Praying For Those Who Hurt You Is Powerful!

Praying for those who hurt you can be the most powerful and loving thing you can do. In this article, let’s unpack the heart of God when we are dealing with the pain of broken relationship. We will identify Bible verses about praying for our enemies and why this is beneficial. Additionally, God’s grace to the child of God (that’s you!) as we move through the healing process. Let’s go!

Praying for those who hurt you with blue watercolor mountains in background

Real Enemies Can Be Those Who Are Close

Often, it is the people that are closest to us that have the ability to cause the greatest pain. You may be experiencing the pain of betrayal from family members, a close friend or even a spouse. Sadly, not everyone is willing to repent and restore relationship. In those cases, we must consider how to move forward when someone is unrepentant. Often, it means we must put safe space between ourselves and someone who has a destructive pattern of relating. And, even if the person is repentant and willing to change- they are going to need prayer! Praying for those who hurt you might be the most loving and powerful thing you can do on their behalf. God’s Word helps us understand God’s heart toward those who have hurt you.

Heart of God Toward Those Who Hurt You

God’s Word is always a good place to start when figuring out how to move forward after being hurt. The following passage from Romans encompasses several concepts about how to manage hurtful people especially when you have a heavy heart. 

Romans 12:17-21 – Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

The first part of the passage instructs us not to repay evil for evil. It is essentially saying that we need not take matters into our own hands. We are the light of Christ, therefore we want to be a good witness. This is why we are instructed that there is a better way to respond- do what is honorable. The next part directs us to live peaceably as much as it depends on you. We have no control over others, however, we can choose to do our part to honor God and aim for peace in relationships. The very next line tells us why we don’t need to take matters into our own hands. God is going to deal with the matter. We are called to leave room for Him to move on our behalf.

Next, it says if your enemy is hungry or thirsty feed them and give them something to drink. Why? Because it’s like heaping coals on their head. Treating someone who has wronged you in honorable ways and with kindness is convicting. It is a more effective way to move them toward God and repentance. The only way to act in the way outlined in Romans 12:17-21 is through the power of the Holy Spirit. There is no easy way to be kind and treat an enemy with honor apart from God’s enablement. However, He enables us to do what He calls us to do. 

1 Peter 3:9 – Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.

Ephesians 4:31-32 – Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

God’s Word About Praying for Those Who Hurt

The prayer life of a child of the Most High God incorporates prayer for the unlovable or hurtful people in your life (or the people you’ve let go). 

Matthew 5:44 – But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Luke 6:27-28 – But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.

Romans 12:14 – Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

Romans 12:20 – To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’

Proverbs 25:21-22 – If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.

76 Encouraging Bible Verses About Enemies

God’s Grace When Praying for Those Who Hurt You

It is never easy to offer the gift of forgiveness or love when a deep offense has taken place. It is God’s grace that helps us fill the gap between our emotions and obedience to His Word. 

2 Corinthians 12:9 – But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Hebrews 4:16 – Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

John 1:16 – For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.

James 4:6 – But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’

1 Peter 5:10 – And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

Benefits of Praying for Those Who Hurt You

Good things come from praying for those who hurt you:

  1. Obedience to Christ: Jesus instructed his followers to love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them (see Scriptures above). Obedience always yields blessings. When I do things God’s way (even when it’s hard or I don’t want to), I find there is abundant blessing. Sometimes those blessings are in the form of peace and joy despite going through a hard time.
  2. Transformation of Heart: Praying for those who hurt you has a softening effect. Have you ever been surprised by the compassion you have for someone who has mistreated you? Short prayers on behalf of an enemy or hurtful person helps you let go of the hurt and even let go of unforgiveness.
  3. Personal Healing: Holding onto anger, resentment, or hatred is not good for you. Praying for those who hurt you enlarges joy and peace. It also helps you move towards letting go of anger and hatred. 
  4. Possible Restoration: Prayer has the power to transform relationships (this is not a hard and fast rule). Knowing I have done all I can to restore a relationship helps me let go of the broken relationship. Prayer is part of knowing I’ve done all I can to restore a broken relationship. 
  5. Witness to Others: Praying for your enemies can be a powerful witness to others. I experienced a deep hurt from someone that didn’t even know me personally. I remember making the decision to pray every single time this person popped into my head. It helped me to stop ruminating on the offense. I shared this strategy with a friend who was so shocked I would do such a thing. But, honestly, it was God’s grace that helped me. All to His glory and a reflection of His love.
  6. Reflection of God’s Character: God is characterized by love, mercy, and forgiveness. When you pray for your enemies, you reflect God’s love- His unfailing love.

