by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta
In our fallen
world full of billions of people, we are presented with opportunities for
disagreements. Because we are each designed as individuals with certain
mindsets and personalities, we will not all think the same way.
Our God is a Person
of unity. His perfect will was set forth in the Garden of Eden with a perfect
couple who conversed with Him daily. There was no division because there was no
But the tempter
came and sowed his sinful seed into the minds of Adam and Eve and wholeness was
broken and blame resulted.
knowledge of self, and self wants to preserve the flesh. Believers are born
again people whose spirits have been transformed into new creations, but we can
still let the default settings of the mind control us at times.
This is why Paul
admonished us in Romans 12:1-2 to always be focused on the renewal of our thinking.
We can’t live in unity with our brothers and sisters, or in peace with those of
the world, unless the Holy Spirit is in control.
The Bible gives
us guidelines on how to handle these fractured opinions without causing
violence and aggression.
In the same
way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray
for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groanings. (Romans 8:26 NIV)
Here are 6 Ways
to Pray for Those Who Disagree With Us.
1. Pray For the Unsaved.
sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they
may be saved. (Romans
person’s opinion will be in opposition to a believer, most of the time. Unbelievers
can still be nice people and may not always persecute us, but their hearts are
hardened to the truth of Christ’s sacrifice.
2. Pray For Those Who Persecute Us Because
of the Gospel.
But I tell
you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be
children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and
the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (Matthew 5:44-45)
When we pray
for those who attack us because of our witness for Christ we can know they are
not attacking us personally, they are listening to the evil one who wants to
silence the message that would get them saved.
We can pray for
their eyes to be opened.
3. Pray For Those
in Government and Authority.
then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be
made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live
peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and
pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a
knowledge of the truth.
(1 Timothy 2:1-3)
these leaders to have their eyes opened to the truth shows them that we serve a
different God than they do. Reacting in violence against legislation we
disagree with only drags us down into the same way of thinking as those who
We can pray for ungodly principles to be reversed.
4. Pray to Have
Wisdom to Answer Those Who Question Us.
But in your
hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone
who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with
gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak
maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their
slander. (1 Peter
As we live for
the Lord in word and deeds, the world can see our reactions to circumstances.
They will not understand the control of the Holy Spirit who helps us when we
face unpleasant and difficult situations.
When they ask
us how we are able to react the way we do, we have an opportunity to share the
love of God with them. We can only do this by letting the Holy Spirit fill us
and control our emotions every day. Our prayer for wisdom will show us what to
say (Luke 12:12).
5. Pray For Peaceful Conversation When Disagreeing
With a Believer.
I appeal to
you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of
you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no division among
you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. (1 Corinthians 1:10).
of denominations is a reflection of how Christians don’t always agree with each
other. But being drawn into theological arguments does not lift up Jesus.
While we may
not always agree on interpretation of Scripture, we can agree to be united in
the love of God and pray for each other.
Even the great
Apostle Paul had disagreements with his partner, Barnabus, about John Mark
(Acts 15:36-41). They disagreed so much they parted ways. But the Holy Spirit
brought good out of their division in that the gospel was preached in different
parts of the world.
changed this opinion about John Mark later as he urged Timothy to bring Mark to
him (2 Timothy 4:11).
6. Pray For Those Who Hurt Us.
each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against
someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13)
We will all be
hurt by other people at some point in our lives. At times, the hurt may not be
intentional, but we may perceive a word or action as an attack against us. To
be obedient to God’s command, we should pray for enlightenment, study the Bible,
may not agree with our words at first, but the more we submit to God’s will,
the feelings will eventually match what we are praying about. When we remember
that Christ has forgiven us, we can know we have no right to hold a grudge
against another person.
Praying for those who hurt us can remove the bitterness of soul. Even if a rift doesn’t get healed in a relationship, we can know we did our part in forgiving, and that the other person’s heart is left up to God. (click to tweet)
God’s Will Is
If it is
possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18)
We don’t have
to agree with everyone’s opinions, but we can choose to live peaceably by
praying according to God’s will, following His precepts, and controlling our
Peace between all people will only be accomplished when the King of kings sets up His reign on the new earth. Until then, we can do our part through the guidance of the Holy Spirit to avoid arguments and disagreements to the point of dissension.
What are some
other ways you can think of to pray for those who disagree? Share your
This article first appeared on Crosswalk.com June 16, 2021.