Let’s start with this question: Do you pray for your enemies? your haters? your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend? your mean boss? your problematic family member?
I know you are thinking that I must be crazy to ask you that? Or maybe you are thinking “of course, I pray that they get exactly what they deserve.” No ma’am, No sir. We ought to pray for our enemies, the friends who betray us, the ex who broke our heart, and even the family members who don’t seem to know how to treat you with love. No, I don’t mean prayers of vengeance. We must pray for their relationship with God, their personal growth, and the overall state of their souls.
Matthew 5:43-48 ESV (43) “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ (44) But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (45) so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (46) For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? (47) And if you greet only your brothers,[a] what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? (48*) You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.*v. 48 (AMP) You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect
This was one of the greatest spiritual challenges that I’ve had to face. Learning to pray for those that I did NOT want to pray for. I had to learn to pray for their healing, their peace, their success, their heart and most importantly their souls. I had to learn to pray those prayers in spite of their words or their actions. I had to learn to pray those prayers in spite of the hurt that they may have caused me. I had to learn to pray those prayers in spite of their absence from my life. I had to learn to pray those prayers in spite of their unpleasant presence in my life.
I cannot promise you that this is easy. It is not easy, but I assure you that it is rewarding. Challenge yourself to pray for them. They will cross your mind anyway. Replace your prayers/thoughts of vengeance with prayers of love. At the end of the day, it’s not about changing their attitude or about getting them to “act right.” It is about changing your heart and the way that you interact with others. It is about representing Your Heavenly Father, especially when it’s difficult. It will free you to forgive those who will never ask for your forgiveness. It will free you from any emotional pain and psychological bondage. It will free you from the energy that it takes to hold a grudge for days, weeks, even years.
Let’s try this Prayer:
Heavenly Father, Today I pray for _____insert name(s) of “enemy”_____. You know how angry/upset/sad/hurt they have made me. If i’m being honest, I don’t want to pray for them right now. Lord, give me the strength and ability to forgive them. Give me the strength to respond with love, even when their actions and words make it difficult. God I realize that you love me even when I don’t deserve it. If you have called me to show them that love, then I am your servant, use me. Surround them with believers who will show them your love and cause them to desire a strong(er) relationship with you. I pray that you will show them their heart, that they will realize that they need you and repent for their wicked/hurtful ways. Lord, show them the same undeserved grace, mercy and favor that you have shown me.
In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
Love, your sister in Christ, Mo