We all bring our imperfections, our baggage, our assumptions, and our needs into every encounter of life, whether we intend to or not. Our perspectives are our filters: tedious webs of life experiences woven and tied with complexities far too advanced for us to understand. Yet, as a result of those filters, we do find ourselves expecting certain behavior from ourselves and others that, if they are not met, can lead to disappointment, frustration, and pain.
We can often be emotionally derailed in situations that are especially close to our hearts. Our insecurities can wiggle in, and doubt of our needs being met can sabotage the results we desire--particularly if the person we’re interacting with has disappointed or hurt us in the past.
The enemy can use the imperfect filters and fears that we already bring to a conversation to even further manipulate us, causing extreme emotional responses which can lead to division over time. During these conflicts we can find ourselves misunderstood, blamed, triggered, and wishing we had done things differently.
But we are not doomed to be victims of these events.
We have a secret weapon we can use.
If I know I am about to have a potentially uncomfortable encounter with someone, I will pray this prayer first.
If I find myself already in a situation or conversation that is becoming uncomfortable, I will pray this prayer in the moment under my breath or I’ll excuse myself to the restroom for a bit of privacy. If I have been taken off-guard and am at the end of a conversation or encounter that did not go well, I will pray this at the end, even if it seems pointless. Believe me, it’s never pointless.
I remember the first time I discovered my secret weapon.
I was in my first year of marriage and had just had a fight with my new husband. I was sitting on the floor in the hallway, crying. I had given up on the conversation and was feeling like my husband and I would never see eye-to-eye… I prayed to God:
“Holy Spirit, please speak to me and through me. Speak to _______ (say their name) and through them. Please unite our spirits with your Spirit, that we would communicate with compassion and with seeing one another through your perspective. We want to live under your influence and not enemy influence.
I pray that we will not have any confusion or miscommunication between us, but that we are united with One mind and One heart with complete understanding. I say that we are not divided and nothing will be able to come between us! Protect us from operating in our own agenda, we make ourselves willing to be adjusted by you. We let go of control.
Please give us your divine revelation, remind us that we are on the same team, and speak to our spirits with songs of Joy. We give you the credit, dearest Lord God Almighty.”
Immediately after I prayed this, my husband came and sat on the floor next to me. He apologized and gave me a hug! I was amazed! I didn’t tell him what I had just prayed, I just hugged him back with shock and gratitude.
Could my prayer have really worked that quickly?
After this amazing experience, I began to look for opportunities to pray this prayer. I started praying before I went in for job interviews, before I spoke to my mom, before I called my clients, before I picked up my stepdaughter from her mom’s house… everything! I began to have so much peace in my life that I had never known before!
Here’s another tiny story:
My brother and I were having a lively conversation about art. He is a poet, I am a painter. The discussion turned a bit as we began to focus more on his new project. He had been dabbling in painting and so sincerely asked my opinion of what he had created. I agreed to look it over and after a short study, began to give him my reflections, as a trained artist, on what I would do to make small adjustments to his piece. He very suddenly became offended at what I was saying and we nearly got into an argument.
What rescued us from the impending doom of misunderstanding, hurt feelings, and offense?
Secret Weapon Prayer.
Under my breath I spoke the prayer I have outlined above.
No sooner had I gotten into the last sentence that he abruptly stopped himself, adjusted his tone, and said lightheartedly, “I think I was in a hurry to be an artist like you. But then again, you wouldn’t have assumed you were a poet if you’d only written one poem.”
What a turn around! I had never seen such a sudden adjustment of perspective.
I was thoroughly convinced after that memorable experience. There is just something about this prayer!