Forty Days of Prayer – Day 13
Some days it is easy to pray while others we never seem to find the time to pray. Some things are easy to pray for like our problems, our families, and loved ones. Then there are other things and people that are very difficult to pray for and we can find reasons to procrastinate. One of the tougher things to pray for is praying for those people you are not on good terms with, your enemies and those who mistreat you. Hear what Jesus says.
“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6: 28)
One of the most famous aspects of Jesus’ teaching was His call to love your enemies. He taught this in powerful ways when he told His disciples to love your neighbor as you love yourself. The question was then raised, well who is my neighbor? Jesus answered that question with the parable of the “Good Samaritan.” You can read Luke 10: 25-37 for the full parable. This parable then reinforces the teaching to love all people, and especially for the Jews of Jesus’ day to love their most hated enemies the Samaritans. This never comes easily or naturally.
The ability to do this comes after we first pray for them. Usually we pray for others when we know they are ill, have job issues, or request our prayers. This passage asks us to pray for those who have mistreated us. I imagine some have prayed for those who mistreated them and said, “Lord smite them.” That is not what Jesus is teaching here, as we are called to love our enemies we are also asked to pray for them. Praying for those who mistreat you changes the whole dynamic of the relationship. You do not accept their actions but in prayer you look at how they may be helped and what can be done for their benefit. Prayer first changes the attitudes and perspective within us as we begin to see others from a new light, hopefully from the perspective of Jesus. Never take it as your responsibility to change someone else, but prayer gives that responsibility to God, and then you will come to realize that God can and does change people all of the time. Even those we have issues with in life. My challenge to you this morning is to pray for two people that you have issues with. Pray for them as Jesus Himself prays for them and loves them.
In Christ’s Service , Pastor Dave
Lord Jesus, today I pray for ___________. I have never prayed for them before. Help me to pray for them. Help me to be a blessing to them in a new way. Help me to love them as you love me. Amen.