Related: Bible Verses For Letting Go of Someone You Love

What to Pray When Praying for Those Who Hurt You


 Pray for the person who hurt you to experience healing in their own life, particularly in areas where they may be struggling emotionally, spiritually, or mentally.


Ask God to help you release any feelings of anger, resentment, or bitterness towards the person who hurt you, and pray for the ability to let go of unforgiveness.


Pray for insight and understanding into the circumstances and experiences that may have led the person to hurt you, acknowledging that they may be dealing with their own pain or struggles.


Pray for the person who hurt you to recognize any wrongdoing on their part and to truly repent for their part, seeking reconciliation and restoration in the relationship.


Ask God to work in the heart and life of the person who hurt you. Praying for transformation in the life of someone who hurt you.


Pray for God to guide the person who hurt you towards the love of Christ. That they would find forgiveness and peace in the matter.


Pray for the possibility of reconciliation and restoration in your relationship with the person who hurt you (if it is safe and healthy to pursue).


Pray for God to bless the person who hurt you abundantly, showering them with His love, mercy, and grace. I know this sounds impossible, but this prayer changes my heart more than any other prayer.

Your Own Heart

Finally, pray for your own heart and well-being. Ask God to grant you healing and resilience as you depend on your Healer- entrusting your own healing and growth into His hands.

​3 Short Prayers When Praying For Those Who Hurt You

Dear Heavenly Father, I humbly bring (Name of the person who hurt you) before you. Heal their wounds and guide them towards repentance and transformation. Grant me supernatural ability to forgive and release any bitterness. May your love fill my heart, enabling me to extend grace and compassion towards [Name]. Give [Name] insight into their actions, leading them to find your forgiveness and unconditional love today. If it is your will, Lord, restore our relationship and bring about healing. Protect us both from further harm. Grant me peace and rest as I entrust this situation to you. Thank you for your abundant grace in every circumstance. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Father God, today, I come to you with a heavy heart burdened by hurt feelings and pain. I’m struggling to understand why I have been hurt, and the pain feels overwhelming right now. Lord, it’s hard for me to forgive and let go of the bitterness that fills my heart. I need your help to release these emotions, especially bitterness and find healing. Please grant me the strength to overcome this hurt and to trust in your plan for my life. Help me to see the good in the midst of this pain and to grow stronger through it. I know that you are with me, even in the wrongs done, and I trust that you will bring beauty from these ashes. Thank you for your unconditional love and for being my Comforter and Refuge. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Dear God, in the pain and hurt caused by (Name), I surrender my pain to Your boundless grace. Pour out Your healing love upon them, washing away any darkness that may have consumed their heart. Grant them the gift of Your grace, that they may find repentance, forgiveness, and restoration. Help me to release the grip of bitterness and resentment, allowing Your grace to cleanse and restore my broken heart. May Your grace bring transformation and reconciliation to (Name). I trust in Your unfailing love and mercy, believing that Your grace has the power to mend what is broken and bring beauty from ashes. Lead us both into Your perfect peace and wholeness. Amen.

Final Thoughts On Praying For Those Who Hurt You

Praying for those who hurt you might not change the person who broke your heart. It might not even mend and restore the relationship. But it will change you! Prayer is powerful in our own healing and spiritual growth. Cry out to God with your heartfelt plea. May His grace wash over you and His boundless love envelope you. He knows the hurt and pain you are experiencing. And He promises to deal with it in His perfect way and perfect timing. Next time someone close to you breaks your heart, lift up your own prayers and wait expectantly for Him to move on your behalf!

Leave a Comment