Prayer To Pray For My Enemies
3 Ways to Pray for Our Enemies
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy,’ said Jesus in his famous Sermon on the Mount. “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:43).
If you’ve ever wondered why many people refused to follow Jesus during his earthly ministry, you have to look no further than that verse.
In our day, we have watered down the term “enemy” so much that this command has lost much of its shock value. Today, “enemy” is used primarily in reference to people who are rude to us or treat us unkindly. We even use the portmanteau “frenemy” to refer to an associate pretending to be a friend or someone who really is a friend but also a rival.
But in Jesus day, the Jews in Israel had real enemies. For the entirety of their existence as a people they had been fending off enemies — from their slavery in Egypt to the state of occupation by their latest enemy, the Roman Empire. Telling them to love and pray for enemies was akin to telling the Christians in Iraq to love and pray for ISIS.
And yet, that is exactly what Jesus was saying. When Jesus gave the command to love and pray for our enemies he knew it would one day require praying for Islamic extremist groups ISIS and Al-Qaeda who murder his Bride.
Jesus was saying that when we think of those people, we no longer even see them as enemies. As John MacArthur explains, “we are not to be enemies of those who may be enemies to us.From their perspective, we are their enemies; but from our perspective, they should be our neighbors.”
But how do we do that? How should we pray for these neighbors who want to murder members of our family? Such a task is difficult, but there are three specific ways we can pray for those who are engaged in persecution against Christians:
1. Pray for their conversion
There are two primary reasons we don’t pray for the conversion of Islamic extremists. The first reason is that we believe it is absurd to think they’ll become Christians. The second reason is that we fear they might actually convert.
The first reason is more common, since praying the terrorists will convert seems a useless plea.
We recognize the theological truth that God can do for them what he did for us: provide the gift of grace that they might be saved (Ephesians 2:8).
But we look at the situation “realistically” and tell ourselves that the probability of their genuine conversion is so close to zero that it would be a waste of our time (and God’s) to even bother to ask.
No doubt such conversions are unly and rare. Yet we should pray for their conversion anyway. If we truly love our enemy, how could we not at least petition God on their behalf?
Another, less frequent, reason we don’t pray for their conversion is because we fear they may actually repent. Jonah in Nineveh, we want our enemies to receive their just desserts, not mercy and forgiveness. Consider all of the Christians who dutifully prayed for the Nazis.
How would they have felt if they discovered that Hitler, in the moments prior to his death, had truly repented of his sins and was forgiven by God? Many of those Christians would have felt cheated, as if it was unfair of God to forgive such horrific crimes.They would ly want to complain, as Jonah did when God spared the Ninevites, “I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity” (Jonah 4:2)?
But it is precisely because he is a gracious and compassionate God that we ought to pray for the conversion of our enemies. How could we do anything less than ask God to show them the same grace shown to us?
2. Pray the evil they do may be restrained
There is no dichotomy in praying for the good of our enemy and praying that their evil actions be restrained. It is to their benefit as well as ours that they be prevented from committing more evil. For those who have hardened their heart against God, it would be better that their life was shortened than for them to continue to persecute his children.
The protection of innocents from slaughter may require human governments to take military action against that Islamic extremists.
We are warranted in supporting the just use of force in restraining such evil.
But we should remember that while the death of the terrorists may be the only effective way to restrain their actions, we should not rejoice in their suffering or death (Proverbs 24:17).
3. Pray they will receive divine justice
Just as we seek justice on earth from duly established governmental authorities, we can seek the divine justice of our holy God. As John N.
Day says, “[W]hereas love and blessing are the characteristic ethic of believers of both testaments, cursing and calling for divine vengeance are their extreme ethic and may be voiced in extreme circumstances, against hardened, deceitful, violent, immoral, unjust sinners.”
In asking that divine justice be done, we should be careful to guard our motives. Praying for divine justice can be a way to circumvent our duty to love our enemy. While we must leave vengeance to God, we must not forget what is commanded of us. As Paul writes in Romans 12:19-21:
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
In the order of our prayers, asking for divine justice should be included as the “last resort” option, a plea for doing what is necessary for those who will neither turn to God nor turn away from doing evil.
