Pray For Enemies
As we draw closer to the end of our month focused on prayer we are going to step into the deep end of prayer. We all have people that we dislike because human nature is competitive, we want better kids, a better job, the better car....... better than what though? who told you that what you have was not enough? Think about the people you dislike. co-worker? family member? neighbor? business owner? politician? I am sure that you can think of a few.
Now lets look at Jesus in Matthew 5:38-48. There are a few lines here that I would like to draw your attention to. The first of which is 5:41 where he talks about walking two miles. This reference is to when a Roman officer would come up to someone in the land they were occupying and by law FORCE them to carry 100lb of roman armor an entire mile. If they refused this they would be put in jail. Jesus instructs the listeners to WALK TWO MILES with 100lbs!!!! .....why? ...."So you may be son's/daughters of your Father in heaven". Our Father does not show favoritism and instead gives to everyone the same. These people are taxing them heavily. pushing them around. forcing laws on them that they would never have accepted, and crucifying anyone who questions them...... how do you think they feel?...... Jesus asks them to LOVE and PRAY for them so they can be children of God too!
So lets make this real for us 2,000 years later. Who do you find in your life as an enemy? Who do you harbor hate for in your life? Maybe its a demographic.... The homeless? The unemployed? Pro-choice supporters? The list goes on and on and on. Now ask yourself, have you ever prayed for their success? Have you ever prayed that they are blessed? Have you ever Prayed that you would love them as Jesus loves them?...... This is not an easy discipline, and I would be lying to you if I didn't say that I have people that I hate, and I would be lying to you if I didn't say that I rarely pray kind things over them. Jesus is asking us to fix that.
This week's discipline is simple, pray for the success, blessing, prosperity, and goodness of all the people you dislike....hate.....wish harm on....etc. Let this be a confession and a blessing for you, and be specific about who you are praying for. Reflect with someone after you do this.