Praying for our enemies

Dec 15, 2023 | PRAY, READ

What a stunning challenge Jesus presents us with when He tells us to ‘Pray for your enemies, and to love those that persecute you.’ (Matt. 5:44) Since Jesus paid the price for all people’s sins, however terrible, and however many people are hurt by them, we cannot take it upon ourselves to decide who is worthy to be prayed for, or to receive the grace of God. May we keep our hands and hearts pure, so that sinners may indeed be rescued. (cf Job 22:30) Here is a simple guide to praying for our enemies.

On the basis that it is almost impossible to resent or hate someone you are praying for, Brother Andrew pointed out that if we love our enemies, they are no longer our enemies, but on the way to becoming our friends. He challenges us to re-think our view of terrorists: “How can you show him the love of Christ if you see him as a terrorist? How can you bring him the love of God with hate in your heart?”

These notes from his book Light Force, chart Brother Andrew’s deep concern for Palestinian Christians, who have been all too often neglected and forgotten.

Brother Andrew cultivated extensive connections with leaders in the Middle East, including those in Hamas and Hezbollah, and was known to pray for Osama bin Laden every day during the latter’s life. (This is a very worthwhile article, even though we might think his prayers went unanswered!) His is a call that challenges us to pray for all leaders, even those know to be hostile toward Christ, for the Sovereign Lord takes ‘no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.’ (Ez. 33:11)

Along precisely those lines, this is a moving account of a Hezbollah militant who saw Jesus in a vision and was converted.

May the Lord do many more such works of power and grace, not least by answering prayers to reveal Himself to Muslims.

Brother Andrew entered into the presence of the Lord last year – and what a wonderful reception he will have encountered!

Praise God for the many supernatural revelations that God hasgiven to people in Palestine in the midst of the dreadful suffering, usually in the form of dreams about Jesus.

A bad day for Democracy
You may have heard that the Supreme Court in America has effectively intervened to slow down any possibility of Donald Trump being tried in court for 44 federal cases (as opposed to a more or less equal number of state charges).

All day I had felt a deep unease and disquiet in my heart. At root, this goes back to Trump’s claim that as president he is immune from such charges. You will remember his infamous claim that he could go out and shoot someone in the street and get away with it. America did not fight its war of revolution against a certain well-known European nation (A-hem!) to replace one person who was above the law (we are speaking of the British king of course!) with another.

Here are 15 bible verses to help us pray for our enemies.

How about this prayer petition for blessing those we might instinctively be inclined to look on as our enemies? It is by Ludovicus Vives, a Spaniard who was kept under house arrest for six weeks by Henry VIII for opposing his divorce from Katherine of Aragon.

The language is antiquated to our ears, but there is nothing old-fashioned about the outlook or the sentiments!

Most merciful and loving Father,

We beseech Thee most humbly, even with all our hearts, to pour out upon our enemies with bountiful hands whatsoever things Thou knowest may do them good – and chiefly a sound and uncorrupt mind, where-through they may know Thee and love Thee in true charity and with their whole heart, and love us, Thy children, for Thy sake.

Let not their first hating of us turn to their harm. Seeing that we cannot do them good for want of ability, Lord, we desire their amendment and our own. Separate them not from us by punishing them, but join and knit them to us by Thy favourable dealings with them.

And, seeing we be all ordained to be citizens of the one everlasting city, let us begin to enter into that way here already by mutual love, which may bring us right forth thither.

Photo by Jacob Bentzinger on Unsplash


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