Matt 5:44 Love your enemies and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you
Prayer for your enemies and those who have cheated you in the past is one of the deepest forms of love. The bible instructs us not only to forgive our enemies, which is an extension of mercy towards them; we are also to go ahead and do something for them, extending grace towards them. By praying for them, it shows you actually wish them well and hold no animosity towards them.
When you find it difficult to forgive, praying for them also helps you to forgive them because it’s difficult to pray for God to bless someone you hate.
Prayer for your enemies is the instruction, not prayer against them. Nowhere in scripture are we instructed to curse our enemies. We are to bless always and never to curse! Rom 12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
This is what Jesus did as He hung on the cross
Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do
And it’s what Stephen did as he was being stoned:
Acts 7:60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Can you sincerely ask God to forgive those who have wronged you and done evil towards you? Can you ask the blessing of God upon their lives? Can you identify a challenge in their lives and genuinely pray that God will help them through it? God doesn’t want us to wish anyone evil and the best way to do this is by praying for the well-being of our enemies.
Being able to do this shows maturity, it shows that you are indeed a child of God. It’s only those who have the Spirit of Christ that can do this because it’s in their nature to do good to those who are good and equally to those who are evil.
We are called not just to do good things for our enemy; we are also called to desire their highest good and to express those desires in prayers, even when the enemy has no knowledge of the good you are doing to them. We are not told to announce this act but to do it in secret where God sees and knows our hearts.
May God give us grace to pray like Apostle Paul for the Jewish people, many of whom made life very hard for him and plotted to kill him many times; Rom 10:1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
Why Should We Pray for Our Enemies?
Because Jesus did. He prayed for those who opposed Him, for those who devised evil against Him, and ultimately as He hung on the Cross, Jesus prayed for His Father to forgive all those who had a part in His death—because they didn’t know what they were doing. Jesus modelled unconditional love and how we should pray for our enemies, and then commanded us to do the same.
Prayer is an amazing discipline and privilege. What usually happens when you pray for anyone is that the prayer acts as a boomerang. God may or may not answer in the way you prayed, but God often chooses to bless and change us as a result of your obedience to pray.
It’s hard to stay angry at someone for whom you earnestly pray. Prayer also leaves the consequences, revenge, and complete justice to God. It’s the transference of your will into God’s hands. By praying for your enemies, God’s Spirit can supernaturally show love and kindness through you or another that may ultimately change them.
That process can also eradicate your fear of your enemies because perfect love casts out fear. Jesus said not to be afraid of those who could destroy you physically. Instead, you are to fear—a reverent attitude—the One Who determines and fulfils your soul’s destiny.
PRAYER FOR OUR ENEMIES
Say the words of this prayer out loud and then proceed to pray in the Holy Ghost for your enemies:
Lord Jesus, following Your example and command, I pray for my enemies today; all those who have caused me great harm and pain
All those who have cheated me and taken advantage of me
All those who have not shown me kindness
But I ask first that You would saturate my own life with the Holy Spirit’s power and might.
Send Your love flowing through me, and forgive me for holding on to anything that could hinder my prayers.
I release any unforgiveness, thoughts of revenge, or hateful emotions that can quench Your Spirit in my heart
Then give me wisdom as I seek how to bless, to love, and to pray for my enemies.
I pray for all those who have hurt me and brought me harm
And I ask You Lord to forgive them and not to lay this sin to their charge
Lord, whatever challenges they may be facing right now
I ask that You will show them mercy and make Your face to shine upon them
As I continue to pray in the understanding and in other tongues
I yield to the Holy Spirit to give me utterance to pray as I ought for those who have brought me pain
Bless them Lord and make Yourself known in their lives in Jesus’ name
Extend Your arm of kindness towards them as You make Your face to shine upon them
Lord, bless them indeed and keep them from evil in Jesus’ name
I desire good concerning them O Lord
Let them experience Your divine favour
May heaven smile upon my enemies and may they enjoy the riches of the kingdom of God in Jesus’ name.
VERSE OF THE DAY: 1 John 2:11
But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.