I know, I know, this title probably won’t get a lot of clicks. Truth be told, who wants to pray for their enemies? Not a lot of people! I know I’ve been guilty of this plenty of times. I’ve taken the petty route more times than I should have. I wanted the person to pay for the hurt they caused me. I wanted to be the winner of the petty game. Is this the right thing to do? Definitely not; it’s the immature thing to do!
It seems when you’re in the midst of your problem you want to handle it the way you want to handle it. Then you have the “mature” people telling you: “be the bigger person and leave it alone. Just walk away. Pray for them.” For all my religious people you, you probably hear: “Let God handle it, vengeance is his.”
There have been plenty of times when my pastor has told me to pray for the person who I was hurt by. This task was never easy, matter of fact; I have failed this task plenty of times. I’m the person who used to say: “I’m not going to pray for them, they don’t deserve my prayers, I don’t care what happens to them.” Yup, that was me, sad to say, but I was that person!
I had to learn to pray for my enemies, to pray for those who hurt me, to pray for those that have come against me, and pray for my haters. It’s something you “learn” to do; it doesn’t come natural, you have to overcome your flesh. Pray prayers of blessings not prayers of witchcraft. Prayers of witchcraft are rooted from a place of bitterness and anger.
Many of those who follow me know about the hurt and pain I had faced in San Antonio. Some of it was caused by my actions, and some of it I wasn’t. During my time there it was hard for me to pray for those who hurt me. It wasn’t until I moved that the Lord really started to do a work in me.
I didn’t want to go through the same roller coaster of emotions being in a new city. So, one night in prayer I asked God to take these negative emotions away from me; I didn’t want to feel them anymore. You know what he told me? Yup, you guessed it. He said, “pray for them.”
I grunted, and for a quick second, my flesh said no, but I had to kill that thought. If I wanted a different outcome, I needed to do things differently. I agreed to pray for those who I was hurt by. It wasn’t just one person; I had a list of people that I was still holding a grudge towards.
I’m going to be totally transparent and say; when someone hurts me, I take it very personal. I get very emotional and feel like my whole world is crashing down… okay, not literally, but you get the point! I love hard, I have a very giving heart, and I would do a lot for those that I care about. So, when someone hurts me, it crushes me.
Needless to say, I took God’s direction and started to pray for those who I was holding a grudge against. My first few days were prayers like this: “Lord, bless them, cover them, and protect them.” They were short and simple. As, the days passed there was a softening of my heart taking place. My prayers progressed to praying blessings at their jobs, asking the Lord to give them increase, and declaring that they would walk in favor, and before I knew it, the grudges had lifted. I even started to pray for the people who I spoke about in last week’s post.
I went from grudge central to forgiveness central. Now, you don’t get to this place overnight; it’s a progression. You have to “intentionally” pray, and before you know it, your prayers switch from intentional to genuine prayers that just flow from your mouth.
I truly believe that I had to learn this lesson now; because this isn’t the last time I’m going to have to face enemies. Where the Lord wants to take me, this needed to be a tool in my back pocket.
Now, there will be times where that grudge will try to creep back in, but that’s when you go right into praying blessings over them, and soon the grudge will cease again. The sooner you can learn this tool, the sooner you can release blessings into your life!
I challenge you to pray for you enemies for the next 7 days. Some may overcome it in 7 days; some may need to another 7 days. Try it; what do you have to lose? You’ve lost enough already!
Here’s some scripture for those who may doubt praying for your enemies…
Matthew 5:44 “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” HCSB
Luke 6:27-28 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.” NLT