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Pray For or Against Our Enemies?

by Gregory John Monroe  
10/05/2014 / Education


Jesus said to love our enemies. Elsewhere, God's word says that if at all possible make peace with our enemies. Believing that love is action, I think praying for and making peaceful overtures to our enemies would cover those two statements.

But what if there isn't any peace or reconciliation as a result. Moreover, what if the relationship deteriorated to the point that our enemy resolves to bring about our harm, be it spiritually, emotionally, or physically.

Such was the case with David in Psalm 5. Here's what he prayed to the Lord. "Hold them guilty, O God; by their own devices let them fall! In the multitude of transgressions thrust them out" (vs. 10).

Psalm 35 has David asking God to contend with those who were contending with him. He wanted the Lord to raise up physical weapons and angelic help against those pursuing him (vs.1-6).

In Psalm 70, he prayed, "Let those be ashamed and humiliated who seek my life; Let those be turned back and dishonored who delight in my hurt" (vs. 2).

These men were not about to let go of the destructive impulses in their hearts against David. They simply wanted him dead, and that's all there was to it.

Such is reality. There will be people hell-bent against us too. And based on God's inspiring word, when peace with them is impossible, it's okay to pray against their efforts. God wants us to put the fight in His hands.

Then at least three things can happen. God can heap spiritually hot burning coals upon their heads that they might feel the heat of conviction that they are wrong. God can intercede to stop them through a miracle or providence. Or, in the end, God will certainly see to it that they get what's coming to them, for vengeance is the Lord's and justice will be served (Psalm 73: 17-20).

In the meantime, I think we should continue to love them with prayers for their conversion.

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