I started this site to begin a conversation regarding Praying for Our Enemies. I am not an expert at praying for my enemies. I don’t know many people who are experts at it. I come from a Christian background and I base praying for my enemies on three understandings:
- Pray for those the persecute you
- Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
- Turn the other cheek
After Jesus arose on Easter, John reports Him saying to the disciples, “If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; If you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.” John 20:23. By commanding the disciples to forgive sins, He is asking us to do the same. The challenge to us is to begin the dialog of forgiveness. I cannot think of a better way than praying for our enemies.
In the Lord’s Prayer we ask God to “. . . Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us.” Wow! Talk about a challenge. Praying for your enemies is part of what we need to do to accomplish this admonition from God.
These are pretty simple things, but we frequently don’t do the simple things.
Another important aspect of this conversation is the engagement of people from all traditions. I am not as familiar as I should be with the Muslim and Jewish traditions, but I do know that to make a difference in today’s world all these traditions to be included the conversation. We all have to walk in the light we have and pray that we see the light that God has for us.
One other element of my journey I need to share is fasting. The more I read about fasting, the more I understand that the denial of substance for a short time helps you focus on prayer. I don’t think one needs to be in total denial of food to be fasting, but changing you diet for a brief period of time can create focus. I have fasted in different ways to focus on prayer for my enemies.
Sometimes my enemies are close by like a person committing for a parking place I really wanted. At other times they are far away when my program doesn’t get approval. At times they are the embodiment of evil, committing genocide or the atrocities. Regardless of who they are, they need our prayers.
The other pages have a bit more of my story and some links that I find interesting where you can share your experiences should you wish.
May God be with you and your enemies today.