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Praying for Those for Whom We’d Rather Not Pray

Every day, during my prayer time, I pray for my family, my colleagues, a few friends, folks on my prayer list for that day, those who have requested special prayer, but there is one group that is often missing from my prayer list – my enemies. Frankly, I’d rather not pray for them. It would be far more comfortable to ignore them, maybe even despise them. Apparently, the disciples had a similar problem.  In His Sermon of the Mount, considered by many as the most important sermon Jesus ever preached, the disciples heard Him quote Leviticus 19:18, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy’ then add, “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” (Matthew 5:44). OK, I have very little problem with the outward acts proposed by Jesus – love, bless, do good, but when it comes to the inward, intimate act of prayer, well, as they say, “He stopped preaching and started meddling.”  How can I pray for my enemies, when I don’t even like them, don’t even want to think about them?  Seriously, when someone “spitefully” uses me and “persecutes” me, I’m supposed to pray for them? For me at least, this is a sign of maturing discipleship, and it only happens on my more spiritual days.  But happen, it must. And I must discipline myself to include this more often in my prayer life.  American Newscaster David Brinkley once said, “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”

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Posted by Phil Miglioratti on February 6, 2010 at 6:00pm


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