Today I would like to pray for those of you who are trapped in a situation where you are being physically or emotionally abused. Many of us have been in a dysfunctional relationship, but not all of us have had the means, the courage, or the opportunity to get out from under oppression. No two stories are the same, so I cannot offer a blanket piece of advice that covers every situation–but I can pray for you and with you. Although I am not in abusive relationship, I am going to pray “we” with you as if I actually were…because at one point in my life, I did go through a very personal situation that causes me to feel empathy for those who are hurting. I cannot tell you what you MUST do, because that is a very personal choice relative to what your individual situation might warrant; but I will not encourage anyone to remain where you are in danger.
Heavenly Father, I come to You today with and on behalf of friends who may be in a bad situation, who feel there is no way out. However that relationship came to be, they are in a relationship with, or sharing common space with a person wrathful person, given to anger, and feel they are entangled in a snare. Lord, if we ignored Your voice and wound up in that relationship as a result of overriding Your “still small voice,” we repent and ask Your forgiveness. Some of us wandered into temptation and our emotions were louder than the warning signs. We ask You to step in and deliver us from evil, and we know it is not Your will for us to remain in ensnared! You always hear your children when we cry!
Father, while we can exert no power over another person’s will, we ask You for divine wisdom on how to handle our particular situation. As much as possible, please grant us favor with the abuser, so that if a breaking away is to be gotten, we can do so without harassment, stalking, manipulation, or endangerment. We cling to Proverbs 16:7 which says that when our ways please You, You make even our enemies to be at peace with us. We trust You to cause that to take place in however way You wish!
We humble ourselves before You and determine to act blamelessly, with integrity. We will not seek revenge, we will not try to air our dirty laundry publicly and become a drama show for others, even if we have the opportunity or feel entitled to do a tell-all. There will come an appropriate time and setting for transparency but we will rely on Your leading instead of others encouraging us to weaponize our story. We are going to position ourselves to where we can forgive and release those who have used, abused, and persecuted us. To do that, we must keep ourselves unspotted by hatred and vitriol. We can even act obtain justice in a right way, and if we have to testify in court, we will be truthful but not spiteful. There may be some things we need to share with a therapist, pastor, or law enforcement that should remain on a need-to-know basis. And if there are children involved, we will not use them as leverage for revenge. We will not cultivate hatred or fear in their hearts, and we will keep them protected; but cautious about speaking in front of them about matters they may not be emotionally mature enough to handle.
Father, we ask You to deliver us not just from present evil, but we ask for spiritual deliverance from any foul oppressive spirit that would entice us into a repeat pattern of alliance with abusive people. Your will is not for us to go from one abusive relationship to another. Deliver us from codependency and a need to remain abused in an attempt to “fix” people who are dangerous, even if we have compassion for them. Deliver us from attraction to personality types that foster violence, physical/emotional/sexual cruelty, bullying, gaslighting or other abusive behavior.
If there are behavior issues on our part, reveal what needs to change through Your Word; help us to own responsibility for our own actions and words, and help us to grow in grace and character. We can acknowledge our need for personal growth or change without absolving others of bad actions…so admitting where we need help is not accepting blame for being abused! Help us not to be enablers of abuse, and help us to break generational patterns of abuse. Help us not to, having been abused, become abusers ourselves. And Father, make us brave. Give us courage to make hard decisions, especially if we are making them to protect not only ourselves, but also children or elderly from danger. Help us to walk away from someone we still have feelings for, if we know that person is abusing our children in any way! It’s not ok…nor is it ok for us to take abuse “as long as he/she doesn’t hurt the children.” We must protect those who cannot protect themselves, even if it means changing environments for their sake.
Finally, Father, we receive healing of emotional scars. We may have had the temporary status of victim, but we refuse to adopt that as our permanent identity. As we release that person into Your hands, we trust You for Your perfect balance of Justice and mercy. Please convict that person of his/her sins and we pray for repentance and salvation if that person will. We do not wish for eternal damnation for anyone, not even those who have hurt us, but we also know that You are a just God who can bring a fair and acceptable resolution. In Jesus’ name we will emerge as victors and with our emotional, spiritual, and physical health intact. We ask for Your help and we will obey You!