Jesus described well our attitude toward our enemies, “You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” (Matthew 5:43-44). Your enemy can be anyone who is against you and/or against God. You feel a persistent push back from their personality. You have felt hostility towards each other and even malicious intent. They may have harmed you financially. Regardless of the degree of enmity, there is a relational disconnect and distrust. An enemy is not a favorite person of yours, and you do not enjoy their company. It may be your parent who seems to have zero interest in your affairs. They only contact you when they need something. It may be a spouse who has stacked layers of hurt into your relationship over the years and you can hardly stand to look at them. It may be a friend who has betrayed you. It may be a plaintiff in a lawsuit.
Regardless of whom we envision as our enemies, we are to pray for them and love them. Our prayers are to be full of passion and pleading on their behalf. We bombard the throne of grace asking God to pour out His mercy on their behalf. They may be blinded by unbelief and groping around life in graceless confusion. Our enemies need enlightenment from our eternal Savior, Jesus. We were once enemies of the cross outside of Christ’s care. We acted like we had it all together, when in reality we were poor and wretched souls lost in our sins. It is as through our fasting and prayers for those who are in the bondage of unbelief that God may choose to set them free. Passionate prayer persists.
Prayer is never in vain. If the one being prayed for is not blessed, certainly it blesses the one who intercedes on their behalf. Our prayer for our enemies changes us. It softens our hearts and speech with sympathy. It allows us to model our prayers after our master, Jesus, when He prayed, ”Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Passionate prayer for our enemies is as much about us, as them. It changes us both.
Taken from Reading #24 in the 90-day devotional book, “Seeking God in the Psalms”… http://bit.ly/bQHNIE
Post/Tweet this today: We are called to pray for those who support us and for those who bother us. #prayer
Get free eBook “Infusion” by inviting 5 friends to Wisdom Hunters http://bit.ly/PEbaBJ