As former enemies of God, we should be gracious and grateful that we are allowed to pray for our current enemies, secure in the knowledge that Jesus will hear us.
We should be thankful enough for the grace of God that we want even our enemies to receive it too.But if they refuse and harden their hearts against the one who would spare them, then we must ask they receive the divine retribution due everyone apart from the righteousness of Christ.
Additional Resources: In discussions of praying for our enemies it’s important to consider the role and relevance of the imprecatory prayers found in the Bible. The topic was too complex to address in this brief article, so for more on that topic I recommend Sam Storms’ essay “Imprecations in the Psalms.”
A Prayer to Pray for Your Enemies
I have a confession. On more than one occasion I’ve been petty. I wish I could say this behavior is relegated solely to my my teenage years, but ashamedly, it has crept into adulthood.
Intentionally and without even thinking, I’ve examined situations from my restricted viewpoint and consequently labeled other women as enemies. Of course, I have never actually said these words out loud, but I thought them.
I’ve formed assumptions about their actions and believed them to be true. Knowing this about myself, I know I need to pray for my enemies.
But more importantly, I need to ask myself, who is my enemy? Who is my true enemy? When I stop to consider this, I know how to better direct my prayers toward the ultimate enemy of my life.
Why We Label Other Women as Our Enemies
If she didn’t call me back I assumed she wasn’t my friend. If she appeared to snub me at an event I reasoned she was two-faced. And if she didn’t invite me to her gathering, I assumed we weren’t friends anymore.
This is not to say it’s all been presumption. Some of these experiences weren’t just fabrications of my mind; they were real. I’ve been on the receiving end of gossip, slander, snobbiness, and shade.
And it would seem that the women who treated me this way belonged in the enemy category. Their actions were unkind, undeserved, and unwanted. They were the proverbial mean girl: the women we all love to hate.
Thus, I should be justified in deeming them enemies. Although rational, what I’ve come to realize is that another woman’s behavior, whether real or imagined, does not make her my enemy. She is actually just a smokescreen for my true adversary.
Who Is Our True Enemy?
He is the one we don’t often talk about; but he exists. We live in a practical-teaching-megachurch-age, where words demonic have almost been omitted from the vocabulary of the average church goer. We look at the evil in our world and attribute it to moral decline, explicit music and inappropriate prime time television.
We do this while forgetting that Scripture reminds us who our enemy is. “Your enemy the devil prowls around a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV). We are not only informed of his existence but we are told definitively how he attacks.
In John 8:44 we read “…He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”Many of us find it easier to acknowledge the existence of an omniscient God without embracing the reality of a diabolical enemy. When we do acknowledge the Satan’s presence, it is often tainted by Hollywood’s interpretation: teetering between extremes.
Either he’s the man in a red catsuit with horns perched on the shoulder of an indecisive actor, or he’s a quick witted superhero fighting crime in an Italian suit.
Neither persona is accurate, duping us into believing Lucifer is predictable, likable, and not that bad.
God’s Word however, reminds us that we are in a spiritual battle.
Ephesians 6:12 tells us, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
” Satan is described as a deceiver, a hunter and a killer whose sole purpose is to annihilate his prey, us. And he will stop at nothing to accomplish this task.
Which explains why we are so easily bamboozled into thinking another woman is our enemy: that is the devil at work. If given the opportunity, he has the power to impact every area of our lives: that childhood hurt, lingering habits, dangerous temptations, weight loss (or the lack of it), hang-ups, a sweet tooth, jobs, children, marriage and most certainly, female relationships.
Seeing the Enemy Clearly
Because of this reality a prayer for our enemies should actually be a prayer for ourselves that we might see clearly who our real enemy is.
This does not mean we completely dismiss the actions of those around us but we do so with the understanding that their behavior is heavily influenced by our formidable foe.
Consequently, this truth helps us to fight in a way that will make a difference: on our knees.
Dear God,Help me to accept and acknowledge that Satan is my true enemy and not those around me. When I am wronged unjustly, help me to relinquish my right to hold another person responsible for the wrong they have caused me. Lord, may I remember the truth of your word in Psalms 135:14 that says you will vindicate me.
Even though I am tempted to repay evil for evil, please help me to choose to fight my battles on my knees: believing that my struggle is not with another human being but with the devil and my own flesh. Grow me in Christ- character and help me to become a woman who possess the fruit of the spirit.
