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Posts Tagged ‘pray for those who persecute you’

 

Matthew 5:44

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

 

I think this is one of the hardest things that God expects us to do. I don’t want to love someone who has hurt, bullied or caused me pain. I don’t want to pray for someone who is going out of their way to make my life a living hell. As Christians, we must obey the commands of our Lord and He has commanded us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.

Granted, I have never had a family member murdered or been in a mass shooting situation. I can only write this from my shallow experiences of being bullied at my work place or having a child treated badly by another person. Even in those situations, my tendency is to let the anger simmer just under the surface and think of smart retorts to their hatefulness. I can not even imagine how I would react if a family member was physically hurt by someone else. My prayers in cases of mass shootings or hearing of racism or violence, is usually for God to bring swift justice and not for reconciliation or for God to change their hearts.

As I write this, I feel the Holy Spirit working in my spirit and giving me the answer to my own question of WHY?

Why should we love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us?

The only reason I can think of is that our God is a God that performs miracles. He loves for His people to partner with Him in these miracles. When God takes a murderous person like Saul and turns him into Paul, one of the greatest Apostles and missionaries the world has ever seen, God gets the glory for that. When we step out in obedience and show kindness to someone who is downright hateful and malicious to us and our kindness transforms their heart, God gets the glory for that. When we pray consistently for someone who is hell bent on persecuting us for our beliefs or other reasons and their heart is transformed, God gets the glory for that. Any time a heart is transformed it glorifies God and that is ALWAYS a good thing!

My CHALLENGE to you:

If you are being tormented or persecuted by someone in your life, I encourage you to be kind to that person. A smile or a kind word can melt a hardened heart over time. An offer of help can open a door for a relationship to bloom and grow into an opportunity to share your Jesus story. If that person is dealing with a hardship, offer assistance in any way that you are able. And pray for that person. Pray for a difficult situation they are dealing with. Pray for blessings and peace for that person. Pray for opportunities to build a relationship and to share the Gospel. Pray that God will use you to help soften and transform a heart.

I can guarantee that as you show love and pray for that person, you will undergo transformation too. Your own hardened heart will begin to soften toward this person when you begin to know them and the issues they may be dealing with. You will start to care when that relationship blooms into a friendship. You will rejoice when that person accepts Jesus into their heart.

You doubt and say that these things will never happen? You say that such and such person will NEVER change so why bother? 

We bother because God tells us to. Step out in obedience and leave the outcome to God. Trust Him, because MIRACLES HAPPEN EVERY DAY! 

 

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