Praying For Who?

Do you have an enemy?  Is there someone in your life with whom you butt heads constantly?  No matter how you try, you just can’t seem to get along.  They seem to oppose your every thought and deed.  They gossip about you.  They stab you in the back.  They try to sabotage your life at every turn.  How should we respond to these people?  How should we treat them?  According to Solomon, we should treat them with kindness.  Look at verses 21-22 of Proverbs 25:

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the Lord will reward you.  (Proverbs 25:21-22, NIV)

There are two benefits to treating our enemies with kindness.
  1. You will “heap burning coals on his head.”  (While you may want to do this literally, it is probably best to do it figuratively.)  The hope is that your enemy will realize the error of their ways and a relationship can be forged or restored.
  2. “The Lord will reward you” is a great promise that goes along with the first benefit.  God sees everything!  He sees how they’ve hurt you.  He knows what’s going on.  He will not only repay the wicked for the evil they’ve done, but He will reward you for responding in kindness.

In Matthew 5:44, Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”  It’s hard.  Praying for your enemies and persecutors is very, very difficult.  Showing God’s love to our friends is a whole lot easier than demonstrating kindness to our enemies.  Let us seek to please the Lord today by showing His love to everyone, friend and foe alike.

PRAYER: Lord God, I pray today for my enemies and ask that You would help me to show Your love and kindness to everyone I come into contact with today.  Help me to be a shining light for Jesus, even to those who oppose me.  I know that You are a God of justice and that those who do evil will not escape Your judgment.  I also know that I will not escape Your judgment for You are the Judge of all.  I thank You for loving me when I was once Your enemy and for forgiving me when I came to Jesus.  In His name I pray, amen.


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