Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
Prayer is certainly bound together with love. Prayer is the expression of love. And love ought to be the motivation for our prayers. In Matthew 5:44 Jesus commanded His followers, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” You do not love your enemies, if you are not praying for them. And prayer is a powerful means of developing love for those who are difficult to love. I believe it is an expression of love to pray for someone you bitterly dislike, simply out of obedience. Because God has told you to someone, you struggle to ask Him to work in her life. But as you carry that out day by day, the love of Christ for that person will grow in your heart and mind.
I would like you to try this exercise. Make a list of people you have trouble loving. Maybe it is someone who wronged you or someone you care about. Maybe it is a person whose attitudes or behavior you do not approve. The very thought of them irritates you. Most of us can come up with a list of 4 or 5 such people off the top of our heads. You may ask God to bring such people to your mind. When you have the list, take time to pray for these people every day for a week. You may be tempted to pray for God to bring them into judgment, but you don't want to pray that kind of prayer for someone Jesus died to redeem. I think it is acceptable to begin by praying for God to change them or bring them to repentance. From there you can ask God to show you how to pray for them. At the end of the week take an assessment of your attitude toward them. It will have changed. You will be drawn nearer to the heart of God.