But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…
Now isn’t that a challenge! We are quick to pray for ourselves or our loved ones when there’s trouble, we may even give thanks when times are good, and pray for our communities, but how quick are we to pray for those we don’t like, those who wind us up, or those who are of a different persuasion or outlook? And when I say pray for, I don’t mean pray that they would become more like us – that’s praying against someone… Truly praying for those who are opposed to us, is what Jesus did, even on the cross as he called for God’s forgiveness for his executioners. It means praying for their good, their health, their openness to God, and their needs. Praying for them might even change us as we gain an insight into them and their needs, and the Spirit grants us an empathy that wasn’t there before. Praying for our enemies might help us step across the gap between us with love.
Take some time to pray for those who wind you up, who hurt you, who annoy you, or simply overlook you or don’t care.