When we pray for our enemies are we doing it with our hearts in the right mode? Have we forgiven them? Are we praying for them with our goals in mind or with the goal of their salvation in mind? What is our heart intention?
Do we know why they are attacking us? Do we know why they are our enemy? Do we know why we are under persecution?
Could this person have been a friend previously? Is this person a family member? A co-worker? A neighbor? A stranger?
Do you know what hurts they have experienced in their life? Keep in mind we are all broken. None of us have gone through this life untouched by tragedy. None of us have come to the place where we are without some battle scars.
God calls us to love our enemies. To turn the other cheek. If asked to give your shirt, not only give that but your coat also. Yes, I’m mixing up the “eye for an eye” and the “love for enemies” sermons from Matthew, but they go hand-in-hand. It all boils down to love. A love that we don’t totally understand. A love that we are not used to. A love that God showed us by having his one and only son die for our sins. And still we don’t understand.
So, how do we get to that point of understanding? How do we get to the point where we turn the other cheek? Where we understand the other person’s point of view and forgive and love them? Not harbor any anger or hard feelings?
By remembering all of the times we asked for forgiveness of others when we were cruel. By remembering when we were mean and nasty to others and *we* were in the wrong and should not have passed judgment and we were the enemy and we were given grace and mercy when it was not deserved by others. When we remember all of those times (and don’t try to kid yourself that you never acted like that towards other people, because you know you have and you know there are times you still do), then you can forgive people who act like that towards you. It may take a lot of praying. But then just pray. Pray for God to help you. Pray for God to help them. Pray for God to save them and bring them into salvation. Pray for healing in their life. Pray for God to love on them like no one else has shown them love ever. But pray. Ask for other people to pray for them. But pray. And keep on praying.
And don’t stop praying because that is what God has asked us to do. God knows what is best for us. His Word is true and if His Word says to do it; don’t you think it’s about time we do what He tells us to do?