to the Lord about the trials in the relationships you’re facing, in addition to lifting up others, I encourage you to approach God as if you are the one in need.
Here’s an example of a prayer for dealing with a difficult person:
God, You know the struggle I’ve been enduring with this person. It would be so easy to walk away, but my highest priority is to honor you in this situation. So, I’m asking for the strength and the courage to endure and love even when I feel like giving up. Produce your character in me. Help me to be patient, kind, long-suffering, slow to anger, compassionate, and loving. Remind me of the grace you extended to me when I was at my lowest, and help me love in that same manner. In Jesus Name, Amen.
If you’re dealing with hurt as a result of the tension in your relationship, this article will give you some ideas of how to pray for someone who has hurt you.
A prayer to remove hatred from hearts
Hate is a sign that we are walking outside of our identity in Christ. Indifference towards someone is a sign we haven’t fully surrendered to God’s instructions for our lives. We’re instructed to love, regardless of the dynamics of the relationship. Where do we see this in scripture?
But I say to you. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes suns to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
It’s easy to love a friend.
It’s expected of us to love our family.
The real challenge when it comes to obedience to the Lord is our willingness to love those who hate us; equally so, those who hurt us. Our commitment to love has to become stronger than our reasons to hate.
It’s very hard for hate to go unseen. It’s important that before we respond in action we respond in prayer.
Here’s an example of what prayer to remove hatred from the heart of a Christian might look like:
God, today I want to lift (so and so) up to you. I don’t have the details of what’s going on in her life but you do. All I know is that I have seen a hardness come over her that is not from you. So I ask that You in your wisdom would guide her through this season. That your love, which covers sins and pushes back hate, would be stronger in her than any burden the devil wants to lay on her shoulders. I pray that she would be sober-minded, not lead by emotions but lead by your Spirit. And I ask that where there is brokenness you would bring healing. Where there is confusion, bring understanding. Mend the cracks where the devil has tried to sneak in and disrupt the foundation of her faith and relationship with You. Keep her near to You, in Jesus’ name.
PIN TO SAVE THIS PRAYER FOR LATER
Here’s an example of what prayer to remove hatred from the heart of someone who doesn’t know Jesus:
God, I thank you for putting (so and so) in my life. You’ve positioned me to be a light in the darkness and represent you and your love in the midst of this conflict. I ask today that you’d show me what that looks like. I know that it’s your love that changes the heart. I would love for things to soother over and for our relationship to become more comfortable. More important than my comfort is her relationship with you. I ask today that you would begin to speak to her heart and that my actions would align with what you’re speaking. I pray that she would experience your love in a way that is tangible and without question and that your love would drive hate far from her heart.
YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN YOU MAY NEED THIS- PIN FOR LATER!
A Prayer to remove someone from your life
This is a prayer that should not be prayed flippantly. When we remove ourselves from people’s lives we also remove our Christian witness.
So if you’re in a difficult season and it’s simply uncomfortable, I encourage you to start by praying that God equips you for the hard work of loving and ministering to that person.
If the burden continues to grow and you’re genuinely questioning whether or not you’re the person to be speaking into this individuals life, instead of asking God to remove someone from you’re life, or saying or prayer for someone to leave you alone; try praying that God would send someone else to be the voice of love and truth in that person’s life. Here’s an example.
God, I am doing my best to love this person where we are at but all I see is resistance. If this is where you want me, give me the strength to endure. If not, I’m asking that you would surround this person with people who know you, love you, and will sow truth and hope into this person’s life. Soften their heart and incline their ears to accept your love and heart the truth.
SAVE FOR LATER
A Prayer against a lying tongue
We all know the damage deceit can do. In one moment of deception, sin entered the world. As a result of that deception, many more will miss out on the fullness of life God has to offer.
Deception is no joke.
If you’re dealing with slander, manipulation, or any other consequences of someone speaking against you’re not sure how to handle it; here’s an example of how you can pray.
God, You have heard the lies that (so and so) has been speaking and spreading. You’ve seen the damage that they’ve caused. As frustrated as I am about the damage my biggest concern is how these lies are impacting the person speaking them. I know you love them. I know lies grieve you. I ask that You would bring truth the forefront of these conversations and that those speaking lies would no longer feel content in them. Teach them to value truth and guard their mouth from deceit. So seeds of righteousness in them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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Prayers for haters
Have you ever encountered someone where it’s like, no matter what you do, they just can’t stand being around you? They always have something to say against you?
