We are always exhorted to pray for those in trouble, for those who are persecuted, for those who are sick.
We are rarely reminded to pray for our enemies. But that’s what Jesus did, and what He told us to do.
Who knows? The enemy we pray for may one day become our dearest friend.
Consider this account from the ninth chapter of Acts:
“All this time Saul was breathing down the necks of the Master’s disciples, out for the kill. He went to he Chief Priest and got arrest warrants to take to the meeting places in Damascas so that if he found anyone there belonging to the Way, whether men or women, he could arrest them and bring them to Jerusalem.” (Acts 9 from The Message)
Sound familiar? Do we see things like this occurring in other parts of the world as we speak?
Jesus told his disciples that they would be persecuted for his name’s sake. And those who do the persecuting will think they are offering a great service to God in killing them. Sound familiar?
I have been praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Iraq, in Syria, in Egypt, in Sudan, In China, and everywhere the name of Jesus is reviled.
But let’s never forget to pray for those who do the persecuting. Their ultimate fate is way more horrible than the death these dear Christians are suffering.
Let’s pray that they, too, like Saul of Tarsus will experience Jesus, that their eyes will be opened, that they will repent and worship the One who made them and died to secure their eternal peace and security in heaven with the eternal and indescribably loving and holy I Am.
Let’s pray that the light of Jesus will penetrate their souls. As lovers and worshipers of Jesus, His Holy Spirit works in us to be in alignment with God. And God’s will is that none should perish.
Hell was created for the devil and his angels. Not for people.
Think about this: someone prayed for you before you came to Jesus. I know that many people were praying for me before I surrendered my life to Him. There are probably lots of future Christ disciples who are currently persecuting the Church. Let’s pray for their salvation.
The Message puts it this way: “To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person.” ( Luke 6:35 The Message)