A Prayer for Freedom from Resentment
The godless in heart harbor resentment. Job 36:13
Surely vexation kills the fool, and jealousy slays the simple. Job 5:2
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Eph. 4:31
Dear heavenly Father, whether it’s the annoying fly interrupting my needed nap, the thoughtless words spoken by a trusted friend, the delay in a flight that wrecks my plans, or the old hurt that generates new pain, resentment never helps. It only hurts. It never resolves anything, it only contaminates everything.
To harbor resentment is nothing short of harboring a criminal—a thief and serial killer; for resentment is bent on criminal activity. Stealing peace, vandalizing sleep, robbing relationship, killing kindness, murdering hope, infecting the innocent with deadly toxins, to name a few of resentment’s crimes. Indeed, as much energy as was wasted in the BP oil spills into the Gulf of Mexico a few years back, it doesn’t compare with the energy wasted on resentment.
But worst of all, Father, resentment is a contradiction, a blatant misrepresentation of who you are and how you relate to us in Jesus. For if anyone has a right to hold a grudge, to keep a record of wrongs done, to rehearse and remember our sins against us, it is you.
Yet you don’t treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is your love for those who fear you; as far as the east is from the west, that’s how far you’ve removed our transgressions from us. You’re the Father who has compassion on us as your children (Ps. 103:10-13). You show us neither vexation of spirit nor exasperation of heart, so great is your love for us in Jesus.
So Father, by the love that sent Jesus to the cross and by the power that raised him from the dead, continue to heal and change us. We don’t want to be godless in heart; rather, we want to be grace-full in heart. Fill our souls with your forbearance, patience, kindness and love. Stun us with just how powerful the gospel really is. Free us from even resenting other people’s resentment. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ wonderful and merciful name.