With conflicts and persecution happening around the world, it can be hard to pray for our enemies but God calls us to love and pray for them. We have put together some tips to help you.
Matthew 5: 44
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (NIV).
“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (NKJ )
Whoever your enemy may be, most people want to get revenge or see them get what’s coming to them! However, when we read the bible, it tells us to do the exact opposite. It tells us to love them, do good to the haters and bless and pray for those that come against us!
Jesus invites us to show a new depth of love for our enemies, blessing and praying for them. We are called to love them as people created in the image of God even though we may not like them.
Remember that behind our ‘enemy’ there is a spiritual battle taking place as Paul writes: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.” (Eph. 6:12) NIVUK. But we know that prayer and worship changes spiritual climates. Prayer in the name of Jesus, according to God’s will breaks through and nullifies the forces of evil in the heavenly realms, bringing God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
How do to pray for someone who is against you:
- Examine your heart – don’t allow the devil a door into your life by acting in an ungodly way. Ask God for forgiveness and forgive those who have hurt you. Pray you can see them through God’s eyes.
- Commit the situation to God – don’t try and work it out in your own strength. “Not by might or by power, but by my Spirit” says the Lord. He will fight the battle for you if you trust Him.
- Light of Christ – pray for the Light of Christ to overcome the darkness in the person and the situation. Declare that God will turn all things around for good. Speak blessings over them instead of cursing.
- Salvation – Pray for the person to have an encounter with God and for a change in their heart. That they will know the love and peace of Christ.
- Thank God – for what He is going to do as if it is already done and see how your own heart may have changed through this process!
Praying for Global Enemies
When we watch the injustice and cruelty that is happening to people in so many places around the world, what freedom comes when, by the grace of God, we can forgive and bless. It is costly but that forgiveness and blessing strips Satan of any ground for him to stand on to bring condemnation, accusation and shame.
- Find out more about the enemies you are praying for, e.g. leaders and nation(s) involved. Operation World gives spiritual background.
- Come in humility asking for our hearts to be cleansed and forgiveness released.
- Remember to pray for all ‘side’s/nations’ involved.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to direct our prayers to specific situations and people.
We can therefore:
- Worship God over the land and peoples.
- Declare scriptures into and over the situation.
- Plead God’s mercy over all; ask for His forgiveness.
- Pray for:
- Leaders: for wisdom light, truth and justice to breakthrough.
- The Church/Christian leadership: for protection and for strength, persistence and wisdom.
- Peacemakers to be raised up.
- His Justice and His Kingdom to come and His will to be done.
- A mighty move of God’s power that in the situation many people will be drawn to Him.
- Release blessing for all those who suffer/are displaced; blessing all nations and agencies seeking to work for truth and peace.
- See how we may practically help/give/offer our time and resources.
As we continue to watch and pray, let us encourage one another to ‘pray without ceasing’, stand in the armour of God against the dark powers, know the Holy Spirit’s anointing to communicate truth, and come in the spirit of humility and bless and keep blessing.
Source: World Prayer Centre