May I become a woman who is mature, wise, and has a sound mind.
In Jesus’ Name,
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.
A Daily Morning Prayer
A Prayer for a Broken Heart
A Prayer for Worry
A Prayer for First Thing in the Morning
A Prayer for When You Don't Know What to Do
Kia Stephens is a wife and homeschooling mama of two who is passionate about helping women know God as Father.
For this reason, she created The Father Swap Blog to be a source of encouragement, healing, and practical wisdom for women dealing with the effects of a physically or emotionally absent father.
Each week through practical and biblically sound teaching she encourages women to exchange father wounds for the love of God the Father. Download Kia's free ebook, Hope for the Woman With Father Wounds here. Additionally, you can connect with Kia on , Instagram, , and Pinterest.
Pray for Your Enemies
My co-worker’s words were unkind and untrue. How could Beth say such a thing about me? She’s a Christian. She should know better. All day her words simmered in my soul. Each time my mind hit the replay button, my eyes narrowed and my jaw tightened.
That night as I lay in bed, I thought about what I’d do the next time I saw Beth. Avoid her? Confront her? Pretend nothing had happened?
At some point during my mental rant, the Holy Spirit reminded me of Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:44: “Pray for those who spitefully use you…” (NKJV). Humph.
I’d rather tell Beth exactly what I think and complain about her to other people. I’d rather harbor a grudge and avoid her.
But the Holy Spirit kept poking me: If you want to do what pleases and glorifies Jesus, pray for those who hurt you.
“Lord,” I said, “please show me how to pray for Beth with a sincere heart.”
Be Honest with God
The next morning I settled into my favorite chair to have my devotions, but my heart was restless. First, I wrote Beth’s name on my daily prayer list. Then I admitted my feelings to God.
“Lord, I don’t Beth or what she did to me. She’s difficult to get along with anyway, and now she’s spreading gossip about me.” God knew what had happened.
I didn’t need to airbrush what she’d done or camouflage how I felt about it.
Next I confessed my unwillingness to change my attitude. “Lord, I can’t get over this. I’m too angry, too hurt. I don’t want to pray for Beth, but I want to obey you.” I reminded myself that Jesus’ blood had washed away her sin as it had washed away mine. God loves her as much as he loves me. I said, “Lord, help me see what you see when you look at Beth.”
Use God’s Words
After I prayed, I opened my Bible to Matthew 5. I read Jesus’ words in verses 43-46:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?”
“Okay, Lord,” I prayed, “work in my heart and in Beth’s. Show us that we’re on the same team—your team. Heal this wound in my heart. Heal the wounds in her heart. Help us both to be the daughters you’ve designed and redeemed us to be.”
Next I turned to Colossians 1. I often pray verses 9-11 for my children, so why not use Paul’s prayer as a guide for this situation with Beth?
“Lord, Give us wise minds and spirits attuned to your will. Help us to move toward a thorough understanding of how you work and how you want us to work together. Enable us to make you proud of the way we honor you in our workplace. Give us the strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy” (MSG paraphrased).
In the days that followed, I continued to incorporate God’s Word into my prayers for Beth. When I read Psalm 37, I asked God to give her the desires of her heart (v. 4). When the day’s reading was James 1, I asked God to give her wisdom (v. 5) and to help her be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry (v. 19). I prayed the same things for myself.
Wait for Him to Work
As I prayed for Beth, my anger and resentment decreased. At work, when we passed each other or sat in a meeting together, I greeted her with less animosity churning in my stomach. I asked about her kids and her husband. Yes, the conversation between us was awkward at first, but gradually we both relaxed.
Several weeks passed. One day Beth and I were both working in the copier room.
She seemed agitated when I said hello, so I asked, “How’s your day going?” As she revealed details about an ongoing trial, I realized why she might have misjudged me, why she’d misinterpreted some of my actions and words. I recognized that I’d misjudged her too. The Holy Spirit nudged my heart. See? Aren’t you glad you’ve been praying for her?
When Beth finished her story, I could honestly say to her, “I’ve been praying for you, and I’ll keep praying for you.” She smiled.
