It can be a harrowing experience to be the victim of bullying, whether in school, the neighbourhood, at work, or even at home. Verbal, emotional, and physical abuse leave deep imprints on our hearts but we have a choice in terms of how we respond. Will we follow our fleshly desires for self-justification and revenge or follow in Jesus’ footsteps? Here is a prayer about following Jesus and overcoming the effects of bullying with love, power, and self-control.
2 Timothy 1:7 ESV For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
A prayer about our painful experiences of bullying
“Dear Heavenly Father,
I confess that I am in pain. No one sees the grief I have been carrying inside me. I have silently suffered as other people have bullied me. Their unkind and unjust words are like swords thrust into my heart. Their actions are as just painful.
Proverbs 12:18 ESV There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
My bully/bullies have turned other people against me. They mock and put me down, and spread malicious gossip about me. Their cruel words keep replaying in my mind over and over again, and the stings in my heart don’t seem to go away. I feel isolated and betrayed.
I imagine different scenarios in my head and wonder how I could have prevented the abuse or stood up for myself. I am filled with regret at not being quick to defend myself. I loathe myself for becoming their victim.
At the same time, I am fearful that if I speak up, my bully/bullies might make my life even more miserable. I dread bumping into them again. I am filled with fear and shame.
Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
I have tried asking for help but no one has come to my rescue. Some people I have spoken to have just swept things under the carpet. Does my voice not matter? Are my feelings not important? Am I so insignificant and unworthy enough? I have found no real comfort or retribution, oh God. I felt trapped and helpless. What have I done to deserve this?
Father in heaven, You hear my cry! You keep track of all my misery and tears.
Psalm 56:8 NIV Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll — are they not in your record?
I want my enemies to suffer and regret what they have done. Yet this is only filling me with bitterness, jealousy, and self-entitlement. I feel little joy or freedom, only anxiety, bitterness, and anger. I grieve the Holy Spirit and this is slowly killing my soul.
Ephesians 4:29-32 ESV Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 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.
Jesus, I take comfort that You understand and sympathise with all my suffering, pain, and feelings. You were also unjustly mocked, beaten, undressed, humiliated, paraded, shamed, and ridiculed. Jesus, you had all the power to destroy Your enemies, why didn’t You immediately defend Yourself and retaliate?
Hebrews 4:15 ESV For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Matthew 27:27-31 NLT Some of the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire regiment. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. They wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head, and they placed a reed stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and grabbed the stick and struck him on the head with it. When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.
I confess I don’t understand Your ways. This world has taught me that only revenge will bring me satisfaction and justice. In the movies, those who take revenge are always the heroes. If I don’t react or retaliate, I will feel like a loser, with no self-esteem or honour.
Yet Your righteousness and justice are not based on the standards of this world or secular movies – but Your eternal Law. This world is Satan’s domain and the devil will sow hatred, strife, and lies until he is finally thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur one day. When I follow the patterns of this world, I will only be following Satan.
2 Corinthians 4:4 NLT Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
Revelation 20:10 ESV and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Romans 12:2 ESV Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
God, You promise to exalt the humble.
1 Peter 5:6 ESV Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
When Jesus hung on the cross in agony, He humbly forgave those who bullied Him. It was for this humble response that God lifted Jesus to the highest place in heaven. Lord, You have passed the test to love Your enemies and pray for those who persecuted You. Enmity does not bring peace.
Philippians 2:8-11 ESV And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Matthew 5:44 ESV But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
Jesus, You submitted to the Lord’s will and allowed Yourself to be bullied just like a defenceless human being and You did not retaliate – as an example for me to follow.
1 Peter 2:23 NLT He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.
1 Peter 2:21-23 ESV For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.
You also teach me that when I disobey Your teaching and seek revenge, I will only “praise the wicked” instead of striving against them.
Proverbs 28:4-5 ESV Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive against them. Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it completely.
Yes, I only feel anxious, weak, and defeated when I continue to hold on to bitterness and anger. It feels as if my enemy/enemies have won and I have lost. Desiring to prove them wrong has only brought me more strife, fear, and anxiety.
Hebrews 12:14-15 ESV Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;
I have allowed my oppressors’ actions to overpower me instead of allowing You, Oh God, to have ultimate power over my life.