Society calls them the “haters.” There are ways we can be praying for them too. Here’s another example of how to pray for someone who hates you:
Lord, I pray that so and so would experience Your love in a way that radically changes them. That compassion and grace from others would overflow into their lives and leave them eager to love as You love. Soften their hearts and open their ears to the correction of Holy Spirit. You tell us in the Bible that Holy Spirit is the best gift and teacher. Teach them to walk in your ways, to reject the criticism and judgmental thoughts (towards themselves and others) that come to their mind. Guard their lips against sowing deceit or hateful words. Surround them with people who will speak the truth and love them.
Even Jesus had haters; people who lied about Him and spoke against Him without merit. The hate against Him was so heavy it led Him to the cross. Even his own people rejected Him, yet He prayed, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
Most people who don’t know Jesus honestly don’t know how damaging hate in their heart really is. They are blind to the spiritual ramifications of it.
Jesus’ response to them is one of compassion. We should respond with the same heart and be willing to pray that God would transform their heart in a way that only He can.
How to pray for someone who hates you is more about pointing them to Jesus than it is getting them to like us. We point them to Jesus and let Him do the work.
What Do You Pray When You Hate Someone?
Maybe you’re reading this and you’re wondering how to overcome hatred yourself. You’re thinking, I have hate in my heart and I know it doesn’t belong there, but I also don’t know what to do about it.
My, how I have been there. Do you want to know what I found? The beginning of healing and removing that hate from your heart often starts with prayer. That’s why learning how to pray is so important.
When it comes to loving people, I’ve found that we do a lot of work to get around the command to actually love someone. We search for how to like you hate instead of actually choosing love instead of hate. The two can not co-exist. To walk in one you have to expel the other. It all begins with the decision to love.
You’ve acknowledged the hate in your heart and you know it doesn’t belong there. The next step is to bring that confession to the Lord.
A Prayer for hate in my heart
God, I want to thank you for revealing to me the hate that is in my own heart. I love you so much, I never want to get to a point where I can’t hear your correction. Now that I know it’s there, I’m asking for your help expelling it. I’m making the choice today to honor You moving forward, which means no matter how instinctual hate is, I’m choosing to love. Show me what that looks like for this person in this particular situation. Keep me humble. Help me to forgive. Bring healing to my heart, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
A Prayer against hatred and rejection
Rejection is hard. If you’ve experienced it, you’re in good company. So did Jesus. So did the twelve disciples. And scripture makes it clear we will experience it more as time goes on, if for no other reason but because we love God. Yet even then, we must be willing to pray for our enemies and those who persecute us.
Stephen, one of the new testament apostles, was praying on the behalf of his offenders even as they stoned him to death (Acts 7:52 – 8:2).
Paul prayed persistently for those who persecuted him even after being stoned, beaten, and thrown in jail (see Philippians).
Jesus sets this example in Luke chapter 23.
Hate and rejection aren’t reasons to stop praying, but if anything, all the more reason to pray.
Here’s an example of a prayer you can pray against hatred and rejection:
Lord, I know that you know the sting of rejection, and man, is it hard to deal with. I’m asking today that you would give me the grace to act in love anyway. You tell us in the Bible, “your grace is sufficient enough for me.” Help me to lean into your grace. Keep me from becoming calloused and hard-hearted because of this. I know the world needs your love just as desperately as I do. Remind me to set my eyes on things above, on You and your priorities, so that I don’t cave to the distractions like rejection and hatred. Keep me seeking You always and walking in your love.
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Hi friends! I’m Alonda Tanner; an Alaska Grown author and educator, with an ever-growing love for Jesus, books, and sparkling cider. In addition, I love serving the world by creating free education and resources that inspire women to embrace their God-given identity and live purpose-driven, faith-filled lives. I’m a firm believer that it all starts with digging into the Word. Ready to venture into a richness of the Bible? Join our Bible Study community and I’ll send you our most well-loved resources – our Bible study Highlighting Key – for free!