Pursue Peace through Prayer
…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (Romans 5:8,10)
Though we were opposed to him and all his ways, Jesus died for us, removed the barrier of our sin, and brought us into relationship with God. Because his reconciling love now resides within us by his Spirit, we can extend that love to others. God no longer counts our sins against us, so we no longer hold other people’s sins against them (2 Corinthians 5:17-19).
Our attitudes toward those who offend us won’t change overnight. Sometimes the adjustment takes months, years, or maybe even decades. But God will be faithful to change our perspective as we come to him in prayer.
Praying for those who have hurt us is not only obedience to God’s Word, but also opportunity for him to work in our hearts and within other people.
He will help us move beyond our sinful attitudes about others and toward his love for them.
In Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, he wrote,
Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister….Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. (Romans 14:13, 19, NIV)
Because I was honest with God, prayed his Word for Beth and myself, and waited for him to change my attitude, God healed my hurt and softened my heart toward her. He helped me avoid putting obstacles in her path and seek the attitudes and actions that led toward peace. He freed me to extend the love of Christ to her, as he first gave this same peaceable, forgiving love to me.
People are bound to hurt us. But if we take those hurts to God, he can help us pursue the path that will glorify him and edify others.
Do you need to add someone to your prayer list?
 Not her real name
Are You Praying For You? Here Are 12 Ways To Pray For Yourself Every Day
It's important to pray for others, but you should be praying for yourself every day as well. Christian writer David Qaoud offers up these 12 ways to pray for yourself. Go on, give them a try!
I wouldn’t call myself a prayer warrior, but I’ve made tremendous efforts to grow in prayer over the past several years. All Christians are commanded to do so, and few hours of the day are more enjoyable than my quiet alone time with the Lord.
Over the years, mainly through suffering and good resources on prayer, I’ve learned that I must pray for myself regularly. Sure, I need to grow in praying for others, but I’ve never felt guilty praying for myself.
My pastor does.
And I’m no greater than them, so I’ll continue to pray for myself without feeling bad about it.
RELATED: 10 morning prayers you can use daily
What about you? Do you pray for yourself?
Maybe this will help. Let me give you a sneak peek into my prayer life.
Here are a few ways that I pray for myself. Feel free, of course, to steal some of these prayers and incorporate them into your own life.
Praying For Yourself 1: “Lord, give me wisdom.”
James 1:5 says that God gives wisdom to those who ask. Think about it. An all-knowing, all-wise God is eager to bless you with wisdom if you ask with faith. Why would you not ask?
I pray for wisdom almost more than I pray for anything else. I pray for wisdom before class, before hard conversations, when planning my life — almost with everything. I learned this back in undergrad and it’s been a life-changer ever since.
Praying For Yourself 2: “Lord, help me to trust in your Providence.”
Life is hard, often filled with senseless and perplexing trials. Christians are not omitted from suffering. And since I don’t know what the day will bring when I rise, I often pray that God will help me trust in his providence — whether good or bad — knowing that he’s working all things out for my good.
And I know that he does. Providence is one of my favorite doctrines. And I need to pray providence into my life daily.
Praying For Yourself 3: “Lord, bless my enemies.”
I’ve got a few enemies. I’m not surprised, though, because Jesus said this will happen. And because of my sinful flesh, I get annoyed easily and simply have a difficult time loving certain people. I find that when I pray for them, my dis for them leaves, and bitterness doesn’t get the best of me.
As Dietrich Bonhoeffer says, “I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me.”
RELATED: 9 powerful reminders from the Red Sea miracle
Praying For Yourself 4: “Lord, bless my health.”
Not in a prosperity gospel type of way. But I do pray for good health. I pray for my body, for energy, for sleep, and for my overall well-being.
Praying For Yourself 5: “Lord, protect me from the enemy, his servants, and their works.”
I’ve experienced more spiritual warfare in the past two months than I did in the past two years (I think). But Jesus is greater than the enemy. Jesus says you should pray for protection, so I often pray that the Lord will protect my emotions, thoughts, and life from the evil one.
Praying For Yourself 6: “Lord, give me favor.”
Again, not in a Joel Osteen type of way. But in a general way. I pray for success and favor in my endeavors. I ask the Lord to increase my influence and bless all that I do. Then I pray that I will steward it well for his glory.