God, You have already warned that there will be scoffers in the Last Days whose “purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires.” I am grateful that nothing escapes Your notice or knowledge.
Jude 1:17-18 NLT But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ predicted. They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires.
I will take heart that You witnessed all the bullying I went through and that You promise to take revenge on my behalf. Your Word says that it is a terrifying thing to fall into Your hands and I cannot imagine how horribly my enemies will suffer under Your judgement.
Romans 12:19-20 ESV 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.”
Hebrews 10:30-31 ESV For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
I am thankful that even if I don’t get my justice today, because it is not yet time, You will expose everything on Judgment Day and call every single person to account, both for the good and the evil they have done. Therefore, I choose to do good because I know that I will be judged too.
1 Corinthians 4:5 ESV Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.
2 Corinthians 5:10 ESV For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
So today, I lay all my emotional burdens before Jesus and ask You to take over judgement of my bully/bullies. I will no longer judge others but will release forgiveness to them instead. Forgive me for any self-righteousness that I have clung on because it made me feel “empowered.” Such pride only glorifies Satan, not You.
Where I have made inner vows to “prove them wrong,” “make them suffer,” “rise above them and become more powerful,” (please list your own here), I now repent for making my own rules, instead of following Your commandments to love my enemies and pray for those who persecute me.
Matthew 5:43-48 ESV “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
I repent of cursing them in my heart and wishing bad things to happen to them. I know that when I do so, I will eventually suffer the same things too.
Romans 12:14 ESV Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
Psalm 109:17 NIV He loved to pronounce a curse– may it come back on him. He found no pleasure in blessing– may it be far from him.
James 3:9-10 ESV With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
I repent of hating my bully/bullies. I confess I have also done things that You hate; such as having haughty eyes, lying, plotting evil, and sowing discord. I choose to come clean and repent of my own sins.
Proverbs 6:16-19 ESV There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
If I don’t do so, I will remain in spiritual darkness, separated from You with no promise of eternal life. Therefore, I turn away from these ways and from bearing a grudge.
1 John 2:9 ESV Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.
1 John 3:15 ESV Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
Leviticus 19:18 ESV You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.
Where I have wished to die because of how I have felt, please forgive me. Today, I choose to live because Jesus came to give me an abundant life. My life is no longer bound to what good or bad people have done to me, but based on Jesus’s enormous self-sacrifice to pay for my sins.
John 10:10 ESV The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
I renounce all the words my oppressors have spoken about me, such as (please name them). I belong to Jesus Christ, who bought me at a high price. He will judge anyone who judges me. Therefore, I leave all judgement and retribution to my Saviour.
1 Corinthians 7:23 NIV You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings.
Luke 6:37 NLT “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.
Today, I choose to forgive my oppressors and cut spiritual ties with them in Jesus’ name. I choose to no longer be defiled by their sins or to sin against Jesus.
I pray for their souls, that my bully/bullies also come to repentance before it is too late. Father in heaven, please have mercy on them!
Psalm 34:17-18 ESV When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Thank you for being near to me and delivering me from a troubled heart. I invite the Holy Spirit to please come cleanse, renew me, and give me a fresh lease of life. I choose to no longer walk in malice, envy, and hatred.
Titus 3:3-5 NLT For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.
Your Word tells me that You have sent me as “like sheep among wolves.” I truly need Your wisdom to remain “as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”
Matthew 10:16 NIV “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
Help me to know how to respond to my bully/bullies in future, with dignity, peace, and the love of Christ, not holding their wickedness to heart, but forgiving them quickly so that I do not become defiled by their actions once again.
Hebrews 12:14-15 ESV Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
The pain inflicted by other people is temporary. I will not fear them.
Matthew 10:28-31 NLT “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. o don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
Isaiah 51:12-13 ESV “I, I am he who comforts you; who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, of the son of man who is made like grass, and have forgotten the Lord, your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, and you fear continually all the day because of the wrath of the oppressor, when he sets himself to destroy? And where is the wrath of the oppressor?
Jesus, if my suffering is to test if I am a genuine follower, I will choose to pass with flying colours by following Your ways. I know this will lead to eternal life.
1 Peter 1:6-7 ESV In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
I will live my life to praise You and glorify Your name.
In Jesus’ name, amen.”
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