What Jesus Did! 'The Power of Prayer to Change and Redeem' — Luke 6:28

Saturday, April 4, 2015

"Ask God to bless those people that say bad things to you. Pray for those people that are mean to you."
— Luke 6:28
Illustration of Luke 6:28 — "Ask God to bless those people that say bad things to you. Pray for those people that are mean to you."

Key Thought

Prayer has the power to change us. We can change as we see God's power work in someone who has cursed and/or hurt us and make that person into a better person. Seeing their change helps us to continue our changing to be more like Jesus. However, even when folks don't change, prayer changes us as we offer ourselves to God for his service. We praise him for the magnificent God he is and the incredible things he has done as we open ourselves to the work of the Holy Spirit involved in prayer. God can change our hearts as we seek to honor him by doing what is right. In this case, it is praying for those for whom we wouldn't naturally want to pray. Such prayer is an act of faith and submission: "Father, may what is accomplished be what you will and not what I want." While such prayer is unnatural, we are unnatural! We are God's spiritual children. Redeeming those lost in hate, bitterness, rage, and malice is important to us. Our goal is to have those who mistreat us ultimately find their way into the Kingdom and become our brother or sister in Christ. We must pray!

Today's Prayer

Father, I know of several people who do not wish me well. They love it when I stumble. They rejoice when I hurt. They delight in my failures. Father, I first ask that they can come to know Jesus and have your Spirit minister to their deepest hurts and transform them into your children. Give me strength as I seek your presence so that you can bless them. Help me release all vindictiveness, desires for vengeance, and cultivated bitterness and malice. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

"I say to you people that are listening to me, love your enemies. Do good to those people that hate you. Ask God to bless those people that say bad things to you. Pray for those people that are mean to you. If a person hits you on the side of your face, let him hit the other side too. If a person takes your coat, don't stop him from taking your shirt too. Give to every person that asks you. When a person takes something that is yours, don't ask for it back. Do for other people what you want them to do for you. "If you love only those people that love you, should you get some special praise for doing that? No! Even sinners love the people that love them! If you do good only to those people that do good to you, should you get some special praise for doing that? No! Even sinners do that! If you loan things to people, always expecting to get something back, should you get some special praise for that? No! Even sinners lend to other sinners so that they can get back the same amount! "I'm telling you to love your enemies and do good to them. Lend to people without expecting to get anything back. If you do these things, you will have a great reward. You will be children of the Most High (God). Yes, because God is good even to the people that are full of sin and not thankful. Give love and mercy the same as your Father gives love and mercy.

Luke 6:27-36

Related Scripture Readings

Jesus said to them, "Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray for strength against temptation."

Luke 22:46

But if you let the Spirit lead you, then you are not under law. The wrong things our sinful self does are clear: doing sexual sins, not being pure, doing morally bad things, worshiping false gods, doing witchcraft, hating, making trouble, having jealousy, being very angry, being selfish, making people mad at each other, making divisions, having envy, being drunk, having wild and wasteful parties, and doing other things like this. I warn you now like I warned you before: The people who do these things will not be in God's kingdom. But the Spirit gives love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. There is no law that can say these things are wrong. Those people who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified (killed) their own sinful selves. They have given up their old selfish feelings and the evil things they wanted to do. We get our new life from the Spirit. So we should follow the Spirit. We must not be vain (conceited). We must not make trouble with each other. And we must not be jealous of each other.

Galatians 5:18-26

Don't do wrong to a person to pay him back for doing wrong to you. Or don't say something bad to a person to pay him back for saying something bad to you. But {ask God to} bless that person. Do this, because you yourselves were called to receive a blessing.

1 Peter 3:9


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.