Matthew 5:43-45a NIV 2011
“You have heard that is was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your father in heaven.”
Matthew quoted Jesus’ words at the Sermon on the Mount. Some commentators referred to this as “King Jesus’ inaugural address, explaining what he expects of members of the kingdom.” “Hate your enemy” is found nowhere in Scripture but the Pharisees added what they thought the opposite implied. Jesus came to heal the divide between all. Leviticus 19:18, “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people.” With that in mind He encouraged His followers to replace hate with payer. Praying for the enemy reveals those who belong to the Father. God’s great love radiates from believers when they pray for those who persecute them.
This has always been a stretch for me to pray for someone that has purposefully done something untoward to my family or me. And therefore that is why He’s not done with me yet. I will be the first to admit I’m just a big sinner who knows God’s Word and continues to strive to be more Christ like daily. Sanctification is a life-long process of learning where I continue fall short and yet strain to stretch my faith. I desire to radiate His love by praying when persecuted.
How can we pray for our enemies?
Humbly seeking Him,