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A Prayer for When You Feel Misunderstood
By Christine Perry

“She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me." Genesis 16:13 NIV

Very few things hurt worse than being misunderstood, especially when the one who misunderstands is someone very close to you. Whenever I face a situation like this, I want to get defensive. I want to explain myself.

There was another woman named Hagar, whose “role” was misunderstood. After being taken advantage of, she was wrongly mistreated. The worst part about it, she was not even given a choice in the matter. She was a slave. She had no voice.

Abram and Sarai (later known as Abraham and Sarah) were Hagar’s masters. Since Sarah was barren, she decided to take things into her own hands and give Hagar to her husband. Before I continue the story, I want us all to keep in mind that God is still sovereign over our choices. God could have prevented Hagar from being pregnant, as He is the One who opens and closes wombs (1 Samuel 1:6). However, God allowed Hagar to get pregnant.

Genesis 16:4b-6 reveals to us what happens next:

“When she [Hagar] knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. Then Sarai [Sarah] said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the LORD judge between you and me.”

“Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.”

Despite this hurtful situation, the Lord uses this tragedy to show Himself not only to Hagar but also to us. She says to the Lord, “You are the God who sees me.” Whatever misunderstanding occurs in your life, remember that God is not only the One who sees You but also the One who can defend You. Pastor Chuck Swindoll once said, “God is a specialist at making something useful and beautiful out of something broken and confused.

Hagar is just one of many who were misunderstood. Noah was mocked for building a boat. Joseph was mislabeled as a rapist. David was viewed as a threat. Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den for rebellion. And Jesus was killed for not being acknowledged for who He claimed to be — the Son of God. Whatever you may be going through, you can take heart knowing that there were many in the Bible who were misunderstood and mistreated because of it. Although your situation may be incredibly hard and painful, your story is not over. God is not done yet.

Let’s pray:

Dear Heavenly Father,
I come before You humbly and confess that I have, at times, misunderstood You. You always have my best in mind, and yet the circumstances I am facing are difficult, challenging, and heartbreaking. Lord, I ask for greater grace to be able to handle the situations You have placed me in. Father, I ask for wisdom when it comes to being misunderstood. I ask that You help me not to take it personally. I ask that You would help me see from the other person’s point of view — perhaps an angle I cannot see. Not only do You see me and my heart, You also see the other person’s heart.

Would You give me the wisdom to know if I should address this misunderstanding or not? I ask that if I am to remain quiet, that You would fight for me. And if I am supposed to speak up, that You would fill my mouth with the words You want me to say. Ultimately, I ask that through this situation, I would come to know You better and that You would help me to become more like You. Lord, thank You for Your patience, kindness, and mercy with me. I do not deserve it, but I am deeply thankful for it. Lord, I love You; help me to love You more.
In Jesus' name, amen!

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Tommaso79

Christine is just a lady who was given the gift of being raised in an incredible family. For reasons unknown to her, God has blessed her with an amazing life full of beautiful friendships, remarkable experiences, and a love from Him that is completely underserved. She desires to encourage others and share hope as we journey through the highs and lows of life. Christine is the author of How I Met Peace and For the Weary Life Traveler, a 31-day devotional. Check out more of Christine's work at her website:  Learning to be fearless and her Patreon.

Teach Us to Pray is a FREE prayer podcast hosted by iBelieve writer Christina Patterson. Each week, she gives you practical, real-life tips on how to grow your faith and relationship with God through the power of prayer. To listen to her episode on What to Pray in the Morning for a Worry-Free Day, click below!

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