I find, the more I pray for someone, the more I love them. Prayer is undoubtedly a language of love. Perhaps that is why we are called to pray for our enemies.
This challenged me today…
Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes…
“In prayer we go to our enemies, to stand at their side. We are with them, near
them, for them before God. Jesus does not promise us that the enemy we love,
we bless, to whom we do good, will not abuse and persecute us. They will do
so. But even in doing so, they cannot harm and conquer us if we take this last
step to them in intercessory prayer. Now we are taking up their neediness and
poverty, their being guilty and lost, and interceding for them before God. We
are doing for them in vicarious representative action what they cannot do for
themselves. Every insult from our enemy will only bind us closer to God and to
our enemy. Every persecution can only serve to bring the enemy closer to
reconciliation with God, to make love more unconquerable.
How does love become unconquerable? By never asking what the enemy is doing to
it, and only asking what Jesus has done. Loving one’s enemies leads disciples
to the way of the cross and into communion with the crucified one.”
“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44
Name your enemies, picture them in your mind, “stand at their side” before
God, pray for them.
Prayer for Today
Lord of peace and justice, let me not so much want victory over my enemies as
true and mutual reconciliation with them.