Praying For Your Enemies
This has to be one of the hardest things to pray for. It is easy to pray for yourself and for those you love. It can be easy to pray for healing and spiritual gifts, but to pray for our enemies, not so much.
Growing up, when someone was mean to me, my Mom would always say, ‘Kill them with kindness.’ That was not what I wanted to hear. Just like, ‘Pray for your enemies,’ is not something I necessarily want to hear.
[custom_blockquote style=”eg. green, yellow, purple, blue, red, black, grey”]”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, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
What Makes Me Angry
When I watch the news and see all acts of the terrorist I get angry. The Orlando shooter, the San Bernardino shooter and the Fort Hood Shooter, just to name a few, make me angry. When I got the news 17 years ago that one of my dance students had been brutally murdered, I was grieved and angry. Now my friend in a closed country can no longer communicate with me because the internet is not even safe for him, I get angry at the people who do this. Praying for these enemies is not easy.
On a more personal level, when someone says something that hurts, our first reaction is to get angry and plan a way to hurt them back. Or when you have that one person in your life that just always causes strife, you just get angry. When someone is always causing you pain, the last thing you want to do is, ‘kill them with kindness,’ or pray for them. Praying for your enemies has to be one of the hardest things we are called to do.
When The Enemy Does Not Know Jesus
When I know the enemy, like ISIS or the step-father that murdered my student, is not Christian, I have to remember they are being guided by the great enemy, the king of darkness. Satan is the one I should point my anger towards. The person who has done the evil act has not yet seen the light of Christ. They are completely blinded by the enemy.
I have to ask God to let me see beyond the evil they do and see them as He sees them. I have to pray that God would remove the scales from their eyes so that they would only see His love for them. When I worked as a 911 dispatcher I had to learn this quickly, or I would have been overcome by the evil in the world. Daily, I would ask God, ‘Let me see them as you see them. Enable me to pray for them as You would want me to pray for them.” Was this easy? Absolutely not. Usually what God calls us to do is not easy and it makes us rely on Him even more. I wish I could say I have mastered this and that I do it all the time, but I still have a ways to go.
When The Enemy Does Know Jesus
This can be even harder. Our first thought can often be, “Are they really a Christian if they act that way?” In these situations I again have to remind myself, we all sin. We all mess up. We all fall short. Our sin is sin in God’s eye. One is not worse than another. I have to remember that my sin may be different, but it is still sin. I may have just thought the unkind words, and they said it, from God’s perspective it is the same.
So we must do as we are called and pray for those that come against us. We also need to pray for ourselves to not let the hurt get in the way of our walk with the Lord. As the Bible says, each day we need to put on the full armor of God to protect ourselves from the evil in the world.
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The Armor of God
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”