Scripture For Today:
1 Thessalonians 5:25
“Brothers and Sisters, Pray for Us!”
Pray for Your Enemies
I want to continue to look at some of the other principles in prayer that Jesus taught on during His ministry here on earth. As we move through these next series of teachings, we will see that Jesus taught us to pray for our enemies and for laborers to be raised up for the harvest of souls.
We will also see how the Book of Matthew records Jesus’ teaching on the “Prayer of Faith” – which is believing you receive WHEN you pray.
I Matthew 5:44-45, Jesus tells us for whom to pray. Sometimes, it seems people are in doubt as to who they should actually be praying for (outside, that is, of their own family). But here, we find information that gives us some specific instructions in answer to that question.
“But I say unto you, LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and PRAY for them that despitefully use you and persecute you; so that you may be children of your Father, which is in Heaven. For He makes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the just and the unjust.”
Do you want to know who to pray for? Jesus said very clearly hear to “Pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you…” Jesus DID NOT SAY to criticize and talk about those who despitefully use you and persecute you. He said to PRAY for them. How many of us are 100% spot on with this verse of scripture? Probably 100% spot on WRONG…I know I have to raise my hand here. Amen!
Don’t look at me in that tone of voice! Praise God! I can see AND hear you by the Spirit…
“Well, brother Bob, in this day and time, in this political climate, in this culture we are living in – EVERYBODY hates Christians and EVERYBODY is doing so much evil and EVERYBODY is so spiteful – you just can’t help but criticize the evil we see them doing, promoting and participating in…it is just awful.”
I know. I know. BELIEVE ME – I know! Like I said, I’ve been guilty of this, too. But, as in all things, let’s go to the Word of God for our answer to what we should be doing. Have you ever noticed, sometimes, the “TRUTH” hurts? But it is still the TRUTH. And the truth here is the Word of God. So, let’s look at it again…
“PRAY FOR THEM.” Do you want to “get even?” Do you want to “punish them” for their ungodly conduct and actions? The best way to do that is to PRAY for them!
Let’s just look at retribution for political activists and politicians that are doing things contrary to the Word of God. The evil and sin they are promoting, etc. If YOU say or do something, that could backfire on you quickly in the natural. BUT – if you pray for them. If you pray to the Father to intervene – you are putting Spiritual forces to work that are more powerful than you could ever accomplish on your own. Amen!
Notice the next verse, too: “…so that you may be children of your Father, which is in Heaven. For He makes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the just and the unjust.”
Jesus is inferring here that, IF YOU ARE a Child of God, you WOULD be doing what He said to do in verse 44. Since you are doing that, God WILL BLESS YOU. But, in blessing you, He will also be blessing the sun to rise on the evil doers. He will bless the evil with rain in due season, etc. But He is not sending it to BLESS THEM. He is sending it to BLESS YOU.
Do you remember the parable where Jesus was in the boat sleeping when a storm bore down on the boat and the disciples were worried they were going to sink? In Mark 4:35-41 you can read about it. But verse 36 is the part I want to share. It says, “…and there were other boats with Him.”
The boat Jesus was in was not the only one on the lake and in danger when the storm hit. But all of those other boats were blessed when Jesus calmed the sea so HIS BOAT could go to the other shore.
This works the same way. When God blesses YOU because you are trusting in HIM, OTHERS will be blessed too. You may not want them to be blessed – but that is not your decision. You job is to PRAY FOR THEM so YOU can be blessed. If they receive the blessing BECAUSE OF YOU, you can then use it to witness for Jesus and, perhaps, capture their attention and get them BORN AGAIN and THAT will change their attitude. Amen!
I’m way over time for today, so let’s wrap up here.
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