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It’s Just That Simple: Pray for Your Enemies

I consider myself to be a relatively laid back and mellow individual outside of work. However, there is a certain personality type which pushes me to my limits, on the verge of an emotional eruption. About a month ago, I was wrestling with inner demons, urging me just to let it all out on the table. Just before blowing a gasket, I happened to come across the passage below.

But I say to you who are listening now to Me: [[o]in order to heed, make it a practice to] love your enemies, treat well (do good to, act nobly toward) those who detest you and pursue you with hatred, 28 Invoke blessings upon and pray for the happiness of those who curse you, implore God’s blessing (favor) upon those who abuse you [who revile, reproach, disparage, and high-handedly misuse you], Luke 6:27-28.

I came face to face with the words of the apostle Paul in Romans 7:14-18. While I knew the way God wanted me to handle this situation, I was losing the battle for my soul, Galatians 5:16-17. As much as I hated to admit it, the Holy Spirit spoke to me in a whisper, “it’s just that simple: pray for your enemies.” Although I didn’t immediately apply this lesson, one week later I began to pray for this specific person.

You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy; 44 But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, Matthew 5:43-44.

Despite being an adult, sometimes I just want to hide from certain people, avoiding them like Covid-19. Three weeks after I began praying, my first contact with this person in nearly a month was shocking. Rather than bearing the brunt of criticism, I heard the words of reflection, remorse and change. While part of me wanted to take some credit for this transformation, it was the Lord who brought me to a place where I could finally understand what it meant to pray for enemies and those who persecute you. It’s just that simple.

by Jay Mankus


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