“And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” (Acts 7:60)
The sweetest and strongest intercession flows from a heart which cares above all for another’s relationship with God. It is not caught up with how someone is treating us. No, that is only a symptom of their disconnection from God. If they were walking with God, and hearing from Him as they should, their relationship with us would be different. And so the effective intercessor looks beyond insult and ingratitude, to a “poor soul” who desperately needs God.
How blessed the example of Stephen, the church’s first martyr. His life was being cruelly taken from him. For what? Speaking the truth. Was there cursing on his lips? Hatred in his heart? No, only pity for those who acted in such a way because they didn’t know God. (John 15:21)
Have a holy apathy toward what people think of you. Always care more for the nature of their relationship with God. Know that if you speak for One they presently aren’t listening to you will bear the brunt of their resistance. How they are treating Him is how they will treat you. And know that through your prayers God can change them – from those who resist Him to those who embrace Him. When they love Him, they will love you. I am sure that Stephen was one of the first people in heaven that Paul wanted to hug.