Praying For Yourself 7: “Lord, help me to steward my life well for your glory.”
Paul tells us to make the best use of time (Ephesians 5:16).
The Psalmist says that everything belongs to the Lord (Psalm 24:1).
James tells us that life goes by quickly (James 4:14).
Point: I know that everything I have has been entrusted to me, and life is short. And I want to maxmize my time well. So I pray that I will live a fruitful life, in which I maximize my potential in Christ, and steward all things well for his glory.
RELATED: 5 vulnerable places the devil is ly to attack
Praying For Yourself 8: “Lord, help me to pursue holiness on a macro and micro level.”
What people see of me is the exterior. This is important — but it’s not enough.
I can seem impressive in public, yet remain sinful in private. And when we talk about holiness, we often only talk about the “big things” not killing people, and staying faithful to your spouse. But holiness is much more than that. It includes the thousand little, overlooked things of life that no one else knows about. I pray that I can honor the Lord in these things.
Praying For Yourself 9: “Lord, help me to feel your presence.”
Feelings are not everything. But feelings do matter. And I don’t know about you, but I want to feel the presence of the Lord in my daily interactions. I want the powerful presence of the Lord to be something I know tangibly.
Praying For Yourself 10: “Lord, prepare my heart.”
I pray for this when changes are near. I pray for this when beginning a new endeavor. I pray for this when life seems uncertain. The truth is, I don’t know what I truly need. But God does. And before the shock of life hits me, I want to be prepared.
Praying For Yourself 11: “Lord, help me to be the kind of Christian that is almost impossible to offend.”
I recently started praying this because I noticed I started to feel snubbed over petty things. This bothered me. The gospel is big enough for my little insecurities, and so I pray that the Lord will help me not be easily offended.
Praying For Yourself 12: “Lord, increase my love for you and your church.”
I want to love the Lord and his people more fervently, and so I pray for this often.
This list is not exhaustive, but is merely an example of some of the things I regularly pray for myself. Time would fail for me to mention everything. But I hope you can steal a few of these prayers and start praying them today.
After all, you should pray for yourself every single day and not feel guilty about it. Yes, you should pray for your spouse and your neighborhood and the nations.But don’t become so holy that you forget to mention yourself in your prayers. Prayer is a powerful weapon that God invites you to use everyday.
As John Piper says, “Prayer causes things to happen that would not happen if you didn’t pray.”
This article was originally published at gospelrelevance.com. Used with permission.
David Qaoud is a Christian, writer, and blogger from St. Louis, MO. He blogs regularly at gospelrelevance.com. You can connect with him on here.
These 5 Bible verses are sure to re-ignite your prayer life!
A Powerful Prayer for Your Enemies
Perhaps one of the hardest commands Jesus gives to us as His disciples is to bless, love, and pray for our enemies. But how can you pray for someone who wants to harm you? In ourselves, we can’t. But through the power of God’s Spirit working through us, all things are possible. Through Jesus, we can pray for our enemies. Here’s one way you might pray:
A Prayer for Your Enemies
Lord Jesus, following Your example and command, we pray for our enemies today. We ask first that You would saturate our lives with the Holy Spirit’s power and might.
Send Your love flowing through us, and forgive us for holding on to anything that could hinder our prayers. We release any unforgiveness, thoughts of revenge, or hateful emotions that can quench Your Spirit in our hearts.
Then give us wisdom as we seek how to bless, to love, and to pray for our enemies.
We pray for you to bless our enemies and to orchestrate events in their lives that will leave their hearts exposed before you. As You characterized blessing in the Beatitudes, we pray that You would give them a poverty of spirit that recognizes their deep need for You.
We pray they will discover Your comfort in times of mourning, and they would be humbled before You—in Your way and Your time.
We pray You would show them mercy before it is too late—knowing we were all God’s enemies before You extended mercy to us—and that they would, in turn, be merciful to others.
Lord, we pray that instead of lusting for pure evil, they would hunger and thirst for Your purity and righteousness, become advocates of Your justice and that their warring spirits would be changed into peacemaking.Remove the façade of well-being; tear down the lies that have deceived them; and hedge their ways until they can see no way out but up.
