Wednesday, May 08, 2013

The Hardest Prayer

Praying for the problem people can be frustrating.

Matthew 5:43-45  "You have heard the law that says, 'Love your neighbor' and hate your enemy.  44  But I say, love your enemies! [Bless those who curse you. Do good to those who hate you.] Pray for those who persecute you!  45  In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For He gives His sunlight to both the evil and the good, and He sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.

We love to pray for the people that we love, it is so easy to pray for your parents, nana and papa, or your best friend but Jesus tells us that we need to pray for everybody. In this scripture which is part of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says that we are to love everybody and then he goes on to say that not only are we to love everybody but we are to pray for them as well.
We see throughout the Gospels that Jesus broke down the barriers that prevent love from spreading. Jesus showed us how to love the unlovable, the picture of love that he gave us includes a road trip through Samaria, it includes inviting tax collectors to be his friends and it includes sharing the plan of salvation with a Pharisee but he didn't stop there.
"Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing."
The ultimate display of love in the Bible also includes a prayer for those that do not deserve to be loved. Jesus proved that there is a direct connection between loving your enemies and praying for them. Jesus' love gave him the ability to pray a blessing on his "enemies" while he has in agony from the pain that they had inflicted on him.

Want to retaliate?

1 Peter 3:9-10  Don't repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and He will bless you for it.  10  For the Scriptures say, "If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies.
It isn't my job to get revenge and try to even out the score. The best way to have the right attitude and love the people that don't "deserve" to be loved is to bring them before the Lord in prayer. It is difficult to speak evil of them and be unloving to them after you have prayed a blessing over them. Even if somebody sees me as their enemy I still need to see them as my neighbor and pray for them.

Jesus, help me to see the world around me through your eyes, I need to see how sin has affected this world and how it has tried to destroy our ability to relate with each other. Thank you for showing us that we can have loving relationships even if we don't get anything back as a reward.