Praying for your Enemies

This may come as a surprise to you, but I’m not a huge fan of everyone. (Did you catch that sarcasm?) I know. The secret’s out. But seriously, I have a lot of trouble loving everyone and even tolerating most.

Our personalities just don’t compliment each other. We will never see eye to eye, at least not while we’re trying to do it on our own, but God continues to convict me when it comes to loving all.

Don’t do it for you, do it because you love me.

I mean, there’s really no getting around that, you know? He’s right. It isn’t about me and He knows that we aren’t going to get along with everyone on our own. He made us. And so He knows just how different we are, but if we can come together and love each other just because we love Him, well, yeah, that’s completely possible. Still hard, but possible.

So I’ve tried. I’ve gone out into the world and I’ve tried to be nice to everyone. I remind myself not to judge and to love all people because God made them. More than that, God made us in His image so when I see those people I may not care for, when I think about it, I’m actually saying I don’t like that part of God, and that’s not true. I love God so then I love these people too.

But I still struggle with a few. I find that most of my struggles are with those I am closest too. I believe this makes the task of loving them even harder.

So I’ve found myself asking God ‘Okay, how can I even do this?’

I thought the answer would be complicated and complex. There would probably be a ton of steps and ‘how-to’s’ but I was wrong. The answer was simple. How could I love these people? Pray for them.

Pray for them. That was it. That was His answer. Of course I was skeptical. I may have even thrown in an eye roll. Pray for them? Yeah, okay.

But I’m not a quitter and so I tried it one night. It wasn’t a big deal. It wasn’t even formal. I was doing something else when I remembered that I was supposed to pray for someone. I think I was loading the dishwasher or something, but I thought of one person that I was having a hard time loving and I prayed for them real quick. I said ‘amen’. Finished cleaning the kitchen and I went to bed. And that was that.

Except when I woke up, I can’t really explain it. Nothing had changed. Everything was as it was the night before, but I felt lighter. I wasn’t bogged down. I didn’t even credit the praying to how I felt. I just thought I was having a good day.

I did the same thing the next night. I picked someone I had a hard time loving and I prayed for them. I prayed that they would be blessed that week. Went to bed. Woke up. Same thing. I felt good.

I went about my day. Fixing breakfast for the kids. Cleaning up the house. Catching up on emails. And then I checked Facebook. I scrolled thru my feed and came across one of the people I had prayed for. I read their status. It wasn’t dark and depressing as they usually were. Something good had happened. Something they had really wanted. They were thrilled. They were happy.

I stopped dead in my tracks. I knew. He did that. He did that and He even let me see that He did that. I was so happy for that person. I was thrilled. And then I realized that that was love because that was Him. Woah, right?

Needless to say, I’ve created a list. I am praying for each of those on my list. I want to see more of Him. I want to see people’s jaws fly open. I want them to have no explanations. I want people to see Him for who and what He is.

Love, my friends, He is love.

So join me. Make a list. And pray. See for yourself.

Who would have thought that your enemies could be the ones to bring you so close to Him?
Photo Credit: Lauren Falber

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