So many times we are told what we should do, but not told how to do it. It’s easy to teach and preach what the bible says, but it doesn’t do much good if you don’t give people the tools to do it.
One great example is when we’re told to love our enemies. We all know and acknowledge what Jesus teaches us…
Matthew 5:43-48 (NKJV)
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’44 [a]But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father 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 have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your [b]brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the [c]tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
But, we all know that can be easier said than done. Especially what he, she or they wish for and work to your harm. It’s difficult when they try to influence other people against you. God never said it was easy, just possible.
God has really dealt with me concerning this. One of the people who greatly encouraged me to create this blog eventually became a person who not only worked against me, but influenced other people against me.
We also know what God teaches us through the apostle Paul…
Romans 12:14 (NKJV)
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Romans 12:17-21 (NKJV)
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have[a] regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,”says the Lord. 20 Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
I see other people on the news who hate me because of my race, my faith, my beliefs, and these are people I’ve never met.
In fact, one of the people who greatly encouraged me to create this blog eventually became a person who not only worked against me, but influenced other people against me.
So, how do you pray for people who hate you? It’s much easier said than done, especially when someone wishes for and works towards your harm, tries to influence others to hate or hurt your, or when someone hurts someone very dear to you.
HERE ARE 7 SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO PRAY FOR YOUR ENEMIES…
1. ASK GOD TO SHOW YOU IF & WHERE YOU’RE WRONG
Before you approach God about anyone you consider an enemy, make sure you first ask God to reveal to you if you are wrong in the issue, matter or paradigm. Even if you are 100 percent right, ask God to forgive you if you have allowed the enemy to harden your heart beyond God’s required love for your enemy. We must first consider ourselves before we begin to ‘judge’ anyone else…
Matthew 7:1-5 (NKJV)
7 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
2. PRAY FOR THEIR FAITH IN GOD TO BE ESTABLISHED & INCREASE
We must always remember that God doesn’t love our enemies any less than He loves us. They were created in His image too. God has called us all to be ministers of reconciliation. So, whether your enemy is an unbeliever or if they are a believer, if they are acting outside His will and character, it’s His desire that they be brought back into right relationship with Him. That’s where our prayers come in. God expects us to be ministers of reconciliation to Him…
2 Corinthians 5:17-20 (NKJV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
3. PRAY FOR THEIR REPENTANCE
If we aren’t careful, someone can hurt us or someone we love to the point that we can find ourselves not wanting them to repent. That will take away our excuse to be angry at them. But, it’s Gods will that everyone repent and turn to Him…
2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV)
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
4. PRAY FOR THEIR SALVATION
There are people that we can find so mean, evil and malicious that we don’t want them to be saved. Knowing that someone is in sin or evil is not judging them, but when we decide they are not worthy of salvation, that’s judgement and condemnation. What if God thought you not worthy of salvation when you were at your worst? And, as Matthew 7:1-2 reminds us, what ever judgement we are placing on someone else we are placing that same judgment on ourselves. Plus, if your enemy is a Christian and they are just in a hardhearted, backslidden, or weak moment, you may be placing condemnation on yourself as well…
Isaiah 54:17 (NKJV)
17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the Lord.
So, always ask God to forgive you for any judgment or condemnation you have placed on someone.
5. PRAY THAT THEY PRODUCE GOOD FRUIT
It’s also God’s will that we all lead fruitful and productive lives…
John 15:8 (NKJV)
8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
John 15:16 (NKJV)
16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
Once your enemy is sincerely leading a fruitful life, they can no longer truly be your enemy. You are then on the same team working for the same kingdom goals. Even if you aren’t necessarily friends, you will no longer be enemies.
6. PRAY SINCERELY, NOT TRYING TO MANIPULATE GOD TO GIVE YOU REVENGE
It’s a dangerous thing asking God to give someone what they deserve: SO YOU THINK THEY GOT WHAT THEY DESERVED…REALLY??? Again, that’s judgment, especially when God hasn’t given any of us what we deserve. Too many times people take Romans 12:20 out of context. They merely want to pray for their enemy or even help them to ‘heap coals of fire on their head’. That is the wrong motivation. Sometimes people can even say, “I’m praying for you as an insult, rather than in sincerity: NEVER LET YOUR “GOD BLESS YOU” REALLY MEAN “F*** YOU”…
7. PRAY THAT GOD FORGIVES YOU FOR BEING SOMEONE’S ENEMY
We all have situations in our lives that we have been or are someone’s enemy. Not because they just don’t like us, but because we have done them wrong. We have worked against them. We have spoken evil against them. This could even be someone who we don’t know or doesn’t know us…It could be a public figure. Even though it’s wrong for them to do so, we have given some people good reason to hate us. Always ask God to forgive you for when you’re someone else’s enemy.
Romans 3:23 (NKJV)
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Praying for our enemies in sincerity isn’t easy, but it is possible.