While my youngest grandson took a nap, I had my iPod plugged into my ear, listening to one of the Beth Moore Bible studies on the life and person of Jesus Christ. Something she said really caught my attention in a special way. She was talking about Jesus' directions, ""But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you," Matthew 5:44. She then referred to Romans 12:9, "Let love be without hypocrisy." In other words, we are supposed to mean it, not just "act” it.
As Sandwich Generation caregivers, we are sometimes caught in situations where we have to care for someone we don’t like very much. I’m so blessed to have good relationships with all my parents which has made my caregiving much easier. But I have talked to people or read articles by those who are caring for parents or other elderly relatives they just don’t get along with. And even though I don’t have to deal with that specifically in my caregiving, I’ve certainly worked with people in the past who were challenges. As one of my pastors commented in a sermon, they are EGRP – extra grace required people. 🙂
God convicted me long ago to pray for the EGRP in my life. He has even led me to specifically pray for Him to bless them. It's definitely NOT always easy or even my first choice. But He has kept working on me, over the years, to choose to do this, even when I didn't feel like it.
I was excited and challenged by what Ms. Moore said in this Bible study (which I HIGHLY recommend, by the way). She offered a very practical suggestion how to do it and I love it! She said, “I ask God to give me several verses so that I can begin to pray over them, praying for them, praying for how I feel about that situation, about that particular person and He will begin to give me the mind of Christ for that person and change the way I feel.” Isn’t that a terrific idea?
Praying for and choosing a verse or two specifically for that person will keep us from the “I’m not sure what to pray so I’ll just pray, 'Please bless them and hold them close Lord,' over and over.” Don’t get me wrong. That’s an excellent prayer for them as well. BUT by having a couple (or more) of specific inspirational Bible verses to Scripture pray for them, we will be praying according to God’s will, we will be coating them in specific prayer, and we will be allowing God to work on our hearts and minds all at the same time. Sometimes we may be blessed to see these EGRP’s change as a result of our prayers. Many times we won’t. But I know, in my life, I’ve seen myself change for the better. Come to think of it, this would be a great gift for any of those we provide senior home care giving, not just EGRPs! What a gift to them and what a gift to ourselves.