We pray You would show them the futility of what they are doing because in opposing God’s kingdom and in their darkness, they are often oblivious about the true reasons for their behavior and resulting consequences. Reveal to them any deep hurts or traumas in their own lives that may be contributing to their destructive actions.
Knowing how you sometimes use pain and difficulty to bring blessing to our lives, we pray the same for our enemies. Use whatever means You need to soften stony hearts, open blind eyes, and to help them realize their ultimate neediness for You. If necessary, allow persecution in their own lives so they can experience Your blessing.
Speak to them in miraculous, supernatural ways if necessary, through a dream, a movie, another believer, Your Word—or even through our own lives if we are ever confronted. In some way, let them witness Your power and recognize that You are the source.
We pray for conviction, for an honest evaluation of their own destiny, and for a sense of desperation if that’s what it takes for them to consider Your claims and to discover Who You really are. Pursue them, even allowing goodness to lead them to repentance. And give us patience and a deep trust in You, Lord, even when we can’t see any change in our enemies.
When we waver, not wanting to pray for our enemies, help us to remember Your grace in our own lives, and what we would be without You.
Why Should We Pray for Our Enemies
Why should we pray for our enemies? Because Jesus did.
He prayed for those who opposed Him, for those who devised evil against Him, and ultimately as He hung on the Cross, Jesus prayed for His Father to forgive all those who had a part in His death—because they didn’t know what they were doing. Jesus modeled unconditional love and how we should pray for our enemies, then commanded us to do the same.
Prayer is an amazing discipline and privilege. What usually happens when we pray for anyone, is that the prayer acts as a boomerang. God may or may not answer in the way we prayed, but God often chooses to bless and change us as a result of our obedience to pray.
It’s hard to stay angry at someone for whom you earnestly pray. Prayer also leaves the consequences, revenge, and complete justice to God. It’s a transference of our will into God’s hands.By praying for our enemies, God’s Spirit can supernaturally show love and kindness through us or another that may ultimately change them. That process can also eradicate our fear of our enemies because perfect love casts out fear.
Jesus said not to be afraid of those who could destroy us physically. Instead, we are to fear—a reverent attitude—the One Who determines and fulfills our soul’s destiny.
In the Old Testament, even righteous people prayed for God to destroy their enemies in cruel ways. Their prayers were not prayers of blessing. Proverbs and other passages talk about how to treat our enemies in positive ways.
But Jesus turned life upside down with His command to bless, to love, and to pray for our enemies. While not defining who our enemies were, in the Beatitudes Jesus described enemies as those who mock us, persecute us, lie about us, or despitefully use us.
And that we were blessed if we experienced those things. He added that those who were not for Him were against Him. Jesus taught a new way to live life: with love, not hate. He encouraged us to recognize that the true enemy behind all wrongs is Satan—and how to resist him.
But regarding our earthly enemies, when we don’t know how or what to pray for them, we can trust the Holy Spirit to pray through us.
7 Bible Verses that Give Us Perspective about Praying for Our Enemies:
- Proverbs 16:7 NASB, When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
- Matthew 5:44 KJV, 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.
- Luke 23:24 NIV, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
- Mark 11:25 NIV, “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
- Romans 12:20-21 MSG, Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.
- 1 Peter 3:9 TLB, Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t snap back at those who say unkind things about you. Instead, pray for God’s help for them, for we are to be kind to others, and God will bless us for it.
- Proverbs 20:22 NLT, Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.
” Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.
To Jesus, every person mattered. He came to show us the Father’s complete love, even while we were still His “enemies.” And when He called us as His followers, He didn’t leave us without a model.
Knowing we would be mistreated and even persecuted for belonging to and believing in Him, He commanded us to pray for our enemies. When we do, God’s power is unleashed in them—and in us.
Rebecca Barlow Jordan is an inspirational author, speaker, and passionate follower of Jesus who loves to encourage others heart to heart.
She has written 11 books and over 1700 other articles, greeting cards, and other inspirational pieces. Her daily devotional Daily in Your Presence is available for delivery through Crosswalk.com.
You can find out more about Rebecca at www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com.
This article is part of our Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.
The Lord’s Prayer
Irish Blessings & Prayers
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Prayer for Healing
Prayer for Protection
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