Praying For Our Enemies
by Alan Smith
The following is an old Gaelic blessing:
May those who love us, love us,
And those who dont love us,
May God turn their hearts,
And if he doesnt turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles
So well know them by their limping.
I think its safe to say that we all struggle with our attitude toward our enemies. We know what Jesus said: 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. (Matt. 5:44 and I dont think the prayer above was what Jesus had in mind!)
But, there are, throughout scripture, a number of examples of righteous men calling God to act against their enemies. The Psalms are filled with such pleas. And even in the New Testament,
...The souls of those who had been slain for the word of God.....cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth? (Rev. 6:9-10)
When we see great evil being carried out, part of us cries out for justice. We want to see God avenge those who defiantly oppose Him (and by faith, we know that He will). But, as difficult as it may be at times, we must also pray that God will help us to respond personally to those who are our enemies in such a way that they may eventually be led to be our friends, and more importantly, friends of God.
© 2001, Alan Smith. Used by permission. This devotional was reprinted from Thought for the Day.
Title: "Praying For Our Enemies"
Author: Alan Smith
Publication Date: October 3, 2001