Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Pray for Your Enemies

By: Jenifer Metzger

But I tell you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you.
Matthew 5:44 CSB

This week we've been reading in 2 Samuel. We began the book by seeing David's response to the death of Saul and his sons. We know that David and Jonathan, Saul's son, had a close friendship. Jonathan helped David escape Saul attempt on his life on several occasions. So, of course, David mourned the death of his dear friend. However, the Bible tells us that David mourned both Saul and Jonathan.

Then David took hold of his clothes and tore
them, and all the men with him did the same.
They mourned, wept, and fasted until the
evening for those who died by the sword—for
Saul, his son Jonathan, the Lord’
people, and the house of Israel.
2 Samuel 1:11 CSB

Saul tried to kill David multiple times. He was jealous of David and wanted to end his life. Why should David mourn him? No one would have blamed him for feeling relief! In fact, he wouldn't have been blamed for rejoicing. He no longer had to run for his life or hide in caves. He was finally free from the threats of Saul.

Pray for Your Enemies

Yet, he didn't feel relief and he certainly didn't rejoice. He mourned. He mourned for an enemy who wanted to end his life.

The Bible tells us in Matthew to "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." You likely don't have someone who is running after you with sword in hand to kill you, but do you have someone who has gossiped about you? Someone who lied about you? Someone who stole from you? Someone who is rude? We all have someone like that in our lives at some point. And we need to love them and pray for them.

I have a group of people in my life, I don't call them enemies because I certainly don't see them as such. But they have lied about me, gossiped about me, been hurtful, been unforgiving of my own wrongs, and left me when I needed them most. About a year into this situation, I felt a deep call from the Holy Spirit to pray for them. At first, fought it. I didn't want to pray for the very ones who hurt me so deeply. But the Holy Spirit continued to whisper their names to my heart.

I began to pray regularly. I began to call them out by name and pray God's covering and blessings over them. Sometimes I prayed about the situation, but more often I feel God calling me to simply pray over them. Their marriages, families, home, jobs, relationships, health, finances, and ministries.

It's been several years into my situation now and nothing has changed in the situation itself. There hasn't been restoration. There hasn't been reconnection. There have been no apologies or forgiveness. What did change was my heart. Where hurt, anger, and bitterness had taken root, by regularly praying over them, my love for each person deepened. My desire to see good in their life deepened. My hope to see growth and success in their life deepened. Even if reconciliation doesn't come, I pray God's abundant blessings on their lives.

It can be so easy to curse the one who wrongs us. To wish ill on them. To rejoice when bad happens in their life. But that isn't God's way. God calls us to do better. He calls us to love as He loved. To pray.
When someone does you wrong, make it a point to lift them by name to God.

1. Do you find it hard to pray for your enemies?
2. What can you do to be intentional about praying for the ones who wrong you?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for stopping by, we love hearing from you. Please feel free to contact us with any prayer requests or questions by commenting below or emailing us at the About Us page.