You know who is always last on my list to pray for? People I don't like...or rather people that don't like me. It is so hard to include them on the list especially when there are so many things to pray for. Like people I do like and things I want and more. But the truth is that praying for your enemies is something the bible specifically tells us to do. And You may be wondering why? I have three reasons why you should start to incorporate this type of prayer in your quiet time!
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. - Matthew 5:44-45
1. Stop Bitterness
Ever found yourself thinking really terrible thoughts about someone? Months after whatever transpired between you two...you are still angry and bitter and upset about what happened. Now friend, you probably have a right to be upset. But that is not the point. At some point we have to LET IT GO. Because holding on to bitterness is really only hurting us- not them. And the fastest way to move past your anger? Pray for them.
It is so hard to be angry with someone you are praying for. If you commit to blessing someone who has persecuted you, you will find your heart so soft and tender. Bitterness will be removed from you. That is the power of prayer.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. -Ephesians 4:31
Challenge: Pray the same blessings over your enemy as you would for your best friend.
2. Self- Defense
I started to think about the people I have had the most conflict with and the seasons that occurred. Usually one or both of us is hurting or broken. I heard a minister once teach about how the enemy was able to use Judas to betray Jesus the devil works through weak and wounded people. She explained that the spirit entered Judas (luke 22:3) and in order for anything to enter us (good or bad) we have to be open to it. Being hurt or broken opens us up to be either be healed and used by God or be a pawn of the enemy...it ultimately depends on the person.
When we pray healing over our enemies, we partner with God to help heal broken people. And when people are healed, they are less likely to be used by the enemy.
Essentially, healing prayers over your enemies is a sneaky form of SELF DEFENSE. It is a spiritual warfare strategy that disarms your enemy with LOVE and compassion.
Challenge: Next time you have a conflict with someone, try to see them as a broken person who needs healing rather than someone who just made you mad!
3. For Their Sake
We all need more prayer. We all need more grace. We all need more compassion. At some point or another we have all been the villain. And we have all been the victim. Not one of us is perfect. We cannot always see ourselves clearly and additional people praying is never a bad idea.
So pray for them like you would've wanted someone to pray for you when you were at your worst. We would all be amazed at how compassion can disarm even the most angry. So friend PRAY for that person who has harmed you. Pray because they need it. Pray because everyone deserves to be lifted up to the Fathers ears. Pray because they deserve a chance to walk away from their behavior and get a fresh start just like YOU did. Pray because Jesus did the same exact thing for us and we not for a moment deserved it.
Challenge: Next time you find yourself judging someone who has hurt you, ask God to show you who they are in His eyes.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this! Comment below and let me know what you think.
If you are looking for additional resources to amp up your prayer life I have TWO: