“Now, Dinah, the daughter Leah, whom she had born to Jacob, went out to see the women of the land. When Shechem, the son of Hamor, the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he seized her and lay with her and humiliated her.” -Genesis 34:1–2
These are a couple of very serious, sobering verses in Genesis showing the sinfulness and evil of man. In this picture, Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, is abused, hurt. I know there’s different ages of people who listen to this podcast, so we won’t go into more details, but humiliated, and shamed, and hurt, in this passage.
God cares deeply about those who are hurting and desires for them to experience healing through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
As I’m reading through this chapter and thinking about how we can pray according to it, I was just immediately struck in these first couple of verses by the desire to pray specifically for women who have been hurt, and abused, by men doing evil things. I know there are many, many women who have experienced that, and in different ways. I just want to lead us to pray together for them, for you if that is you. God, we hate sin and evil in this world, we hate it. I say that as we read these verses, we pray that in each one of our lives you would help us to hate sin and evil more, not to flirt with sin, not to justify sin, to run from sin, to run from any and every temptation to sin. God, we pray for that in our lives. We pray that we would never be casual with sin. Don’t let us be casual with sin at all today, especially as we consider the hurt that Dinah experienced in Genesis 34:1-2, and the hurt that many women, many of whom are sisters in Christ, have experienced.
God, we pray for your mercy, for your grace, for your healing in every way in that process of healing. God, we pray for progress in that process, and for the healing balm of your Word, and your Spirit, and your love, and your grace, to nurture those wounds. God, we pray physically, spiritually, emotionally, relationally, for healing, for your help. God, we pray that we as your church would be a picture of your help, that we would not be a further picture in any way of isolation, or shame. God, that you would help us as your church to be a picture of your healing. God, even as I pray that I think about how many stories of this happening in relationship to your church, in relationship to leaders in your church. God, we pray for the cleansing of your church. God, we pray for your mercy, that your church might be a picture of purity, and holiness, and humility.
God, we pray that all who’ve been hurt in this way would find deep, true, perfect eternal healing in Jesus. Jesus, we praise you for meeting us where we are. What we see you doing all over the gospels, for coming to people in their needs, for coming for their hurting, for coming to the victim, God, for stooping to serve us at our deepest point of need. You are God, for your love for us, for your mercy. God, I just pray your love and your mercy over every single person who’s been hurt in any way like this. God, we pray that they would know your love, and they would know, that we would all know, that there’s a day coming when sin will be no more, and evil will be no more, and sorrow will be no more, and hurt will be no more. You will wipe away all of those things and everything will be new. We praise you that we are not held captive to our own sins, and we are not held captive by the sins of others against us.
Jesus, you have conquered sin and death. You have made a way for us to experience total restoration to you in a way that we will experience eternity as new creations, as redeemed creations, as restored to you in every way, physically, spiritually, emotionally, relationally, and to others, and to the world around us where we will live forever in a place where there’s no more sin, and no more evil, and no more hurt. God, we long for that day. We’re looking forward to that day. We pray for the spread of your grace and your mercy until that day. We think of so many who have been hurt in these ways who don’t know Jesus, who don’t know your love for them, who don’t know your mercy toward them. God, we pray that you’d help us to spread the gospel to them in a world of such hurt. God help us to be faithful to spread your healing mercy through Jesus.
We’re so thankful that this world and the sin and evil in it are not the end of the story, are not the end of any one of our stories. So, we praise you for your love and your mercy, and we pray specifically today for your love and your mercy in a fresh way over people who’ve been hurt in these ways. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.