How to Pray for your Enemies

Jesus says to pray for my enemies,  so how do I do that?  Here are a few of my thoughts which I intend to be informed by the teaching of the Master. I don’t personally have all the answers,  but I believe Jesus has all the answers we need to know.

I need to pray that God will forgive my enemies. On the cross, Jesus prayed that the Father would forgive those who were doing this to Him. If He could pray like that, why can’t I ask forgiveness for those who have said something emotionally hurtful about me or who express their disagreement with me?  I could if I wanted to. I could if being like Jesus is really important to me.

I need to pray that they will change their behavior, if their behavior is actually bad. It is in my best interest interest for me to act good. If I pray for them to act good, I am praying for what is best for them. I need to want what is best for everyone. I should not pray this in a selfish manner, but out of real love for my neighbor. “Help _______ to be a better person and help me to be a better person as I try to influence _______ for good.” 

I need to pray that God will bless my enemy. They have taught me humility. They have taught me that this life is not the main thing. They have reminded me of the importance of mercy, mercy like God has shown to me. They have reminded me of the sinfulness of this world, and its need for a Savior.  It is my mission, as a Christian, to show that Savior to the world. So they have helped me focus on my purpose in life.

Only a Christian can pray for their enemies and really mean it. We can do it because Jesus has shown us how. I need to shut out the world and listen to Jesus. I really need to pray for my enemies.

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