Years ago, when Diana was married to Prince Charles, their names remained on the prayer list of the Church of England. They were listed as "Prince and Princess of Wales". As we all know, the marriage didn't survive and they eventually divorced. Then on November 24, 1996, Dianna's name was removed from the church's prayer list. Queen Elizabeth II had it removed as "a necessary matter of form", and from that day forward it only read "Charles, Prince of Wales".
Ouch! That had to sting. Getting kicked off the prayer list in that fashion had to leave a bad taste in her mouth.
That got me thinking about prayer. It seems to me that when we really pray for people, it's hard to be bitter and hold a grudge against them. Also, if we are lifting them up to the Lord, it's hard to wish them ill will. What I'm saying is this: One advantage of praying for people is that it helps us have the right attitude towards them.
It's easy to pray for people who treat us well or are close with us. That doesn't require a lot of effort. But what about people who do us wrong or exit our lives? On one hand, we can write them off and never think about them again. But a far more noble response is to pray for them anyway. After all, Jesus did say "pray for those who persecute you". (Matthew 5:44)
Most likely there's more to the story here. But I sure do hope some folks still prayed for Diana. I hope there were people who continued to lift her up to the Lord.
May God help us to remember that in addition to praying for our family and friends, we can also pray for those who have brought us pain or checked out of our lives. Doing this will help us keep our hearts in the right place. And it will be a way to still bless those who no longer have anything to do with us.