“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28).
One of the most amazing commands of Christ is to love our enemies. In our flesh, we naturally want to retaliate or fight back when we are treated unkindly or persecuted. Jesus preached forgiveness and mercy: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36). His lifestyle demonstrated grace, that ours might also. He took His command one step further, adding another level of difficulty: “Pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44b). It is important to have
a firm foundation upon which to train your children to love their enemies so that they might be determined to pray for them to know Jesus as Savior and Lord.
Jude also spoke about the importance of mercy: “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them…” (Jude 1:22). Because of God’s mercy, we were saved. We must extend His mercy to those who are still enemies of God, so that they might also receive what we have been given.
Gracious God, it isn’t easy to love people who are unkind, but because Jesus demonstrated this ultimate love while hanging on the cross, I am compelled to do likewise. May I show His mercy and grace to those who persecute or mistreat me so they will see You in me.
–Adapted from the article, Praying for Our Enemies by Kim Butts. Click on the link to read the entire article. Kim is the author of The Praying Family: Creative Ways to Pray Together, available at prayershop.org.
Praise God that he wants you to have the full measure of his joy in you as he prayed to his Father in Jn. 17:13. Thank God for filling your heart with joy (Ps. 4:7). Confess any inability to feel “the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Neh. 8:10) due to some situation that may trouble you right now. Commit yourself to reading Paul’s letter to the Philippians to inspire you toward greater joy. Ask God to help you be joyful in every situation and to do everything without complaining or arguing (Phil. 2:14).
Pray that your family and friends may see your joy in the Lord in all situations and likewise be joyful.
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