Praying for Others: Praying for the Forgotten
October 29, 2017
During October we are focusing praying for others.
Jesus taught many things about prayer. It should be direct, persistent, and genuine. One of the most challenging things he taught was that we are to pray not only for the needs of our loved ones, but also for our enemies and persecutors.
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect"
Many of us might not think in terms of having enemies or persecutors, but we are still hurt by or come into dispute with people, and in our current bitterly divided national context, the mandate to overcome antagonism between people through prayer is still highly relevant.
Throughout the week, think about those with whom you have been in conflict either in person or in the broader realm. Are there family or friends from whom you are estranged? Are there people at work with whom you have an uneasy or hostile relationship? Are there people in the political or social realm who make you afraid or angry?
Pray for those people in the spirit of the love, remembering that we are all children of God. Ask Christ to help you overcome negative feelings toward them as you pray.
Lord, make us what you want us to be.