But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
Do you have any enemies? That is a pretty strong word. Can you think of anyone who is really mean to you or your friends and family? When was the last time you prayed for that person?
Usually our response when we experience or witness awful things is to pray for the person being hurt. When we hear about people being imprisoned unfairly, or innocent people being treated badly, we pray for them.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but the Bible says we shouldn’t stop there. We should also be praying for the ones doing the hurting. That’s a lot more difficult isn’t it?
Next time someone is mean to you, pray for them. When you see bad things on the news, pray for all the people involved, even the ones who are being unfair or hateful. Pray that they would repent of their wrongs and turn to Jesus. The more difficult part is to pray that you would see them with compassion as God’s children, lost and in need of a savior.
I don’t mean to sound simplistic. Loving your enemies and people who spread hate and hurt is a very difficult thing to do, but praying for them is a good first step towards loving the world as Jesus did.