Praying for Enemies

Most of us have been deeply wounded by someone before. Our feelings have been hurt and it's hard to forgive. Sometimes we think it's impossible to forgive a person who has violated our trust and betrayed us. God knows that we struggle with these issues and He provided His answers for us in His Word.

Matthew 19:26, "But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."

Matthew 6:12, "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."

Matthew 5:44, "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which
despitefully use you, and persecute you;"
I have been wounded before, quite deeply in fact, by a few people in my life. The worst part about it is when I held the anger and hurt inside of my heart. It caused me to hurt far deeper and I carried those burdens around with me daily. I thought a lot about it and anytime I really sought God's Word about it I came up with the same answer. I believe with all my heart and soul that there is so much more to these battles than just what is on the surface.

God's original design for His people is that we would love Him and love our neighbor as ourselves. I believe the biggest battle over any relationship is about God. Many times we are in the middle of a bigger battle. Praying for just the surface battles is like putting a band aid over the surface of a deeper wound and healing to the deeper wound is what is needed before the surface can heal.

Maybe you have tremendously hurt and abused by someone. I have been there too. God sees the tension within you and there is no doubt in my mind that those who have hurt you could be battling the Lord too. I believe in the deepest depths of my heart that we sometimes might be the only one who can truly pray for them. I believe that God will use us in these battles. Jesus himself forgave us for sending Him to the cross, he prays for us when we don't even deserve it.

When you think about the person who has hurt you, who is the least likely person to pray for that individual? What does the enemy NOT want us to do? The enemy does not want us to pray for the people who have hurt us. He wants to drive the wedge further in and completely destroy both you and the other person. Just trying to forget about the pain isn't going to make it better or easier to deal with. God commands us to forgive AND pray for them.

My battles changed when my prayer life focus changed. As much as I hated what other people had done, my heart was not right with God over it. We may think that we know what is happening, but there is a deeper issue. That issue is what Christ wants us to pray for. When I was hurt the most God showed me something through the prayers of a wonderful lady named Kathy. She prayed that I would see others as Christ sees them. Here is what God showed me at that moment.

Christ loves that person, he died for person.
Christ's relationship with the person was suffering far more than my relationship with the person.
Christ wanted a reconciliation with the person.

Who was going to pray more for that relationship here on earth?
Christ asked ME to do that.
Christ was begging for someone to pray for His relationship with that person.

I had to put aside all my desires, all of my hurts, all of my anger. So that I could pray for Christ's relationship with the person. In doing so I have seen people reconciled to Christ. In doing so our friendships/relationships flourished again. That was the order God wanted. That is God's original design for his children. I had to sacrifice myself on the altar of God, laying aside what I wanted and obeying what He wanted.

I don't know what God is going to do with your situation. I know everything is Father filtered. But I do believe in the depths of my soul that as you pray for Christ's relationship with those who hurt you, that you WILL see MIRACLES beyond your human comprehension. Seek the Father through Christ, and as you seek Christ, pray for His relationship with that person to be reconciled.

That's what Christ did for us. He put aside the suffering he felt on the cross in order to pray for US, the very sinners that put him there. In order to reconcile us to the Father. Do you see the correlation there between what Christ did for us and the Father, and what you must do for those who hurt you? It is a call from God to you. I believe YOU are the very thing God is asking for. For you to pray this way. To put aside everything else for what Christ wants.

Forgiveness is not a gift from you to the person, but rather an act of release for you and your relationship with the Lord. Saying that you forgive someone doesn't mean you are accepting what they did to you or somehow validating their actions, it is an act of genuine love between you and God.

Sometimes we can't find people from our past that we need to forgive. It's not about them, it's about you. I haven't seen my father in sixteen years. He passed away when I was about nineteen years old. I could not tell him that I forgave him nor ask him to forgive me, but I was able to forgive nonetheless, because God wanted me to.

I pray this has brought encouragement to you in this discouraging world of bitterness. Genuine forgiveness will free you from the bitterness you harbor in your heart.

John 8:32, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

Sisterlisa is a homeschooling mom of four children and married to a ministry leader of a Rescue mission. She is the owner of Growing in Grace Magazine and AGMinistries.

Apples of Gold Ministries

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{ Miss Charlene } at: February 13, 2009 at 7:43 PM said...

Thank you for writing about this and thank you for talking to me through this. It's amazing what happens when we start praying for God's will than for our own. We'll find ourselves changed, doing things we never thought we would do. I will take your advices and store them in my heart. I will use it and apply it. ((hugs))

Anonymous at: April 23, 2009 at 9:25 AM said...

Thank you and bless you for sharing this wonderful and healing knowledge that is all to easy to forget. This is exactly what I need to read today.

May you and yours be blessed always,

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