Praying with Jesus: Pray for Your Enemies

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” – Matthew 5:44

It’s easy to pray for my wife and kids. It’s easy to pray for my friends. Even those people I don’t know aren’t too hard to pray for, but what about those who actively seek to hurt me? That’s not so easy.

Yet, that is who Jesus is saying we need to pray for. Love your enemies. He didn’t say, put up with your enemies or ignore them. Love them!

He also said, “Pray for those who persecute you.” Often times my first thought when considering this is, “Sure. I’ll pray for them. I pray they will get a flat tire on the way to work.” But that’s not loving, is it?

When we put these two ideas together, loving our enemies and praying for them, we are left with one option. To activity pray for the benefit of those who are trying to hurt us. It isn’t always easy, but it is exactly what Jesus did for us and He did so much more. Romans 5:8 puts it this way:

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

We were enemies of God and Jesus died for us. He prays for us. He seeks to forgive us and save us. We can do the same for those who hurt us through the power of the Holy Spirit. Hopefully, they will see Christ’s love in us and come to know His saving grace as well as find forgiveness and healing for our relationship with them.

Heavenly Father,

Please forgive me for holding a grudge against those who have hurt me. Help me, instead, to love them as You have loved me. I pray that You would bless them and watch over them. I pray that they might turn from their hurtful ways and that I would extend them grace and forgiveness.

(If you have any one in particular you need to pray for. Do it now.)

Amen.

In Christ,
Pastor Kurt

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