I grew up learning from my parents that pursuing revenge was wrong. “Leave it to God” they all said. As I got older, and read the bible more, I realized something. Not only am I not allowed to pursue revenge, I must Pray for my enemies too.
Matthew 5:44 instructs us to do so.
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,
According to Romans 12:20, I should feed and provide for my enemies too. In abstract, it makes sense. It is easy to practice. However, something recently happened. Someone offended me greatly, and I was so furious. In fact, I had started to plan how to get back at them, when I came across Matthew 5:44. It was an internal war: My gut reaction was to get back at them. However, God was asking me not to.
Always remember this: we are asked to pray FOR those who hurt us, not AGAINST them. Matthew 5:44 http://bit.ly/2nWd4vD #bibleverse #biblequote #wordsthatinspire #encouragement
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Praying for my Enemies
I worked hard that day to let go of my anger on days after that. As I thought about the bible verse, I decided to follow through and pray. I got some revelations, as I attempted to do so:
- Do not pray maliciously: The first words of my prayer was for God to send down lightning to strike my enemies. For about two minutes, my prayer was along that line. As I prayed, I realized that this was not the purpose of the verse. When I prayed with anger AGAINST my enemies, I could feel my anger rising. In that state, I could have hurt someone.
- Let it Go: I discovered that before I could come to a place of prayer, I had to let my anger go. You see, praying is having a conversation with God. Like any other conversation, you need to be careful with your words. Regardless of your emotional state, you need to apply some thought to the words used. When I was very upset, all I wanted to do was pour out my anger. I was not thinking of what I was saying. Thank God I did not speak for so long. I could have said something that would have severely dented my relationship with God and myself.
- Pray a simple prayer: At the end of the day, I discovered that the prayer for the one that has hurt me was a simple one. “Father, may he discover the wrong of his ways. Lord, resolve the situation justly. Help me to resolve my ill feelings towards him and work on him, as only you can.” Simple, short and sweet.
At the end of my Prayer, I felt lighter and much better. I had handed it over to God and I was not stressing over it anymore. The event still comes to mind, but it does not make me as furious or angry as I was.
Always remember this: we are asked to pray FOR those who hurt us, not AGAINST them. It is not an easy task, but may God help us with this.
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